A Fundraiser is someone who creates and organizes campaigns and events to raise money for a purpose. Organizations (profit or non-profit) employ Fundraisers to raise money for their or other organizations financial needs.
There are different types of fundraisers, Truity.com outlines them:
“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.
Direct-mailing fundraisers send out requests for donations to large numbers of people through the mail, over the phone, and online.
Events fundraisers obtain donations through charity events, including dinners, auctions, galas, and charity races such as 10Ks.
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.”
In this clip a few Event Fundraisers from Wesser Ltd. briefly share why they love their job.
Being a Fundraising promoter also falls under this career description, in this video some Fundraising promoters explain what they do and the mentality they maintain to feel motivated:
So, could this be the career for you? Read on to find out if it suits you.
Tasks involved in this job:
The employer will communicate the reason funds are needed. From this information Fundraisers will research, identify and contact potential donors for this cause. They will then organize strategies and campaigns that will appeal to the potential donors (judging by the success of past fundraising events) and make them sponsor the organization.
Often they have to attend their fundraising campaigns/events and co-ordinate volunteer fundraisers.
Finally, on the more administrative side, they must maintain records of donor information for future use and ensure that all legal fundraising requirements are met.
Personality and skills required for this position:
First and foremost you should be comfortable and capable of working as part of a team as you will always be working in one (whether it’s with just you, the poster designer and accountant or you and 28 other Fundraisers). A Fundraiser needs to be organized, have good communication, leadership skills and be detail oriented (they will be dealing with a lot of data analysis) . They must display confidence and be charismatic as they often have to speak to audiences about their cause, especially at Fundraising Events.
One also has to have a thick skin as a Fundraiser because they face a lot of rejection. must be able to work as part of a team well. People who are passionate about helping others with their needs are the most motivated and satisfied in their job as a Fundraiser.
How to get into this career:
Bigger (and usually better paying) organizations that hire Fundraisers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, or business and who have strong communication and organizational skills.
Many organizations however only require one to have experience in fundraising. One can gain this experience by volunteering at local charities or participating in student-led fundraising programs.
To find work: Look for organizations near you that are hiring Fundraisers, go to their website, find their hiring link and apply.
*Tip before applying to work for an organization make sure it supports fundraising well (the CEO and board have knowledge on fundraising, will provide resources for fundraising projects and pays the Fundraiser).
The working hours:
Regular, 9-5 hour shifts are met by Fundraisers but additional time could be spent attending campaigns/events or meeting strict deadlines.
The current average annual pay for Fundraisers is $67,370 (USD). In South Africa (my home) specifically, Fundraisers earn an average of R183,099 annually.
-Job growth projection of this career is higher than average.
-The competition for this job is low
-These days social media can be used for fundraising and it is therefore possible to raise funds from anywhere as long as you have a social media device present.
-Traveling and meeting new, interesting and good-willed people is often part of the job description.
-The pay is comfortable once you have worked your way up.
-You will face a lot of rejection and many of your campaigns may fail (a thick skin is needed for this career).
-It is very hard work to raise funds, many hours will be spent tirelessly researching for donors, analyzing data and organizing campaigns/events.
-You have deadlines which can be pressurizing.
My conclusion and rating on this career:
Being a Fundraiser sounds like a job that is both fulfilling and rewarding. One should be wary fundraising as a job is not all about hugs and getting donations from good people, there is a lot of rejection and data analysis involved. Weighing out the all aspects of the career I rate it a solid 7.5/10.