What Fundraisers Do
Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization.
Fundraisers work primarily for nonprofit organizations, including educational institutions, religious organizations, health research foundations, social services organizations, and political campaigns. Most work full time.
How to Become a Fundraiser
Fundraisers typically need a bachelor’s degree and strong communication and organizational skills. Employers generally prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.
The median annual wage for fundraisers was $57,970 in May 2019.
Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected to be driven by the continued need of various types of organizations to raise money.
Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization. They also may design promotional materials and increase awareness of an organization’s work, goals, and financial needs.
Fundraisers typically do the following:
- Research prospective donors
- Create a strong fundraising message that appeals to potential donors
- Identify and contact potential donors
- Use online platforms to raise donations
- Organize campaigns or events to solicit donations
- Maintain records of donor information
- Evaluate the success of previous fundraising events
- Train volunteers in fundraising procedures and practices
- Ensure that all legal reporting requirements are satisfied
Fundraisers plan and oversee campaigns and events to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization. They ensure that campaigns are effective by researching potential donors and examining records of those who have given in the past.
Fundraisers who work for political campaigns must be knowledgeable about campaign finance laws, such as the contribution limits of an individual giving to a specific candidate.
The following are examples of types of fundraisers:
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.
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.
Fundraisers held about 100,600 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of fundraisers were as follows:
|Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations||41%|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||23|
|Healthcare and social assistance||17|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||5|
|Administrative and support services||3|
Most fundraisers raise funds for an organization which employs them directly, although some fundraisers work for consulting firms that have many clients.
Fundraisers spend much of their time communicating with other employees and potential donors, either in person, on the phone, or through email.
Some fundraisers may need to travel to locations where fundraising events are held. Events may include charity runs, walks, galas, and dinners.
Most fundraisers work full time. Some attend fundraising events on nights and weekends, possibly requiring additional hours.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of fundraisers.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services.
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings.
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Public relations managers direct the creation of materials that will enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.
Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent.
The Handbook does not have contacts for more information for this occupation.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fundraisers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/fundraisers.htm (visited ).