Fundraising for charity as a Career
First, as a charity fundraiser, you need to believe in the aim of your organisation to be able to gather support. This is possible only when the same is broadcasted to the target audience using the right tools. So, your communication skills need to be top-notch.
Your core responsibility is to ensure that individual, as well as group contributions, go up. And you should do this by maintaining existing relationships and building new ones. In addition, you should explore more unique avenues and sources for fundraising.
Networking plays a very important role in this context. It helps to form positive relationships. In addition, it helps in spreading awareness about the organisation's work, ideas, and purpose.
Your title in the organisation usually depends on the kind of support group that you're focussing.
Corporate fundraiser- They use various methods to secure funds from companies, from event sponsorship to effective tax donation through payroll giving schemes. As a result, this role is for someone with a decent business understanding.
Statutory & trust fundraiser- They tender for grants and trust funds. Therefore, this is likely to appeal to someone who likes researching and drafting proposals.
Major donor fundraisers- This role requires some experience in fundraising for a charity activity. In addition, it involves handling and maintaining fruitful relationships with key accounts of supporters.
Community fundraisers- carry out the main fundraising for charity activity that involves the general public. This profile suits someone comfortable working with people. Therefore, the person should be keen on participating in various fundraising for charity activities.
Legacy fundraising organisations encourage people to consider contributing to their charity when they prepare their will. As a result, it is an ideal role for someone who has a knack for accounting and law.
Usually, specialising in a particular type of donation happens in big charitable organisations. As a result, most people handle several fundraising for charity activities in smaller ones.
- A charity fundraiser needs to perform the following activities as part of their fundraising for the charity job role:
- Encourage and enable the supporters and donors to increase funding.
- Tap potential supporters and open new accounts, besides maintaining existing relationships
- Curate and organise activities like collection drives and outdoor fundraising charity events for donations.
- Increase publicity of the organisation, its work and objectives. For instance, it seeks print or media coverage, reaching out to the target group via talks, fundraising charity events etc.
- Develop and execute online platforms for auctions, merchandise sales and donations
- Seeking the support of other charitable organisations whose benchmarks and norms match the goals and character of your charity.
- Strategise the recruitment, on-boarding, development and retention of the individual as well as corporate supporters as well as volunteers.
- Supervise corporate fundraising, such as payroll giving and matched employer giving.
- Maintain and regularly update databases containing donor details.
- Write emails and applications for potential and existing donors.
- Run the risk analysis and time-cost numbers to direct effort on those activities that have the maximum pay off
- At the entry-level, a normal charity fundraiser can earn between £18,000 and £25,000
- Mid-senior level, normal charity fundraiser can earn anything between £25,000 to £45,000
- Director level, salaries go as high as £65,000.
- It is not fully fixed. But, variable pay is usually discouraged by authorities. Therefore, these authorities supervise the activities of charitable organisations.
- Fundraisers, however, use company transport.
The standard number of working hours is 35 per week, but it may change depending on the charity organisation. As a result, bigger charities also offer flexible working hours. And you may be required to work overtime or attend meetings and fundraising charity events on holidays. However, one has time off or compensatory leaves in such cases. Approximately 40% of the voluntary staff is engaged part-time. As a result, they practised workload sharing and sabbaticals. After gaining significant experience, most people become self-employed or work as freelance consultants.
What to expect
- You'll have to attend meetings outside the office for a considerable time. Usually, these meetings are at the supporters' homes or offices.
- 65% of the voluntary staff are women, as per the NCVO.
- People in this business often enter into short-term contracts. This may, however, lead to uncertainty in jobs in fundraising for charity.
- Vacancies may arise anywhere, but most openings are in metropolitan cities.
- Expect frequent travel during the daytime and occasionally overnight.
Graduates in any field and people qualified in HND can apply for fundraising for charity jobs. A degree or Diploma is a necessity in the case of some roles and, therefore, having a degree will give you an edge while applying. A degree or relevant marketing, business, PR, media or international relations experience can also be very helpful.
As a fundraiser, you will have to demonstrate the following skills-
- Faith and commitment toward your charity's objective
- Ability to form new relationships and maintain the existing ones
- Ingenuity, resourcefulness and an ownership attitude
- The enthusiasm, drive, and an initiative-taking attitude to execute projects effectively.
- Excellent communication, negotiation and persuasive skills
- The ability to handle pressure and work within deadlines
- Team management skills
- Sensitivity towards donors and volunteers
- Willingness to perform all sorts of tasks if required
- Resilience to be able to bounce back from failures and setbacks
Most employers value relevant experience over your educational qualifications. Therefore, to gather experience, you may volunteer or assist someone. Furthermore, make the best use of every fundraising for charity opportunity. Hence, you will be able to face your competition with confidence. Larger charities offer internships or contract roles, and valuable experiences result in permanent positions.
The number of people employed as volunteers is over 850000 and counting. As a result, the employers are charity organisations of different sizes, structures or objectives. In addition, other organisations employing fundraisers are churches, hospitals, political parties, educational & art establishments etc.
The commonality between all such establishments is their NGO status and devotion to a specific cause. Therefore, various fundraising for charity job sites lists vacancies across the UK, such as fundraising for a charity job, CommunityNI, Good moves, ThirdSector etc. Fundraising for charity jobs are usually listed or advertised, and one may send out a resume. But, the selection is from the experienced commercial sector pool for senior positions. If you want updates on fundraising for charity job vacancies, reach out to recruitment agencies specialising in hiring for non-profit organisations. In addition, try regional websites such as Do-It, Volunteer Scotland, Project Scotland, Volunteering Wales, Volunteering England, and Volunteer Now for volunteering roles.
Depending on your role, you will be trained in fundraising for charity jobs. While you have opportunities, you will also have responsibility for decision-making.
For more details, browse through the following fundraising charity websites-
Our course in charity fundraising will assist you in understanding various methods of gathering resources and money. As a result, you will get more exposure to networking opportunities, market trends, innovations etc.
If you are seriously considering a career in fundraising, consider membership at the Fundraising institute, as it is widely accepted professionally. Moreover, it can become a mandatory requirement in the coming years.
There is immense scope for career progression working with a well-staffed, large charity. But, smaller charities have excellent exposure since they are involved in much more activities.
A usual career position in this field is:
- Fundraising for charity officer
- Fundraising for charity manager
- The head of fundraising for a charity(small charity)/ Middle management role (large charity)
- Director of fundraising for a charity(small charity)/Head of fundraising for charity organisation( large charity).
And, if you're looking to dedicate yourself to a specific area, like corporate fundraising, join a larger charity with several teams. Moreover, this will help you gain experience and eventually work for your interest. Therefore, being a fundraiser, you will develop relevantly and highly sought after skills. These skills include project management, PR and networking, marketing and strategy. In addition, you will have a career in a socially respected field. So, fundraising is an excellent choice for someone interested in having a successful career and, at the same time, wishes to contribute to society.
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