Fundraising managers are people who manage the fundraising department for an organization or nonprofit entity. They are responsible for overseeing all the fundraising functions of the department. Responsibilities include managing the budget, managing workers or volunteers, organizing events, developing donors, and grant writing. These managers must create effective strategies for maximizing donations.
Managers are the driving force behind fundraising efforts. Without their expertise and efforts the company or entity will not have the funds to continue with their work. For a nonprofit organization, the life of the organization is in the hands of the manager. The manager oversees workforce of paid or volunteer individuals and must keep them on task. They create, teach, lead, and manage the people responsible for bringing in the donations.
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The manager must develop goals and a plan for raising money. They then refine that plan to adopt strategies and campaigns that reflect the ideals of the company. They will identify and explore donor pools, and are personally responsible for handling VIP donors. They write grant proposals and manage endowments. They plan and manage marketing efforts like direct mail campaigns. They plan fundraising events such as dinners, receptions, and parties. They develop alliances with other organizations and work collaboratively to enhance fundraising efforts.
The ability to be an effective fundraiser is what makes a manager successful. All the great works, campaigns, and more do not mean anything if no money is raised. Creating new and innovative plans is crucial to the success of fundraisers. They must be able to adapt and change strategies to meet the needs of their donor pools and keep the donations coming. They stay in contact with the organizational CEO and board, apprising them of fundraising successes.
Fundraisers need to be comfortable dealing with the public. They must enjoy public speaking. They should be extroverted and enjoy attending events and galas. Moreover, they must be updated on social, political, and newsworthy topics in order to engage in meaningful conversation with potential donors; and they must be able to communicate effectively and eloquently.
People in this job need a bachelor’s degree in either public relations, administration, marketing, or management. These areas provide a foundation for understanding how to organize and run a group of people who deal with the public. However, these degrees will only provide a foundation. Seeking a post-graduate certification in fundraising management will give a candidate that edge they need to be successful. It helps the graduate learn the ins and outs of effective fundraising.
Humber College in Toronto, Canada offers a post-graduate certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management. The applicant must have a Bachelor’s Degree, but no area of study is indicated. The course takes 3 semesters to complete. Tuition is around $8300 for Canadian students and $19,000 for international students. Students will get hands-on experience in grant writing, event organization, marketing and other tasks.
Boston University Metropolitan College in Boston, Massachusetts also offers a post-graduate certification. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s Degree, though no specific area is required. There are four courses that the student must complete to earn the certification. The program provides instruction in an array of fundraising activities, marketing, and staff management. Tuition is $760 per credit hour plus other college fees.
The Institute of Fundraising in England offers post-graduate training in the fundraising arena. Students can choose online or in-house training courses. The company offers training to those with or without degrees. It is a perfect solution for smaller companies that need high-impact fundraising. The school is accredited and allows students to take a few courses, earn a certification or even a diploma in fundraising.
Managers in the arena of fundraising are on the go all the time, but at the same time they maintain an office space that is sufficient to handle the needs of the team. They need a private office space, team meeting space, and somewhere for team members to do independent work. Depending on the size of the organization, office space can range from luxurious to something more basic. Larger, well-established companies and organizations usually have more funds for office space.
Successful managers spend a lot of their time going from meeting to meeting and event to event. They make public appearances, give presentations, meet with printers, and arrange events. They use portable electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and netbooks to stay in touch and on top of what is going on within the team. In a sense, their car becomes a second office space.
Salaries vary depending on the experience of the manager, the effectiveness of the manager, and the geographical area in which they work. In North America, the median annual salary is $85,000. Most managers also get an annual bonus that is tied to their performance. A new graduate usually works as a manager assistant and can expect to start at around $38,000 annually.
Fundraising managers are oftentimes considered independent contractors. This means they are self-employed and contract with the company for a set amount. They are responsible for paying all their taxes and get no employee benefits.
A fundraising manager is one of the most prominent people in any organization that uses donated funds. The viability of the company is often dependent on the success of the fundraiser. The job provides the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people from all walks of life. They often make contacts that are valuable throughout their career.