Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization.
What they do
Fundraisers also may design promotional materials and increase awareness of an organization’s work, goals, and financial needs.
They typically do the following:
- 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
Fundraisers plan and oversee campaigns and events to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization. They ensure that campaigns are effective by researching potential donors and examining records of those who have given in the past.
Fundraisers who work for political campaigns must be knowledgeable about campaign finance laws, such as the contribution limits of an individual giving to a specific candidate.
The following are examples of types of fundraisers:
Annual campaign fundraisers solicit donations once a year for their organization. Many nonprofit organizations have annual giving campaigns.
Capital campaign fundraisers raise money for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university. Capital campaigns also raise money for renovations and the creation or expansion of an endowment.
Major-gifts fundraisers specialize in face-to-face interaction with donors who can give large amounts.
Planned-giving fundraisers solicit donations from those who are looking to pledge money at a future date or in installments over time. These fundraisers must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will.
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.
How to become a Fundraiser
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.
Although fundraisers have a variety of academic backgrounds, employers typically prefer a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Degrees in other subjects also may be acceptable.
Internships and previous work experience are important in obtaining a paid position as a fundraiser. Many fundraising campaigns rely on volunteers having face-to-face or over-the-phone interaction with potential donors. It is important for the fundraiser who organizes the campaign to have experience with this type of work.
Laws vary by state, but many states require some types of fundraisers to register with a state authority. Check with your state for more information.
The median annual wage for fundraisers was $57,970 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,530, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $100,410.
Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, 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.
Similar Job Titles
Development Director; Direct Response Consultant; Director of Development; Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations; Executive Director of Development, Gift Planning; Fundraising Consultant; Principal Gifts Officer; Vice President for Philanthropy; Vice President of Major Gifts and Planned Giving; Vice President, Marketing & Development
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
Magazines and Publications
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOne Stop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org