What is a Fundraising Manager?

Also known as: Public Relations and Fundraising Manager, Fundraising Organizer, Fundraising Administrator, Fundraising Supervisor.

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.

Fundraising 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 fundraising 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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What does a Fundraising Manager do?

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.

How to become a Fundraising Manager

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.


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