Person holding coins with note that reads Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.” – Hank Rosso

Do you want to make a difference in the world? Do you enjoy communicating with people? Are you willing to ask people for money?

If you answered yes, then you might be interested in a career as a fundraiser!

What Do Fundraisers Do?

Raising funds is more than just asking for money!

Fundraisers are responsible for:

  • Researching prospective donors using data

  • Building relationships with donors over time

  • Communicating the mission and impact of the organization

  • Writing grants proposals, emails and reports

  • Woman from TV Show Planning events and campaigns

  • Maintaining records of donor information for legal regulations

  • And of course: asking for donations!

Meme of Oprah with text that reads

Where Do Fundraisers Work?

Fundraisers work for non-profit organizations that rely on donations, grants, or other funds from the public.

Some places you can find fundraisers are:

  • Educational institutions

  • Religious organizations

  • Healthcare providers

  • Community and social service providers

  • Political campaigns

Bernie Sanders saying,

Fundraisers usually work in a development department. Development refers to all aspects of a continuing fundraising program, which can include different methods of fundraising, research, and communications.

Do You Want A Specialization?

Some fundraisers choose to specialize in different areas, such as:

  • Corporate giving: finding companies for donations and sponsorships

  • Grant writing: writing proposals to agencies that distribute grant money

  • Major gifts: soliciting the biggest donations for an organization, usually requiring lots of time and complicated negotiations

  • Events: organizing events like silent auctions, charity balls, or festivals

Some fundraisers do all of the above, especially in smaller organizations.

A cartoon of a girl asking for donations for a charity ride raising funds for world peace.

Quiz

Which of the following is not an area of fundraising?

How Do I Become A Fundraiser?

Image of a notepad and fountain pen. Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

Most fundraisers have a bachelor’s degree in an area like communications, public relations, or business. These areas of study focus on strong written and verbal communication skills, persuasion skills, and attention to detail, which are all important qualities for a fundraiser.

Some fundraisers also pursue a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation. This designation is not required to become a fundraiser, but obtaining it can give you more credibility and improve your chances of career advancement.

What's The Salary?

Fundraising salaries can be dependent on location and specialization. Fundraisers who bring in “big bucks” or take on management roles can increase their salary significantly!

Fundraising is also an in-demand profession and expected to grow at a much faster rate than other professions over the next 10 years.

Flaticon Icon Average salary:

$59,610 per year USD

Flaticon Icon Average salary:

$50,951 per year CAD

Will I Like Being A Fundraiser?

Man from The Simpsons telling woman:

You'll love fundraising if...

  • You love advocating for good causes

  • You're a strong and persuasive writer

  • You're comfortable asking for donations

  • You're meticulous with details and records keeping

Steer clear if...

  • You prefer to work independently

  • You don’t like writing or communicating

  • The thought of sales or asking for money scares you

  • You don’t like having to abide by lots of rules and regulations

Choose The Future Fundraiser

Fern, Yaz, Kevin and Sam are graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Which of these four friends is best suited to pursue a career as a fundraiser?

Flaticon Icon Fern:

  • passionate about social causes and volunteers at a community hospital

  • enjoys helping people directly

  • prefers speaking to writing

Flaticon Icon Kevin:

  • part-time job in retail and sales

  • loves meeting new people

  • doesn't like numbers and details

Flaticon Icon Yaz:

  • loves getting to know people and what matters to them

  • ambitious and confident

  • very organized with bills and receipts

Flaticon Icon Sam:

  • loves creative writing

  • expert at grammar and editing

  • shy and reserved in social settings

Quiz

Who should pursue fundraising?

Take Action

A Simpson's character in front of a donation tracking display announcing that a fundraising goal has been reached.

Does being a fundraiser sound like your dream job?

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This Byte has been authored by

MV

Megan Van Massenhoven

Youth Programs Manager