Fundraising managers have the challenging task of raising money for an organization. They often have a targeted dollar amount to meet each year through various fundraising efforts such as direct mail campaigns, writing proposals to obtain grants or securing endowments. Fundraising managers are typically employed by nonprofit organizations, charities, educational institutions or museums.
The primary goal of a fundraising manager is to develop and implement a fundraising strategy to secure revenue for the organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report “Helping Charity Work: Paid Jobs in Charitable Nonprofits,” fundraisers for larger organizations may specialize in one particular fundraising area, while at smaller organizations, they are often responsible for a variety of fundraising tasks. These may include direct mail campaigns, writing proposals to obtain grants, securing endowments, hosting fundraising events and cultivating major donors.
While specific responsibilities may vary by organization, fundraising managers’ responsibilities tend to include tasks related to strategy, donors and proposals and presentations. They include developing fundraising strategy and setting priorities, goals and budgets; researching and identifying potential donors, cultivating potential donors and communicating with current donors; and writing proposals to obtain grants and preparing presentations to deliver to potential donors and key stakeholders. Other tasks include maintaining donor databases, working with fundraising committee and overseeing event planning and campaigns as needed.
A bachelor’s degree is typically required for this position, oftentimes in marketing, public relations or an industry specific to the organization. Other qualifications may include four to five years experience, a proven track record of revenue generation and prior experience with direct mail campaigns, major donors, events, endowments or other campaigns as needed.
Fundraising managers should be outgoing, confident, persuasive communicators and have excellent writing skills. Fundraisers also need to be able to give effective presentations and often are required to travel. According to the aforementioned Bureau of Labor Statistics report, many fundraisers start their careers as development associates, responsible for maintaining the organization’s database, assisting in proposal writing and coordinating events.
According to PayScale.com, the average salary of a fundraising manager is $36,000 to $54,000. Employees with one to four years experience can expect to earn $34,000 to $45,000, while those with more than 10 years experience average $48,000 to $80,000.