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AFP's Fundraising Principles and Practice Education Course

You're a fundraiser and you know the fundamentals now—but you need to take that next step. Don't just settle for fundraising as your job, make it your CAREER. If you are hungry for that management role or that professional credential, stop putting off your continuing education—REGISTER NOW for AFP's Fundraising Principles and Practice education course (see below for current registration opportunities).

With AFP's Fundraising Principles and Practice, you will:

  • Learn theories, skills, and best practices that build on your existing knowledge, and help make your fundraising more effective, advance your career, and prepare you to take on leadership roles. If you don't already have your CFRE credential, this course will help you prepare.
  • Create an actual comprehensive fundraising plan to implement at your own organization.
  • Enjoy networking opportunities with fellow students and esteemed course faculty including Professors Adrian Sargeant and Stephen Pidgeon.
  • Earn CFRE education points (24 total points).

play 25pVideo: Adrian Sargeant Discusses AFP’s Fundraising Principles and Practice
play 25pVideo: The Structure of AFP’s Fundraising Principles and Practice Course

** See below for current registration opportunities. **

• 2018 Cohort #2 -- Runs July 2018 - May 2019. Click here to register now! Registration closes July 9, 2018.

• Questions? Contact us at

Diploma in Fundraising course - inaugural cohort - August 2016

Inaugural Cohort -- August 2016

"I absolutely loved the program. I learned an immense amount about fundraising best practices based on fundraising research literature, which I wasn't even aware existed until this course. The course required that we assemble a full fundraising audit and plan which has been exceedingly helpful in my current position, even leading to my promotion to Development Manager. Adrian Sargeant is a superb instructor and really challenges students to use data/research to back up fundraising practice, which I greatly appreciate as a former biologist. I could not have asked for a better program. I would certainly recommend the course to colleagues."

Megan Mitzelfelt, Ph.D.
Development Manager, The American Physiological Society
2016 Course Graduate

2017 Course Graduates:
Julie Berthoud-Jury
Christopher Collins
Jill Feinberg
Robyn Goldsmith
Emily Hamsher Kindred
Dave Hendricks
Budd Lauer
Melanie McGregor
Michael Leahey

Course Details

  • Intensive, 400-hour, 9-month education course--with assignments and a final assessment and grade at the end. 
  • Blended learning with both online modules and one mandatory 3-day face-to-face session. (Travel arrangements and expenses are responsibility of participants.)
  • Intended for early to mid-career professionals with at least basic understanding of fundraising principles.
  • Upon successful completion, students will receive 24 CFRE education points and a printed certificate signifying successful completion of the course.

Course Modules

  1. Introduction to Fundraising and Donor Behavior
  2. Fundraising Planning and Donor Retention
  3. Direct and Interactive Marketing for Fundraising
  4. Major Gifts and Planned Giving (Legacies)
  5. Institutional Fundraising
  6. Managing Fundraising Teams

Course Handbook and FAQ

Consult the Program Handbook and Frequently Asked Questions for additional detail, program guidelines and expectations, and more.

Course Instructors

Course Textbook

Sargeant, A. and Shang J. (2017) Fundraising Principles and Practice, 2nd edition, Wiley, New York, which is available from Wiley and Barnes & Noble

You may use the 1st edition of the book, but note the 2nd edition has more management content.  (1st edition is available from AFP's online store as well as Amazon and Wiley.)

Course Fees

  • AFP Members - US$ 3,499
  • Non-Members - US$ 3,999
  • Payment plans are available. See the registration page for details.

Note: Course fees do not include the course textbook or any travel expenses related to the mandatory 3-day face-to-face session. Arrangements and related expenses are the responsibility of participants.

Course Schedules and Registration

• 2018 Cohort #2 -- Runs July 2018 - May 2019. Click here to register now! Registration closes July 9, 2018.

Mandatory face-to-face sessions are held at AFP IHQ's offices located at 4300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22203, just outside of Washington, DC. Here's a list of nearby hotels.

Questions? Contact us at

4300 Wilson Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203 • 703-684-0410 | 800-666-3863 | Fax: 703-684-0540
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