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With fundraising at the forefront of many organizations, fundraising coordinators play a crucial role in organizing, delegating and executing the tasks necessary to pull off a successful fundraising event. Fundraising coordinators do much more than just plan the event, however. They must solicit donors, work with the board of directors, coordinate with other executives for dates, numbers, and budgets, and often write grant proposals to solicit funding from external resources.
Budgeting and Soliciting Funds
A fundraising coordinator must be aware of an organization's budget -- not just for singular evens, but over a specific time period, such as a quarter or year. This means the coordinator will have to meet with executives to go over budget details so she has firm knowledge about what she has to work with financially. In addition, a fundraising coordinator is often responsible for soliciting grants and must therefore be knowledgeable about writing and submitting grant proposals. She must also meet with donors, host dinners and lunches with prospective donors and philanthropists, and constantly target new avenues of funding. This requires strong people and written and verbal communication skills.
Education and Training
For many fundraising coordinator positions, a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, and an advanced degree can improve your chances of finding a job. For example, earning a masters in public relations or in non-profit management can help you stand out from other applicants. Because fundraising coordinators often create promotional and marketing materials, marketing and business classes are helpful to develop these skills.
Nearly a quarter of public relations and fundraising managers worked for religious, non-profit, civic, professional and similar organizations in 2012, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are typically non-profits that survive on donor and fundraising money each year in order to continue. These positions can be high stress, as the operations of the whole organization depend on how much money can be raised. Fundraising coordinators typically work in an office setting with normal business hours and can expect to keep busy with phone calls and meetings throughout the week.
Someone with experience coordinating events or managing the budget of a private sector company might transition well into the role of a fundraising coordinator. Otherwise, several years in an entry-level position in public relations or fundraising can help you build the professional experience needed to land this job. Many organizations look for candidates with at least five to seven years of experience in the field of fundraising coordination and public relations. The BLS expects employment of public relations and fundraising managers to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, or a little faster than the average for all occupations. Fundraising coordinators will play a particularly important role at colleges, universities and other organizations that depend heavily on donations amid a decline state funding.
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