Meet Matteo Guidotti and Emilie Compignie, Academic Advisors of the new Executive Course in Mastering Fundraising Practices

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Experts, Fundraising | 0 comments

Matteo Guidotti and Emilie Compignie are the Academic Advisors of the newly launched Executive Course “Mastering Fundraising Practices”, starting on 31 May 2024.

We had the pleasure to ask them a few questions about the programme on this occasion.

Could you please introduce yourself and tell us more about your professional experience?

EC: I’m Emilie, a consultant, lecturer, and coach with over 15 years of experience in international development, not-for-profit, and entrepreneurship. I specialise in fundraising, project creation, organisational processes, and capacity-building, forging partnerships with bilateral and multilateral funds, foundations, corporations, and high net-worth individuals. I have worked for various international bodies as a fundraiser and a donor. In 2018, I founded E|C Consulting in Geneva, supporting 30+ non-profit entities in strategy and operational fundraising and training about 200 organisations. I’m the Academic Advisor of the Mastering Fundraising Practices programme at the Geneva Graduate Institute and a lecturer at the University of Geneva. I am also a trainer at Isango, based in Lausanne, and a trainer and coach at CICR Impacts, based in Dakar, Senegal.

MG: I have over 25 years of experience in project management and project evaluation across the international development, non-profit, and private sectors. My professional activities are twofold: at the Institute, as a senior lecturer and trainer, I have the pleasure of teaching in several programmes; I am also the Director of a programme called “Strategic Project Management for Development,” where we teach how to design, implement, monitor and evaluate development projects. In parallel, since 2004, I have been the owner of a consulting firm called Magi-ster Consulting & Evaluation; we provide consultancy services in organisational reform, results-based management, and evaluation to governments and civil society organisations, mainly in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. For several years, I served on the Technical Board of the Federation of the Swiss-Italian NGOs (FOSIT). During those years, I had the pleasure of evaluating the applications submitted by NGOs to the Federation to request funding from the Swiss Government. My job was to advise the Federation whether those projects met the quality criteria and, therefore, could receive a grant from the Swiss Government.

You are the Academic Advisors of the new Mastering Fundraising Practices Executive Course. What makes that programme unique, and why is it relevant for professionals today?

To understand the added value of this programme, we have to look at the bigger picture and the current context around fundraising:

  • The fundraising market is constantly evolving and subject to crises, economic challenges, and conflicts. Thus, some funding opportunities are shrinking, and others are increasing, but a good understanding of the market and the skills to be flexible and reactive are required.
  • Competition is harder and harder. These past 50 years have seen an exponential increase in the number of non-profits globally. For instance, in India, an analysis by the US Central Bureau of Investigation estimates that more than two million NGOs operate in India alone.
  • Last but not least, even though there is a trend towards more unrestricted funds, most funders still focus on restricted, meaning project-based, grants, requiring more and more professional skills in project creation and management.

Precisely because of this tight competition and fund providers’ increasing demand and strict requirements, the execution of fundraising initiatives requires a high level of professionalism with sound and effective fundraising strategies.

The originality of this new programme is thus its focus on a project-based approach to fundraising. We will not discuss fundraising strategies in general, but we will explore the process of securing funding specifically for projects, thereby directly linking fundraising activities to them. By combining our expertise, we provide a very unique and practical entry point to fundraising through the project management framework, also showing how both are intrinsically linked. We will cover a wide range of topics, from basic skills to top knowledge and practices and the latest trends in fundraising.

Could you tell us what are the main key outcomes?

This training will empower you to think more strategically and be better organised and more efficient in raising funds for your projects. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the different types of fund providers, their characteristics, their expectations, and how best to engage with them, thus allowing you to be more flexible and creative while navigating this more and more demanding fundraising landscape.

You will also learn how to develop a strong fundraising proposal that presents accurate information, the right data, and the relevant analysis of the problem addressed by the project in line with donors’ expectations and quality standards.

The main elements of the project-based fundraising strategy that we will unveil will also be helpful for a broader fundraising strategy.

Last but not least, you will build your knowledge on the latest trends, like AI and fundraising, but also explore some aspects of fundraising that are often forgotten, such as positioning and thought leadership, while benefitting from external inputs from our high-level speakers.

Finally, who should apply for this programme?

Our programme welcomes anyone with a genuine interest in fundraising. However, the ideal candidate has 2 to 5 years of experience in this area, ranging from beginner to intermediate level. This programme has been designed with the needs of fundraisers, non-profit practitioners, social entrepreneurs, and social/cultural/sports event managers in mind. It caters to individuals operating in various organisations such as NGOs, CSOs, international organisations, social impact organisations, non-profit businesses, community groups, and more. We will cover the fundamentals to ensure all participants can keep up while providing tips, tricks, insights from speakers, and the latest trends to enrich the knowledge of more experienced attendees.


Interested in joining the Mastering Fundraising Practices programme? Apply now on our website.

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