The subtle skill of instilling the joy of giving is fundraising. Fundraisers are similar to the grains of sand pushed into oyster shells to irritate them with the goal of producing pearls. They are the charitable world’s money-makers.
Similar Job Titles
- Fund Collector
- Fund Canvasser
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Fundraisers do?
A Fundraiser would typically need to:
- effectively portray the aim and purpose of their organisation
- Plan and manage campaigns and events to help an organisation meet or exceed its fundraising and other types of donation goals.
- Investigate prospective contributors to learn about their needs, beliefs, and giving behaviours.
- Create a compelling fundraising pitch that will entice potential donors.
- Identify and contact potential contributors, keep comprehensive and organised donor records, and handle regular donor communications
- Where possible, use technology and social media, as well as online platforms such as crowdsourcing, to raise awareness and funds.
- Organise or help in the organisation and coordination of fundraising initiatives or events such as athletic tournaments, lotteries, and galas.
- Organise donor appreciation events on a regular basis to strengthen existing donor ties while also forming new donor relationships.
- Evaluate the performance of prior fundraising events while contributing to the brainstorming and development of new and more cost-effective fundraising strategies.
- Volunteers and interns are screened, trained, and coordinated in fundraising methods and practises.
- Create marketing materials such as flyers and brochures to promote events and other fundraising efforts.
- Collaborate with other community organisations and groups to form alliances and improve fundraising efforts.
- In circumstances involving donor databases, be familiar with the Data Protection Act; ensure that all legal reporting requirements are met.
Standard Work Environment
Fundraisers spend a significant amount of time engaging with other employees and potential donations, whether in person, over the phone, or by email.
Some fundraisers may be required to travel to venues where fundraising activities are in place. Charity runs, walks, galas, and banquets are examples of such events. Frequent travel may be required to establish networking opportunities wherever and whenever they arise.
The dress code for Fundraisers varies depending on the region, sector, size, and type of organisation they represent, although business casual attire is appropriate for office work. Meetings with donors and networking events, on the other hand, would necessitate more formal dress.
Fundraisers typically labour seven to ten hours every day. However, if you must attend fundraising events, you may be required to work some evenings and weekends on occasion.
Vacancies at small businesses are more likely to be publicised locally. Examine local news sources such as charity newsletters and websites. Jobs at large organisations may be posted in national newspapers and on speciality websites. Some recruitment firms specialise in charity positions. Look through their websites and consider registering with agencies that advertise jobs that interest you.
Fundraisers are generally employed by:
- Large and Medium-Sized Organizations
- Community Groups
- Social Service Agencies
- Religious Organizations
- Educational Institutions
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organisations are an important resource for Fundraisers who want to further their professional development or network with other professionals in their industry or employment. Membership in one or more of these organisations looks great on your resume and helps to strengthen your credentials and qualifications.
- Decreasing government funding and shrinking population of donors
- Misconceptions about fundraising lead to lower job satisfaction and more significant employee attrition
- Heightened and misinformed expectations of employers
Suggested Work Experience
Many fundraising initiatives rely on volunteers interacting with potential donors in person or over the phone. Internships and previous job experience are essential for landing paid employment as a Fundraiser.
If you’re fresh out of college and looking for your first job, consider working as a fundraising assistant. If an aspirant Fundraiser does not have charity-specific experience, prior employment experience in other industries such as advertising, marketing and public relations, events management, finance, media, and sales is acceptable.
Volunteering with a charity or not-for-profit organisation will boost your application. It will indicate that you have some awareness of how the voluntary sector operates and how funds and donations help keep organisations going as aspiring fundraisers. Look for possibilities through your university or the local volunteer agency.
Because this is a highly competitive sector, an undergraduate degree in management, business, marketing, English, journalism, communications, or public relations is strongly advised. Fundraising careers, on the other hand, are open to anyone, regardless of academic requirements.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
Laws differ by jurisdiction, however, many require certain types of Fundraisers to register with state authorities. For further information, contact your local government.
Individual government agencies are in charge of licencing. It usually entails passing an examination and an interview, as well as meeting eligibility conditions such as a certain degree of education, work experience, training, or completion of an internship, residence, or apprenticeship.
Projected Career Map
Fundraisers tend to specialise in a specific area of the industry as their careers advance, such as corporate or major-gift fundraising. Other Fundraisers may move laterally into other third-sector functional areas, such as marketing, campaigns, and communications.
Alternatively, fundraisers could enter the private sector and work in a major commercial organization’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) department. Fundraisers can progress to the post of Fundraising Manager. However, some Manager roles may also demand a master’s degree in addition to years of Fundraising experience.
Fundraisers have a bright future because organisations are continuously looking for new donors. Candidates with internship or volunteer experience in charitable and grantmaking organisations should have a better chance of landing a position. To succeed in this field, you must be determined, ambitious, confident, and tenacious.
Beneficial Professional Development
The majority of your Fundraising training will be provided by experienced colleagues. However, certain regulatory bodies and organisations do provide Fundraiser training sessions. Some universities also offer specialised postgraduate degrees in charity fundraising.
A master’s degree may be required for those interested in working as a fundraising manager. CFRE International offers the Certified Fundraising Executive designation to candidates. It needs five years of relevant work experience and eighty hours of continuing education, with a three-year renewal option.
Fundraising is the lifeblood of charities all across the world. What if you could go to work every day with a renewed sense of purpose and direction, knowing that the work you do helps the larger good? This may be your life if you work as a Fundraiser.
Advice from the Wise
In fundraising, the two ‘i’s’ should stand for inspiration and innovation, not imitation and aggravation.