Finland’s first professionally certified fundraisers graduated this month, following the successful completion of a course that took place between January 2016 and May 2017.


Twenty-five fundraisers graduated from the Professional Fundraising Programme on 19 September with certificates handed out during Finnish fundraising association VaLa’s annual awards ceremony by its partner in delivering the course, nationwide non-profit learning institution Rastor. Graduates received the Specialist Qualification in Product Development certificate, which is also approved and monitored by the Finnish Board of Education.


The course took place in Helsinki with participants from across Finland, and included 12 days of lectures as well as self-study and assignments. Training was carried out as an apprenticeship with on-the-job challenges including creating new ways of fundraising or improving the processes of fundraising in their own organisation. The course can also be state- or self-funded. 


Following these first successful 25 graduates of the course, another 50 fundraisers will graduate in early 2018, with the next course, the fourth to date, set to start in February. The course is aimed at anyone already working in the fundraising sector who would like to boost their career with professional qualifications, as well as those looking to move into the sector. 


Rastor’s Liisa Nieminen said: “The course is already proving to be very popular with the apprenticeship element of the course beneficial for both the participants and their organisations. The on-the-job training offers great value for both, and it is also very cost-efficient, with Finland’s apprenticeship training system making it possible to finance these studies with the only cost being the €58 fee for the examination.”