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What is a Fundraising Manager?

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

A fundraising manager is someone who manages the fundraising department for an organization or nonprofit entity. He or she is 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.

What does a Fundraising Manager do?

Fundraising managers are the driving force behind fundraising efforts. They oversee the 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. Without their expertise and efforts a company will not have the funds to continue with their work.

Some duties of a fundraising manager:

  • develop goals and a plan for raising money
  • refine that plan to adopt strategies and campaigns that reflect the ideals of the company
  • identify and explore donor pools
  • personally handle VIP donors
  • write grant proposals and manage endowments
  • plan and manage marketing efforts like direct mail campaigns
  • plan fundraising events such as dinners, receptions, and parties
  • develop alliances with other organizations
  • work collaboratively to enhance fundraising efforts
  • keep in contact with the CEO and board, apprising them of fundraising successes

The ability to be an effective fundraiser is what makes a manager successful. Having the best organizing and managing skills mean nothing if, at the end of the day, there is no money raised. Creating new and innovative plans is crucial to be successful in fundraising. Managers must also be able to adapt and change strategies to meet the needs of their donor pools and keep the donations coming.

Fundraisers need to be comfortable dealing with the public. They must enjoy public speaking, should be extroverted, and enjoy attending events and galas. Moreover, they must be able to communicate effectively and eloquently and be up to date on social, political, and newsworthy topics in order to engage in meaningful conversation with potential donors.

What is the workplace of a Fundraising Manager like?

Fundraising managers typically need a private office space, a 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.

How can I become a Fundraising Manager?

Fundraising managers need a bachelor’s degree in either public relations, business 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, and will help an individual learn the ins and outs of effective fundraising.


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