Fundraisers find ways of raising money for non-profit organisations, such as museums, charities or arts organisations.

What do they do?

They perform the essential job of finding funding for the organisation through a range of money-making activities. They can sometimes be called development
managers. The job may involve the following:

  • publicising the organisation, through direct mail, presentations and web marketing
  • negotiating with grant-making organisations, government bodies or large organisations for sponsorship or setting up trust funds
  • networking and building positive relationships with supporters or organisations
  • recruiting volunteers.

What skills do I need?

Communication, both verbal and written, is extremely important. You will need to be able to get your enthusiasm for the organisation across well. There is also plenty of paperwork in applying for grants or government funding. Personal presentation and confidence are also important, as you will spend a lot of time talking to others.

Planning and organisation is also important. Much of the actual legwork may be done by other people, but you will need to contact events managers or outreach teams in order to explain what is needed. Being able to motivate others is a key skill.

You need to be flexible, as one day you may be presenting your ideas to your managers, the next you may be developing a marketing campaign, the next you could be in costume at an event or standing in the street with a bucket asking for donations.

Whatever the actual approach, the work will require a lot of determination. You may need to work to hit specific targets.

You should be prepared to work outside normal office hours, as you will often be involved in your own fundraising projects or events. Working evenings or weekends is common, as is part-time work. Some fundraisers work from home and have to travel long distances.

How do I become a fundraiser?

There are no specific qualifications needed. Most important is experience or the skills you can bring.

Volunteer work is a good way of getting relevant experience. Websites like Doit or Volunteering Wales are both good places to look.

Some large charities run relevant graduate trainee schemes, for example Cancer Research UK run a graduate training scheme in Fundraising and Marketing.

Fundraising draws on similar skills to marketing, event management, business, communications and public relations. Any qualification or degree that gives you skills in these areas would be helpful, but experience is generally considered more important.

The Institute of Fundraising offers introductory courses in fundraising as well as more advanced training and diplomas.

The Charity Works Graduate Scheme offers 12-month paid placements in charities, in roles including business development and fundraising.

How much can I earn?

Salaries vary widely according to size of organisation. Starting salaries may be around £17-21,000, rising to £21-30,000. Managers may earn around £30-40,000 with those at head of service or director level being paid £40,000+. An international development director may earn £100,000+.

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