Foundations of Fundraising

Our signature course focuses on fundraising theory as well as practical application. Attendees will gain increased confidence by improving their knowledge of the science behind fundraising success and also gain more of an appreciation and awareness of the art.


Groups are kept to a maximum of eight participants to allow active engagement and a personalized learning environment for all attendees. In addition to teaching fundraising concepts and skills, our program offers the opportunity for attendees to network, share and learn from each other.

who is this course for?

This course is ideal for a professional fundraiser (or passionate volunteer fundraiser) who has less than 3 years of experience, and wants to explore:

  • Best practices to support fundraising efforts
  • How to work with donors through all stages of the donor cycle
  • Confidence and navigating difficult conversations
  • Influence and accountability in fundraising
  • Building skills that support fundraising as a career

what we'll cover

DAY 1: Building our Foundation

We begin by delving into the history and current trends of fundraising in Canada and then move to an exploration of donor motivation. After discussing the many fundraising revenue streams that could be pursued, we spend time discussing where they fit into the donor pyramid and how to prioritize.

DAY 2: Working with Donors

This session discusses how we could and do work with donors through all stages of the donor cycle, from identification to stewardship, allowing plenty of time to personalize this to your own situation. We will explore practical tools such as mapping networks and creating a culture of philanthropy.

DAY 3: Exploring Within

Many soft skills are explored on our last day including team dynamics, leadership, confidence, and difficult conversations, as well as influence and accountability. These often overlooked topics are an important part of developing a successful and fulfilling fundraising career.

how is this delivered?



7 ½ course hours; three 2 ½ hour classes. Led by an experienced fundraising instructor.

Community of Practice


4 ½ hours; three 1 ½ hour sessions. Participant-led with instructor support.

After completing the three days of course content, participants will meet with their group monthly for 3 months to talk further about whatever is important or top of mind to them. We call it a participant-led community of practice. Guest speakers are often invited to these sessions to introduce our participants to new thoughts and ideas, further expanding their networks. The instructor will join, for support or questions, but participants will lead the discussion.


A Zoom connection that can support video is required. If you are not able to connect by video through Zoom and are interested in the course, please contact the school at


Rowena Veylan, Founder & Lead Instructor

A fundraiser, consultant, teacher and mentor, Rowena has been working within the non-profit industry since 2003. Learn more about Rowena.

Siobhan Aspinall, Foundations of Fundraising

Siobhan has been fundraising for 20 years for non-profit organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, United Way, the David Suzuki Foundation and many others. Learn more about Siobhan .




The New School of Fundraising is committed to reducing barriers to access our programming. If you are unable to pay a registration fee please reach out directly to Rowena at to discuss options.

course dates

open for registration


May 23, May 30, Jun. 6, 2024

10:00 am - 12:30 pm PST


Community of Practice

Jul. 4, Aug. 8, Sep. 5 2024

11:00 am - 12:30 pm PST

open for registration


Oct. 18, Oct. 25, Nov. 1, 2024

10:00 am - 12:30 pm PST


Community of Practice

Dec. 6, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, 2024

11:00 am - 12:30 pm PST

"If you’re on the fence about signing up for the ‘Foundations of Fundraising’, just go ahead and do it! It’s well worth the investment. It was the perfect combination of learning and application. Rowena’s style of online teaching is engaging, supportive, genuine AND she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. She brought in Guest Speakers based on our suggestions and topic requests which made the program feel very exclusive and curated to our small group’s needs. She helped us to apply our learnings to real-world scenarios and did a great job at ensuring we had opportunities to get to know our ‘classmates’ despite being over zoom. As a full-time working Mother of two young children, new to the fundraising industry, this was the perfect way to invest in my professional development. I will be able to carry these skills forward into any scenario and career in fundraising!"

Juli Holland

Donor Relations, Event Lead

Adeara Recovery Centre

"Through the community of practice sessions, we had a safe space to share knowledge, learn about new topics, experiences and issues faced by non-profit organizations across Canada, and develop professional relations. Without a doubt, the community of practice provided me with the tools to enhance my fundraising knowledge and skills, and beyond."

Lissette Nunez Gomez

Philanthropic Services Officer

Hamilton Community foundation

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