July 7, 2013; Fundraising UK
The University of Chichester in West Sussex, U.K., is offering an honors BA in Charity Development. The Fundraising UK site suggests that it is the world’s first undergraduate degree in fundraising. The degree offers flexible modules in The Third Sector, Fundraising Then and Now, Event Planning Design and Creation, Grant-Giving Trusts, Major Donor Fundraising, Community and Events Fundraising, and Project Management. They have partnered with the Institute of Fundraising to have the Charity Development degree count toward the Certificate of Fundraising, which entitles students to append MinstF(cert) after their name.
Although degrees, including undergraduate degrees, abound in nonprofit management, this degree recognizes what many in the sector understand: Fundraising jobs outnumber others in the sector. According to ThirdSectorJobs (and from the brochure for the program), “In 2012, we advertised for over 5000 fundraising vacancies. Fundraising roles make up around 35% of all our roles, significantly higher than any other kind of job function. On average, we have around 240 fundraising roles online at any one time—our second most popular function, Marketing, usually has around 90.”
Although the BA seems to fit nicely with the job market, is it an overspecialized degree? In other words, does a well-rounded degree in all functions of nonprofit management better prepare students for a career in the field that many begin in development and lead to other types of positions? What do you, our dear readers, think?—Michelle Shumate