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New FIA short courses address skills gap in fundraising sector

15 August 2019 at 9:01 am
Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) is offering five new short courses this spring for professionals looking to broaden their skill sets as their roles evolve.

Contributor | 15 August 2019 at 9:01 am


New FIA short courses address skills gap in fundraising sector
15 August 2019 at 9:01 am

Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) is offering five new short courses this spring for professionals looking to broaden their skill sets as their roles evolve.

With a growing list of new skills needed to stay on top of one’s game in the fundraising sector, the requirement for an ongoing professional development program for fundraisers has never been more essential.

FIA CEO Katherine Raskob said the new offerings would help address a current sector skills gap.

“Digital transformation, a complex regulatory environment, storytelling and effective written communications are becoming standard requirements for fundraisers. We’re also seeing a demand for exceptional team leaders to achieve outcomes in a very challenging economic and fundraising environment,” she said.

“We’ve partnered with some of the brightest minds in fundraising to lead our new short courses. These partnerships give fundraisers access to the most current course content available. They also allow FIA to expand our professional development program to meet our members’ needs.”

Communications for impact

Recently fundraisers have been asking for courses to help them improve their written communications. 

Karen Mutch, FIA education manager, agrees raising income requires fundraisers who can communicate creatively with donors to improve the chances of supporters giving again.

“Each piece of communication has the potential to bolster or ruin a relationship, so each must be carefully scrutinised for issues when it’s developed. Fundraisers are asking us for guidance about developing communications that resonate more with donors,” she said.

In How to Create Fundraising Communications, FIA has partnered with Marlin Communications, a top creative agency that works with many charities, to help fundraisers lift their communications.

Directors Don Geaves and Karl Tischler will present students with real-world case studies to help them learn about crafting effective and creative fundraising communications. 

Fundraisers will find out about the models that combine to inform a creative strategy, tried-and-tested processes to develop communications, and what tools and techniques to use when evaluating concepts, copy and design. 

Ideal for fundraisers and managers with a remit for a range of fundraising activities, as well as fundraising specialists and those looking to transition from marketing to fundraising careers, the course takes place on 26 September in Sydney.

Digital know-how needed

A class act: Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s digital strategy manager Maisa de Paiva.

A class act: Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s digital strategy manager Maisa de Paiva is teaching Fundraising Institute Australia’s Digital Transformations in Fundraising course this spring.

Digital skills are increasingly critical for fundraisers. In FIA’s one-day Digital Transformations in Fundraising course, fundraisers will learn how they can tap into the power of digital to revamp their organisations and improve productivity. Students will discover how to build a digital-first culture by reviewing their data and automation, their donor “biosphere” and systems and platforms. 

They will also learn about the best type of content and creativity for future success, the role of artificial intelligence, tracking platforms and analytics, and how to develop digital disruption strategies. 

The course, which requires some assumed knowledge, will be taught by FIA professional member Maisa de Paiva (Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s digital strategy manager). It will be offered in five cities across Australia this spring.

Maisa has a wealth of experience in strategising complex digital transformation exercises, building online giving landscapes, pioneering multi-channel AD-Tech and using design-thinking for creative and content planning. She has more than 15 years of experience with digital marketing and is also part of the award-winning team that raised $180 million in eight years at Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Those funds have provided vital support services, new technologies and fund research for people living with disabilities.

Effective storytelling a must

Storytelling is another critical skill that fundraisers increasingly require in a competitive market to captivate their audiences and evoke emotions that can lead to action. This year, FIA is offering the one-day workshop, What is Your Story? in partnership with F&P magazine, where participants will learn how to find and tell their organisation’s narrative. 

Working with F&P editor Clare Joyce, fundraisers will discover which elements make for compelling stories and how to craft a good yarn and elevate it to a great one. They will also learn how to find their story and how to tell the tales that are at the heart of one’s cause or can fuel campaigns. What is Your Story? is an entry-level course offered 16 October in Sydney. 

Developing team leader excellence

For managers, FIA has designed a Build and Retain Strong Fundraising Teams course to help increase team engagement. Offered in partnership with recruitment specialists Beaumont People, this course provides managers with best-practice knowledge on how to recruit, engage and retain fundraisers. 

Managers will learn how to avoid the seven deadly sins of fundraising recruitment, ways to provide a good onboarding experience, what best practice management is, and how to retain employees. Ideal for fundraisers and fundraising managers with hiring responsibilities as well as HR professionals specialising in fundraising roles, this course will be held 29 November in Sydney. 

Navigating the regulatory landscape

As a follow on from its Code course for members, FIA has created a one-day seminar to boost fundraisers’ knowledge of Australian fundraising regulation and their legal obligations. 

Navigating the Fundraising Regulatory Environment gives fundraisers knowledge they need to make sure their fundraising activities and campaigns are compliant under relevant legislation and law.

The course features tips on embedding ethical best practice and professional standards into fundraising strategy while also delving into key regulations that affect fundraisers and their teams. It also examines the necessary permits/licenses and state-based requirements across fundraising channels. 

Navigating the Fundraising Regulatory Environment is ideal for fundraisers and managers (both professionals and volunteers) who want to consolidate their knowledge of the regulatory requirements for fundraising. It’s also suitable for board directors and general managers with fundraising oversight.

A more detailed study of fundraising is available for mid-level and senior managers through the FIA Certificate in Professional Fundraising (in class or online) or the 12-month online Diploma in Professional Fundraising. 

Each FIA short course is worth 7.5 points towards the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. Meanwhile, certificate and diploma students can accumulate 59 points or 180 points respectively towards their credential.

FIA’s professional development program includes many other short courses. Call 1300 889 670, email or visit: to learn more. 

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