Fundraisers initiate campaigns, organise events and manage other forms of solicitations to raise money for organisations, churches, political parties and charitable causes. They may also participate in designing and producing promotional materials, as well as raising awareness of what an organisation does, what a group’s main objectives are and what the monetary donations and other gifts will be used for.
Duties and responsibilities
- Brainstorm and develop new fundraising concepts and events
- Organise traditional fundraising efforts, like street collections or door-to-door solicitation
- Interview and hire employees and volunteers and then coordinate and delegate
- Contact individuals, businesses, schools and local authorities for donations or sponsorship
- Maintain a database of donors and ensure their information is handled responsibly
- Manage and update personal financial information, such as credit cards and debit accounts
- Inform the IT department of any issues pertaining to the database
- Ensure that the data entered into the computer by staff is accurate
- Brief volunteers on what the project is about and what the main goals are
- Debrief volunteers to gather their feedback on what they experienced
- Analyse the campaign and determine what went wrong and how the next one can be improved
- Seek out alternative fundraising methods, such as through crowdsourcing or social media
- Answer questions that potential donors may have about the organisation or cause
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Standard business hours
Most fundraisers will work a typical 40-hour week from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. These professionals will perform their daily tasks in an office environment by communicating with colleagues, delegating to subordinates and speaking with potential donors. They will sometimes hit the pavements, hop on the phone or engage through email just to get a first-hand look at what is going on.
Also, if money is being raised on a weekend or on nights as part of a special event (such as a marathon, telethon or gala), then a fundraiser may arrive on the scene to ensure that deadlines are being met, goals are being reached and problems are being resolved quickly and correctly.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Bachelor’s degree in PR or related field
It is true that fundraisers have a wide variety of academic backgrounds. That said, most non-profit organisations, consulting firms and philanthropic outfits will hire candidates with postsecondary education, primarily a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications or business.
But if you have experience that showcases success and you have the skills – soft and hard – then education may not be as much of a factor.
Many fundraisers who continue to top fundraising goals, run award-winning campaigns or nab multiple clients will move onto manager, coordination, director or even executive positions. It should be noted that some senior management positions might require a master’s degree, in addition to the many years of experience as a fundraiser – again, it does vary based on the entity’s policies and needs.
SourcesBureau of Labor Statistics