Career Guide: Fundraising Manager

What is a fundraising manager?

A fundraising manager is probably better known by us millennials as a, “campaign manager”. When you hear the phrase campaign manager, you probably think of a political campaign. While you’re not wrong, fundraising managers do more than just oversee political campaigns. Overall, their main goal is to create and coordinate a campaign that increases the financial success of their respective organization. The organizations they work for are typically non-profit organizations

Fundraising managers are the backbone of a given organizations’ fundraising efforts. They oversee the workforce of paid or volunteer individuals and keep the workers on task. They create, teach, lead, and manage the people responsible for bringing in the donations. Furthermore, without their expertise and efforts, a company would inevitably lack the funds needed to continue with their work.


Requirements and Work Environment

As a fundraising manager, a bachelor’s degree is absolutely required. While the specifics of the bachelor’s degree isn’t so important, a communications degree will definitely appeal to employers. To be frank, a bachelor’s degree is the bare minimum for this job. Some organizations actually require a master’s degree. Most organizations also deem it necessary to have a few years of work experience in a related field. Don’t let this deter you though; this job is very rewarding.

Fundraising managers work around 40 hours a week. During regular business hours, they typically work in an office setting. The size and environment of the office space depends on the organization itself. That being said, fundraising managers spend a lot of time bouncing around from meeting to meeting; from event to event. Their goal is to keep the people who are important to their organization happy. They have to keep a good public image through their words and charisma. That’s the part of the job that probably makes you think of a campaign manager. Try to disregard that manipulative, political undertone when you think of a fundraising manager.

Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a fundraising manager in 2016 was $107,320, which is just over $50 an hour. While this is an incredible salary, it must be noted that this job isn’t easy to obtain. It requires years of prior experience and a lot of dedication. That being said, you can even go higher from here. Between the years 2014 and 2024, employment for this job is expected to grow 7%. This is due to the need for organizations to maintain their public image via social media especially. If you’re working for a certain company, this job allows for you to advance higher up in that company. Furthermore, Jobs you can obtain after this one include senior marketing manager, marketing director, and head of sales

Qualities You Need And What You Can Do Now!

As mentioned, this is a very competitive job. Obviously, experience in this field is essential. Furthermore, you need certain personality traits to accompany this experience. Most of the characteristics I’m about to mention are traits you’ll already be working on as a communications major. Some you may already possess. Regardless, they’re all traits that you can improve on. Here they are

  • Integrity
  • Good listening skills
  • The ability to motivate
  • A concern for people
  • High energy
  • Perseverance

To me, high energy and the ability to motivate are the most important. If you want to receive money from someone, you’re going to need to keep their attention, hence the high energy. More importantly, that high energy will inevitably help you motivate your donors to keep on donating. If this isn’t something you’re inherently good at; work on it. Seek out the debate team at West Chester University, or even seek out an internship in a related field. To conclude, this is a highly desirable job, and if you want to succeed in it, you’re going to have to work for it.