CASE Graduate Scheme – kickstart a career in education fundraising

By on November 13, 2015

CASE’s Graduate Scheme is ideal for graduates looking to step into the world of education fundraising. Hubbub’s Account Manager and former CASE Graduate Trainee, Ralitsa Padalska, speaks about her experience of the scheme:

Can you explain what the CASE Graduate Scheme is?

The CASE Graduate Trainee Scheme aims to train the fundraisers of the future. The scheme starts with a 5 day intensive course, followed by students being placed in one institution for 11 months and then another for a month.

What do CASE graduate trainees learn during the 5 day course?

In the intensive five day course. trainees learn everything to do with fundraising campaigns. This includes telephone fundraising as well as face to face asks for bigger donations.

Do trainees meet people from the education fundraising network?

The conference certainly introduces trainees to a lot of people who work in the industry!

By the time they graduate from the scheme, with a cohort of other trainees who are at other institutions, they gain a rich network from the education sector. This is very useful for finding out how different institutions approach fundraising and alumni relations.


Which graduates would benefit most from the scheme?

It’s a great scheme if you’re interested in the not for profit sector and Higher Education specifically.

Most people go on to work in the same sector; some of them go on to work for charities or for the Civil Service. It’s a great springboard to get ahead in your career in the not-for-profit world!

After the initial 5 day training at the CASE Spring Institute, what’s the next step for trainees?

You’re placed at one institution for the whole year but you also have a secondment for a month at a smaller institution which could be a small university, school or even a department.

A large development office has around 20 or 50 fundraisers.

Why is it important to experience working in a small institution as well as a large one?

Experiencing both means  you can make that distinction between an established institution compared to a smaller one.

You might prefer a specific role in a huge team like in UCL or in King’s London where they have 100 fundraisers: they’re raising money towards a specific, capital campaign.

You may realise you prefer to be in a small team where there may be one or two other people. You are doing everything from the database, to the alumni newsletter, to events, to the actual fundraising.

Experiencing both helps you to identify what kind of preferences you have in terms of what you want to do with your next career move.

CASE Graduates speak about the Trainee Scheme.

Which smaller institution did you work for during your time at CASE?

I went to the Hyms Medical School which is a joint venture between Hull University and The University of York. It was interesting because Hyms are in one sense independent, but they’re also linked to the two institutions.

Their alumni identify as medical alumni and not necessarily alumni from York or from Hull.  So the communications have to be specific to them.

What was your role at Hyms?

I was in their Communications team which consisted of three people.

Hyms hadn’t really kept in touch with their alumni and are a fairly new institution; their first cohort graduated in 2008.

My role there was to create a strategy for how they can engage their alumni in the next two years. That involved looking at what kind of events they can have and what kind of fundraising they can include. We also included them in The University of York’s telethon.

Did Hyms see the value in fundraising?

Hyms saw that there was actually value in fundraising for the medical school and that medical alumni tended to be quite interested in giving back to their school.

I think by the end of my placement, they were more open to the idea that fundraising is something that should be embraced.

What was your role at The University of York?

During my 11 months at The University York, my main fundraising responsibility was to run their crowdfunding platform, YuStart – to encourage students to use crowdfunding to fund projects for societies & sports clubs.

What were you doing on a day-to-day basis?

On a day to day basis, I was working with projects, running workshops, moderating projects, giving them support on a weekly basis, catching up with them if they were having any issues etc.

I was also looking at what we can do better. How we can engage more students? How can we raise awareness about the platform?

I had to create a pipeline, find projects to promote on campus, find out ways in which we can share it through the Students’ Union, Enterprise Center and on campus through a student intern.

By the end of term one, things had kicked up into high gear, there were lots of projects!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying to the scheme?

Do it – you won’t regret it!  The scheme is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the foundations of fundraising. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to start a career in HE.

To show how supportive we are of the scheme here at Hubbub, we’re excited to be hosting a Christmas gathering on 10th December, for CASE cohorts to meet again, keep in touch and share best practice.

Find out more about the Graduate Trainee Scheme 

Christina Pashialis

Digital Marketing Manager at Hubbub
Christina is using content and inbound marketing techniques to build Hubbub's online presence. She is passionate about helping education and non-profit professionals to reach goals through digital marketing.

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