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What is a Social Fundraiser?

Also known as: Fundraiser.

A social fundraiser is a public relations professional who works on behalf of businesses or non-profit organizations to raise funds via private donations or grants. They groom the public image of the business or non-profit in order to raise as much funding as possible. They are responsible for interacting with the media and occasionally working in tandem with marketing professionals in order to deliver a more coordinated strategy.

At the highest level, these fundraisers are responsible for managing an entire team of individuals, so the job requirements are much more complex. For example, rather than writing all press releases themselves, top-level fundraisers may delegate that responsibility to a media specialist who comes from a more journalistic background.

What does a Social Fundraiser do?

As touched upon previously, the primary job responsibility of a social fundraiser revolves around raising capital to fund businesses and non-profits that champion social causes. For example, the United Way employs social fundraisers in order to maintain and grow a network of charitable donors; they will typically hold annual charitable events to do this.

Social fundraisers must be able to determine which segments of the population are likely candidates to contribute to a particular cause. They devise creative strategies to connect these potential donors with the organizations in need of investment. Social fundraisers act as the intermediary between businesses and their donors.

Social networking is arguably the most important aspect of a social fundraiser's job. Identifying the perfect donors is one part of the job description; the other is to actually convince these donors to give generously. Many charitable donations are made every year across the globe, but the most successful charities see revenues rise year after year, not just after one fundraising event.

Coordinating efforts with the media is an important part of what a social fundraiser does. Non-profit organizations may spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns just to spread awareness. Social fundraisers are responsible for making the most of every dollar an organization spends on advertising, particularly broadcast television and internet advertising.

Maintaining and developing a corporate brand is also key; brand awareness is extremely important in bringing in a steady stream of donations from dedicated donors. A cleverly devised brand can make the difference between a successful fundraising campaign and an unsuccessful and disappointing campaign.

Social fundraisers may also be responsible for preparing the speeches and public statements of a business or non-profit's top spokesperson as well. These spokesmen and women may either be executives under the employ of the business or non-profit organization, or guest speakers carefully chosen to give a speech on behalf of the organization.

At the highest level, some social fundraisers are responsible for managing an entire team of individuals. Rather than writing all speeches and press releases themselves, they may delegate that responsibility to a media specialist who comes from a more journalistic background.

What is the workplace of a Social Fundraiser like?

Social fundraisers typically work out of an office setting, however, a growing number of fundraisers work from home. The venue for a fundraising event varies, depending on the type of business or non-profit organization it's for. For example, medically focused charities often require fundraising events to be coordinated on-site at medical clinics and hospitals.

How can I become a Social Fundraiser?

Social fundraisers can come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Many social fundraisers have no formal education at all and rely solely on work experience and life wisdom in order to have a successful career. More often than not, however, fundraisers have at the very minimum a bachelor's degree in business, accounting, or finance, but other degrees well suited for a career as a fundraiser include communications and media degrees. Advanced degrees in journalism or business administration are suitable for positions as social fundraisers in the largest non-profit organizations.


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