What you need to know
Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization. They also may design promotional materials and increase awareness of an organization’s work, goals, and financial needs.
Most fundraisers raise funds for an organization which employs them directly, although some fundraisers work for consulting firms that have many clients.
Fundraisers spend much of their time communicating with other employees and potential donors, either in person, on the phone, or through email.
Some fundraisers may need to travel to locations where fundraising events are held. Events may include charity runs, walks, galas, and dinners.
Some of the things fundraisers might do:
- Research prospective donors
- Create a strong fundraising message that appeals to potential donors
- Identify and contact potential donors
- Use online platforms to raise donations
- Organize campaigns or events to solicit donations
- Maintain records of donor information
- Evaluate the success of previous fundraising events
- Train volunteers in fundraising procedures and practices
- Ensure that all legal reporting requirements are satisfied
- Communication skills. Fundraisers need strong communication skills to clearly explain the message and goals of their organization so that people will make donations.
- Detail oriented. Fundraisers must be detail oriented because they deal with large volumes of data, including lists of people’s names and phone numbers, and must comply with state and federal regulations. Failing to do so may result in penalties.
- Interpersonal skills. Fundraisers need strong interpersonal skills to develop and maintain relationships with donors.
- Organizational skills. Fundraisers manage large campaigns and events. They must have strong planning and organizational skills in order to succeed.
The average pay for fundraisers in the United States ranges from $33,810 to $97,380 as of May 2018.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by the continued need of nonprofit organizations to collect donations in order to run their operations.
Many nonprofit organizations are focusing on cultivating an online presence and are increasingly using social media for fundraising activities. As a result, social media platforms have created new avenues for fundraisers to connect with potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.
Fundraisers typically need a bachelor’s degree and strong communication and organizational skills. Employers generally prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.