Fundraising Event Management
Certificate OD

Fundraising Event Management Certificate OD

Course Overview

Fundraising events allow non-profits to secure essential income and help educate donors, guests and volunteers about 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 organization, event budgeting, income projections and ticketing, marketing outreach, food and beverage, and logistics management. You’ll also learn 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.



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

SCROLL DOWN to see more details, including a breakdown of course content, learner testimonials, and FAQ’s. 

Event Leadership Institute has been approved by the Events Industry Council (EIC) as a Preferred Provider of continuing education courses, including the COVID-19 Event Strategy & Design Certificate course, which qualifies for CMP continuing education credit. However, the determination of continuing education credit eligibility or Preferred Provider status does not imply EIC’s endorsement or assessment of education quality.

Learn From An Industry Expert

Michelle French is a storyteller at heart. Every event she produces tells a tale, delivers a message, and has an effect that continues long after the tables are cleared, and the last attendee exits the venue.

The insights and skills into creating meaningful events began when Michelle was a student at the Indiana University Kelly School of Business, where she majored in marketing and international studies. After working for American Airlines as part of the sales team and being present for 9/11, Michelle considered how she might use her talents to make a difference. Heading West, Michelle became the Event Manager for the California Science Center, and within six years, the company experienced rapid growth.

In 2009, Michelle founded Sunday Sol Events, where she applies the principle that her work isn’t complete with just one event but must fit into a client’s long-range plans. As Michelle works on telling the story of each organization, she focuses on the audience. Are we sending a clear message? Is there a call to action? Are we inspiring them? This unique approach is what sets Sunday Sol Events apart.

View Profile

Facilitating Instructor

Dr. Kelli McCrea teaches event management, event planning and operation, customer service, and management of recreation, hospitality, and parks at California State University, Chico. In addition to teaching, Kelli also serves as the Department Assessment Coordinator, Accreditation Co-Coordinator, and student club advisor. Kelli lives in Napa Valley, California, and frequently does events on the weekends.

View Kelli's Profile

Why Host A Fundraising Event

  • When events make sense, and when they don’t
  • Understanding what resources need to be committed
  • Measuring success

Leveraging the Psychology of Philanthropy

  • Why donors give
  • What sponsors look for
  • Why volunteers participate
  • Converting attendees into evangelists

Successfully Utilizing Committees

  • Types of Committees and their roles
  • Formation and structure
  • Profile of the ideal committee member
  • Tips for managing committee deliverables

Landing & Keeping Event Sponsors

  • What elements can be sponsored
  • Creating a sponsorship packet that sells
  • Delivering value for sponsors
  • Exchange of goods and services

Budget & Regulatory Issues

  • Setting achievable goals
  • Fixed vs. variable costs
  • Developing an integrated fundraising plan
  • Setting ticket & sponsor pricing tiers
  • Fair market value + IRS regulations
  • Are you certified to fund raise? What planners need to know
  • Comps: when and how to utilize strategically

Galas – Strategy

  • Leadership structure: honorary chair, event chair, honorees, committees
  • Honoree selection and expectations
  • Ticket and sponsor level pricing

Galas – Logistics

  • Securing the right venue
  • Negotiating tactics
  • Selecting food & beverage that reflect the organization
  • Dealing with donated alcohol
  • Program development: timing of awards, dinner service, auctions & speeches
  • Seating logistics: who should sit where, and why


  • What makes a successful auction item
  • How many items should you have
  • Keys to securing quality auction items
  • Calculating fair market value & tax deductability
  • Setting minimum bid levels and increments
  • Consignment items: pros, cons and advice
  • Silent auction logistics
  • Live auction logistics
  • Registration, close out and cashiering
  • Online auction logistics

Other Fundraising Concepts

  • Golf outings
  • _____-A-Thons
  • Keynote speaker events
  • Arts, wine & music events
  • Other creative ideas

Alternative Methods of Fundraising

  • Social media
  • Video or live appeal (balloon auction, straight ask, etc.)
  • Tabletop appeal (envelope, bid cards, etc.)
  • Mobile platforms (Text-to-Pledge, BidPal, iML, etc.)

Marketing Outreach

  • Invitations & RSVP tracking
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Press and media relations
  • Event journal
  • Socialite magazines & photography

Onsite Branding

  • Step & repeat photo ops
  • Utilizing wire images and hashtags
  • Tabletop & bar educational signage, journal
  • Staging & set design
  • Photo/video: shot lists, post-event marketing usage
  • Thank you gifts

Volunteers & Staffing

  • In-house staff: roles & responsibilities
  • Tips for securing quality volunteers
  • Orientation & training: where many non-profits fall short
  • Skills placement
  • Managing volunteer teams

Post-Event Responsibilities

  • Keeping honorees engaged
  • Thank you notes, acknowledgment letters
  • Expense tracking & final budget
  • Surveys and tracking guest experiences
  • R.O.I. analysis & event debriefing

What students say about ELI certificate courses

  • "“I would highly recommend the Fundraising and Event Management Course to anyone considering it. The instructor, Michelle French, is knowledgeable and engaging. She uses excellent examples and clearly has a wealth of knowledge to share. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and believe the information will allow me to better plan and coordinate future events. Thank you!”"

    Ashley M.
  • "“This course was fantastic! I got so much more out of it than I expected! Meeting and Event planner are a lot more strategic and math-oriented than most people outside the industry know. This course was insightful, interesting, and made me proud to use my analytical skills to further my knowledge in our industry. I can’t wait to apply what I learned in this course!”"

    Elise F.

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 your last lesson and we'll give you a full refund. Click here to view our refund policy and full terms & conditions.

Ready to get started?
Feel free to get in touch with your questions