Professional Development CoursesFundraising Event Management Certificate | Online


Fundraising events provide an opportunity for non-profits to secure essential income but also help to educate donors, guests and volunteers of the organizational mission. Whether a gala dinner, cultivation event, walk-a-thon or benefit concert, this course will examine the fundamentals of fundraising event management. Through this course you'll learn who the key players are within a non-profit, event budgeting, income projections and ticketing, marketing outreach, food and beverage, logistics management, as well as how to employ strategic tools such as silent and online auctions, live appeals, video components, etc. to help increase the financial success of a fundraising event.

Did you miss the registration window? 

This course is now offered as an independent study course. You may register at any time and benefit from the same great course materials as a traditional student. The difference? You will have the ability to review all course lecture materials at your own speed and actually move faster if you so choose within the given timeframe of the course. Have a question and want to contact the instructor? Not a problem! 


Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain an understanding of the similarities across fundraising events and the key elements that can make them successful.
  2. Create a working budget for a fundraising event, develop income projections, manage ticketing and incorporate tools onsite/online to help raise additional income.
  3. Learn how marketing plays an important role when influencing donor/guest experience pre- during and post event.
  4. Learn how to select honorees, and create a leadership structure for your fundraiser.


  1. Why Host A Fundraising Event
    1. When events make sense, and when they don't
    2. Understanding what resources need to be committed
    3. Measuring success
  2. Leveraging the Psychology of Philanthropy
    1. Why donors give
    2. What sponsors look for
    3. Why volunteers participate
    4. Converting attendees into evangelists
  3. Successfully Utilizing Committees
    1. Types of Committees and their roles
    2. Formation and structure
    3. Profile of the ideal committee member
    4. Tips for managing committee deliverables
  4. Landing & Keeping Event Sponsors
    1. What elements can be sponsored
    2. Creating a sponsorship packet that sells
    3. Delivering value for sponsors
    4. Exchange of goods and services
  5. Budget & Regulatory Issues
    1. Setting achievable goals
    2. Fixed vs. variable costs
    3. Developing an integrated fundraising plan
    4. Setting ticket & sponsor pricing tiers
    5. Fair market value + IRS regulations
    6. Are you certified to fund raise? What planners need to know
    7. Comps: when and how to utilize strategically
  6. Galas - Strategy
    1. Leadership structure: honorary chair, event chair, honorees, committees
    2. Honoree selection and expectations
    3. Ticket and sponsor level pricing
  7. Galas - Logistics
    1. Securing the right venue
    2. Negotiating tactics
    3. Selecting food & beverage that reflect the organization
    4. Dealing with donated alcohol
    5. Program development: timing of awards, dinner service, auctions & speeches
    6. Seating logistics: who should sit where, and why
  8. Auction
    1. What makes a successful auction item
    2. How many items should you have
    3. Keys to securing quality auction items
    4. Calculating fair market value & tax deductability
    5. Setting minimum bid levels and increments
    6. Consignment items: pros, cons and advice
    7. Silent auction logistics
    8. Live auction logistics
    9. Registration, close out and cashiering
    10. Online auction logistics
  9. Other Fundraising Event Concepts
    1. Golf outings
    2. _____-A-Thons
    3. Keynote speaker events
    4. Arts, wine & music events
    5. Other creative ideas
  10. Alternative Methods of Fundraising
    1. Social media
    2. Video or live appeal (balloon auction, straight ask, etc.)
    3. Tabletop appeal (envelope, bid cards, etc.)
    4. Mobile platforms (Text-to-Pledge, BidPal, iML, etc.)
  11. Marketing Outreach
    1. Invitations & RSVP tracking
    2. Website
    3. Social media
    4. Press and media relations
    5. Event journal
    6. Socialite magazines & photography
  12. Onsite Branding
    1. Step & repeat photo ops
    2. Utilizing wire images and hashtags
    3. Tabletop & bar educational signage, journal
    4. Staging & set design
    5. Photo/video: shot lists, post-event marketing usage
    6. Thank you gifts
  13. Volunteers & Staffing
    1. In-house staff: roles & responsibilities
    2. Tips for securing quality volunteers
    3. Orientation & training: where many non-profits fall short
    4. Skills placement
    5. Managing volunteer teams
  14. Post-Event Responsibilities
    1. Keeping honorees engaged
    2. Thank you notes, acknowledgment letters
    3. Expense tracking & final budget
    4. Surveys and tracking guest experiences
    5. R.O.I. analysis & event debriefing

Free Course Preview

Course Details

  • Start Date:Independent Study | Learn Now!
  • Duration:8 Weeks
  • Location:Online
  • Tuition:$795
  • CMP Clock Hours:20.00

About the Instructor

Michelle French


Sunday Sol Events

Michelle French is a story teller at heart. Every event she produces tells a tale, delivers a message,... find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I earn a credential?

Students who complete all course requirements including passing the final exam with 80% or higher will earn a Certificate of Completion and an ELI Digital Credential in Fundraising Event Management.  Learn more about our Digital Credentials.

How does the course work?

Participants will log into our private Learning Management System, where each week approximately 2 hours of new lesson content will be released. Lesson content will usually be in video format, broken into digestible chapters of approximately 5-10 minutes each, and may be supplemented with PDFs or links to external articles. The lessons may be viewed at any time once they are released, and you can complete the lesson videos at your own pace. Short quizzes and assignments may be given to help reinforce learning outcomes. 

What if I'm busy one week and can't get to the material?

At the end of this course, we provide participants an additional four weeks to catch up if they were unavailable for any portion of the course (hey, we know planners are busy).

When / how can I contact the instructor during the course?

The instructor will be available to answer questions and provide feedback at set times each week during our regular sessions. Outside of those hours, the instructor will make every effort to respond to emails within two business days. (Keep in mind our instructors are subject matter experts who are actively working on events.)

Tell me about your learning guarantee?

The Event Leadership Institute stands behind all of its content. If you feel you didn't learn what you expected to in this course, just let us know within 30 days of the final lesson and we'll give you a full refund.


"I learned so much from this course, and am proud to put having taken it on my resume. I would absolutely recommend it to others." Libby Richardson | Events Manager, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

"When evaluating new candidates for full time or freelance staff, one of the first things we take into consideration is the person's legitimate, industry-specific education.  A certificate from E.L.I. tells us they are on the right track." Rob Hulsmeyer | Partner, Empire Force Events.

"Hands down, the best educational content and the smartest instructors in our industry."  David Adler | CEO, BizBash

"The quality and depth of coverage in E.L.I. courses is, in my opinion, unmatched.  Participants can't help but be better prepared event professionals once they take this course." Matthew Saravay | CEO, Wizard Studios

"A credential from the Event Leadership Institute carries a lot of weight with us. Given the quality and depth of their content, we know they train people for the rigorous demands of our industry, and come to work ready to hit the ground running."  Adam Sloyer | Managing Director, Sequence Events

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