What is a Charity Fundraiser?
As a charity fundraiser, you will campaign to grow individual and group contributions for a charity by exploring fundraising opportunities.
You will have to be a confident networker and be passionate about the cause you are supporting to ensure authenticity. Success in this role will heavily depend on your ability to form positive relationships. Other than raising funds, another important responsibility is to raise awareness. You will need to be able to communicate your charity’s goals, aims and work, effectively. You will usually specialise in one particular area of donation however, in smaller charities you may cover several.
- Encouraging and supporting existing supporters to raise as much money as possible, as well as attracting new supporters and building relationships with them
- Organising and managing traditional fundraising activities such as sponsored outdoor events and house-to-house collections, while also coming up with new and innovative ideas for fundraising events
- Increasing the charity’s visibility by giving talks to groups and arranging photo opportunities with the media, both locally and nationally
- Utilizing web-based fundraising, online auctions, and merchandise sales to generate more revenue
- Recruiting, training, and managing volunteers to carry out various functions within the charity
- Overseeing corporate fundraising, including employee giving and matching gifts from employers
- Maintaining accurate donor databases to record donor contact and preference information
- Writing compelling applications and mailings to reach a diverse range of potential and current donors
- Conducting risk analyses and evaluating time-cost ratios to focus efforts on fundraising activities that are most appropriate and have the highest chance of success.
Some charity fundraising work can be undertaken voluntarily, this is often seen in older volunteers who have retired from their previous careers.
However, if seeking a paid role, starting salaries can range between £15,000 to £22,000. More senior fundraisers can earn anywhere between £25,000 to £40,000. Directors can earn up to £60,000+. Due to the nature of the work, performance-related pay is uncommon although not completely unheard of. You may be eligible for other benefits such as a company car or company away days. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a charity fundraiser is £24,861.
You should expect to work around 35 hours per week, but this will vary depending on the charity and whether you are a volunteer or paid. Larger charities are open to flexible working but you may also be required to work unsociable hours. Events, meetings and campaign days are common. Around 40% of voluntary sector staff work part-time.
What to expect
- Increasingly, fundraisers work from home or regional offices and spend a significant amount of time meeting with supporters.
- The voluntary sector has a predominantly female workforce, with around 70% of staff being women.
- Short-term contracts are common, particularly in event fundraising, which can lead to job insecurity.
- Job opportunities are available throughout the UK, with more options in larger population centres. Corporate and major giving fundraising roles are more commonly found in London.
- Frequent daytime travel and occasional overnight stays away from home may be required.
To be a charity fundraiser, you do not need any qualifications. Having a degree may give you an advantage and for some more senior roles, it may be required. A background in marketing, media, or business can be advantageous. Possessing a qualification or experience in these areas may be helpful for a career in fundraising. There are also training courses available which can bolster your application.
must have skills:
- Commitment to your charity’s cause
- The ability to build and maintain relationships
- Creativity, imagination and an entrepreneurial attitude toward fundraising
- Excellent communication skills
- Good organisational and project management skills
- Resilience, particularly when faced with setbacks
- A proactive attitude and ability to motivate others
- The ability to meet financial targets
- Being aware and responsive to the needs and feelings of volunteers and donors
- Demonstrating the ability to handle pressure and meet deadlines effectively
- Being open and willing to perform various administrative duties as required.
Previous work experience where you are able to demonstrate transferable skills are desirable. Before looking to apply you should seek opportunities to gain this experience, universities will have charities that you can get involved with.
You may also want to consider doing voluntary work or consider shadowing opportunities in departments such as marketing, publication relations, events, advertising, sales and finance. Larger charities may provide internships that can offer significant work experience and potentially lead to permanent positions.
Fundraisers are typically employed by charities, but they may also work for other types of organisations, including hospitals, educational establishments, arts organisations, churches, political parties, and various local, national, and international fundraising agencies. The size, structure, and purpose of these organisations can vary widely.
You can expect to receive most of your training while on the job, and should be ready to be hands-on right from the start. You will be given lots of responsibility and have the opportunity to work in different roles. Short courses may be offered which are designed for the not-for-profit sector. These include foundation-level courses, to specialist and experienced fundraiser courses.
Career advancement in fundraising may vary depending on the size and type of charity. In larger charities, there may be specialized opportunities for career growth, while smaller charities can offer a broader range of experience. Progression may involve moving up from a volunteering role to become a fundraising officer, then a fundraising manager or head of fundraising in a small charity or middle management role in a large charity.
Studying towards a BA (Hons) in International Business sets students up with the necessary skills to work in a range of professions. The course involves working closely with academic theory and practical case studies, allowing students to grasp how the theory can be applied in real business scenarios.
Within this programme, students will cover modules such as business studies, finance, human resource management, marketing, and economics. BA International Business takes a very hands-on approach to learning by incorporating workshops, guest lectures and field trips into the programme.
Other related courses include:
Postgraduate related courses:
The MBA component of the course takes a broad look at business practice and functions such as accounts, finance, and HR – and how they are all interlinked. This allows students to grasp the importance of strategy and communication within a managerial role.
Alongside a broad business view, this course allows students to specialise in digital marketing in a more focused way. The marketing aspect of the programme is intended to allow professionals with substantial digital marketing experience to hone their skills to enhance their career prospects. Areas of study include digital marketing strategy, management, social media marketing, search engine optimisation, pay-per-click, email and influencer marketing.