The Art and Science of Fundraising - SOCI9580

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Claire Routley checkmark-circle


This module will give an advanced level overview of the current state of fundraising in the UK, including the evidence-based techniques and strategies endorsed by the professional bodies (the 'science' of fundraising), and the latest research on the personal attributes of fundraisers that are understood to lead to successful outcomes (the 'art' of fundraising). Aimed at those working in - or seeking to work in - careers that involve generating voluntary income, it will cover a range of topics that will facilitate a detailed and critical analysis of the role of fundraising in practice, and in its wider societal context. It will allow students to explore this knowledge through its application in situations that are encountered in professional practice. We will cover academic approaches to fundraising from a range of disciplinary viewpoints and how these help us understand topics such as donor motivation, propensity to give, charitable decision-making in terms of amounts, methods and destinations of donations, as well as why some people/institutions do not give, and the implications for recipient organisations.

To enable this advanced level knowledge to be used in practice, we will explore the current debates in fundraising management, debates on policy relating to fundraising and philanthropy, legal and regulatory requirements and relevant ethical issues. Students will gain from all of this a critical understanding of fundraising and its role in society.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 43
Private study hours: 157
Total hours: 200


MA in Philanthropic Studies. Also available as an elective Module.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

100% Coursework comprising of:
Essay 1, 2,000 words (40%)
Essay 2, 2,000 words (40%)
Online forum participation mark (20%)

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

Breeze, B., Day-Lafferty, D., Wiepking, P. (eds.) (2023) The Fundraising Reader. Oxon/New York: Routledge

Breeze, B. (2017) The New Fundraisers: Who organises charitable giving in contemporary society? Bristol: Policy Press.

Bennett, R. (2019) Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising: A Research Overview. Oxon/New York: Routledge.

Burnett, K. (2002, 2nd ed) Relationship Fundraising. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Routley, C. & Sved, R. (2021) Fundraising Strategy. London: Directory

Sargeant, A. & George, J. (2021, 4the edition) Fundraising Management: Analysis, Planning and Practice. London: Routledge.

Shaker, G., Tempel, E. R., Nathan, S., Stanczykiewicz, B (2022, 5th edition) Achieving Excellence in Fundraising. Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1. Demonstrate an advanced critical understanding of the range of theories and key conceptual approaches to fundraising, including the
evidence-base for the characteristics and skill-sets of fundraisers.
8.2. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the history and evolution of fundraising as a profession, and its contribution to the voluntary
sector in the United Kingdom and beyond, and be able to critically evaluate the impact of this on current debates
8.3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the role of the policy environment in which fundraising exists and the role that government actors play
in shaping the legal, fiscal and cultural context of fundraising.
8.4. Systematically evaluate the literature on why donors (including individuals, companies, charitable trusts and foundations) make charitable
donations and apply this to analysis and evaluation of the range of methods for recruiting donors in a range of contexts.
8.5. Evaluate the different models and methods of fundraising practice and strategy, and be able to produce reasoned, justified and creative
opinions on a range of contemporary issues relating to fundraising management
8.6. Act autonomously in creating and presenting critical ideas for applying theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge in the tackling and
solving of specific fundraising and fundraising management tasks

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1. Make critical evaluations in order to effectively gather appropriate and reliable library and web-based resources for postgraduate study
9.2. Act autonomously in using web-based resources to augment knowledge gained from online seminars and web-based study materials
9.3. Demonstrate self-direction, critical judgement, and advanced theoretical knowledge in accessing, interpreting and analysing data
9.4. Use selected resources to construct critical arguments and be able to communicate these conclusions clearly to specialist and non-
specialist audiences
9.5. Apply problem solving skills in the planning and implementation of professional practice based tasks
9.6. Apply critical reflection to both individual and organisational practice.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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