Program Overview

The Boston University online Certificate in Professional Fundraising provides a comprehensive, efficient, and effective path to reaching your career goals. The faculty–led program includes weekly graded assignments where students develop a personal portfolio covering a variety of campaigns.

The Professional Fundraising instructors use examples from years of experience to illustrate key points across all areas of fundraising. In 12 weeks, you will complete case studies, build plans that can be used in your workplace, and extend your professional network with professional fundraisers from other geographic regions.

We are pleased to announce that the Boston University Online Certificate in Professional Fundraising is now approved by the CFRE™ to award 84 continuing education credits, which makes you eligible to sit for the CFRE exam upon completion of the course.

In this blog post on Shop Talk, Brian Winslow, who has been working with public agencies and not for profits for over 15 years, discusses his personal experience and the importance of the CFRE in his career.

Brian concluded his post by saying,

“Why was getting the CFRE important to me?  It was a great way to focus my professional education. It let me know that I was very good at what I was doing and it gave me the confidence to continue my work. I would recommend it to anyone who has a career in philanthropy ahead of them.”

The online Fundraising course conceived and developed by Boston University examines the principles and practices of fundraising for both large and small non-profit institutions. The rigorous curriculum has been developed and is taught by senior philanthropy officers with distinguished careers in non-profit sectors such as healthcare, education, culture and human services. Topics include the key components of a comprehensive development program:

  • annual giving
  • capital campaigns
  • corporations and foundations
  • internet research
  • major and leadership gifts
  • planned and estate giving
  • prospect research
  • special events
  • stewardship
  • strategic planning
  • volunteer leadership management

Professional Fundraising is an ideal course of study for individuals looking to enter the field of fundraising or advance their current professional knowledge – as well as for volunteer leaders seeking a more complete understanding of the development process. Students gain the requisite skills and knowledge to succeed in this increasingly specialized and challenging field.

Get your Certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University online, and you will be better prepared, more professionally qualified as well as extend your network of professional fundraisers.

This program is ideal for those who want to:

  • Develop their fundraising skill set and broaden and deepen their knowledge base
  • Improve their job qualifications
  • Extend their network with other professional fundraisers
  • Explore other aspects of the profession and round out their current experience
  • Prepare for getting their CFRE™

About the Certified Fund Raising Executive Exam (CFRE™)

CE15LogoThe Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE™) designation is an internationally recognized credential that attests to your knowledge skill, and achievements as a fundraising professional based on current and valid practice-based standards. The exam tests mastery of six core areas related to successful, on-the-job fundraising practices: Current and Prospective Donor Research; Securing the Gift; Relationship Building; Volunteer Involvement; Management; and Accountability. The online Certificate in Professional Fund Raising serves as excellent preparation for the CFRE™ examination; to learn more about the CFRE™ certification, visit

This program is approved by the CFRE to award continuing education credits:

Full participation in Boston University online Certificate in Professional Fundraising Program is applicable for 84 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Note: Students who wish to apply for continuing education points on their CFRE application for initial certification and/or recertification should call CPE at 617-353-4497 or 866-633-9730 to request a tracking form