Career Development

What Does a Fundraising Manager Do?

Find out what a fundraising manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a fundraising manager.

Fundraising managers are responsible for overseeing the development of funds for their organization. They may work with a variety of teams, including marketing, communications, events planning, and other departments to develop strategies that will bring in revenue.

Fundraising managers commonly use a combination of creativity and analytical thinking to come up with new ideas for raising money. They may also be tasked with evaluating these ideas to determine which ones are most likely to succeed.

Fundraising Manager Job Duties

A fundraising manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Raising awareness about the organization’s mission, programs, and activities through speaking engagements, community outreach events, and media interviews
  • Researching potential donors with an emphasis on identifying new prospects and cultivating existing donors
  • Conducting interviews with potential donors to assess their interest in the organization and determine how they can best be engaged as a donor
  • Managing the organization’s major fundraising events, including planning the event’s theme, selecting the venue, hiring event staff, and developing a marketing plan for tickets or sponsorships
  • Managing the organization’s membership program by selling memberships and soliciting donations from current members
  • Planning, coordinating, and overseeing special events such as galas, auctions, dinners, and auctions
  • Coordinating with executive leadership and development staff to develop annual goals for the organization’s fundraising efforts
  • Analyzing data from past fundraising campaigns to identify trends and opportunities to improve performance in future efforts
  • Developing relationships with potential donors to cultivate future gifts from them

Fundraising Manager Salary & Outlook

Fundraising managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the organization. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of fundraising managers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Organizations that depend on donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations will need fundraising managers to ensure that they have enough money to continue their operations. In addition, fundraising managers will be needed to help nonprofits increase their endowments and other types of permanent funds.

Fundraising Manager Job Requirements

A fundraising manager typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Fundraising managers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business, communications or public relations. Some of the most common majors for fundraising managers are nonprofit management, marketing and communications.

Training & Experience: Fundraising managers typically receive on-the-job training in their new roles. This training may include learning about the organization’s mission, values and goals, as well as the organization’s fundraising strategies and methods. The training may also include learning about the organization’s computer systems and software.

Fundraising managers may also receive training in their previous roles. For example, a fundraiser may work as a fundraiser assistant before becoming a fundraising manager.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications allow professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Fundraising managers can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their daily responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Fundraising Manager Skills

Fundraising managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As a fundraising manager, you may be responsible for communicating with donors, volunteers, board members and other stakeholders. Effective communication can help you build relationships, encourage collaboration and keep everyone informed about the organization’s fundraising goals.

Leadership: Leadership skills can be an important asset for a fundraising manager. As a manager, you may be responsible for overseeing a team of volunteers or employees who are working on a fundraising campaign. Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to work hard. You can also use leadership skills to delegate tasks and assign responsibilities to your team members.

Organization: A fundraising manager oversees multiple campaigns at once, so it’s important for them to be organized. They need to be able to prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities to ensure all campaigns are progressing smoothly. Organization skills can also help them keep track of fundraising data, such as donor information, campaign goals and campaign expenses.

Time management: Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks within a set time frame. As a fundraising manager, you may be responsible for planning and executing multiple campaigns at the same time. This requires strong time management skills to ensure you are able to complete all of your tasks in a timely manner.

Financial knowledge: A fundraising manager needs to have a basic understanding of financial concepts and terminology. This includes knowing how to read a budget, how to create a budget and how to interpret financial statements. It’s important for fundraising managers to have a basic understanding of how to raise money and how to allocate funds. This includes knowing how to set fundraising goals, how to track fundraising progress and how to evaluate fundraising efforts.

Fundraising Manager Work Environment

Fundraising managers work in a variety of settings, including nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, hospitals, and political campaigns. They typically work full time and may occasionally work evenings and weekends to attend events or meet with donors. Fundraising managers may travel locally to meet with donors or potential donors, or they may travel nationally or internationally to attend conferences or meet with donors. Some fundraising managers work from home, especially those who work for consulting firms or who are self-employed.

Fundraising Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how fundraising managers work. Fundraising managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Corporate Giving

The trend of corporate giving is growing rapidly, as more and more businesses are realizing the benefits of philanthropy. This means that fundraising managers will need to be prepared to work with corporations in order to secure donations.

In order to be successful, fundraising managers will need to be able to understand the needs of different corporations and how they can be best served. They will also need to be familiar with the latest trends in corporate giving, such as social impact investing.

More Focus on Donor Relationships

As donors become more sophisticated, fundraising managers will need to focus on building long-term relationships with them. This means that fundraising managers will need to be excellent communicators who are able to build trust with donors.

Donors are looking for organizations that have a clear vision and mission, and they want to know that their money is being used wisely. By developing strong relationships with donors, fundraising managers can ensure that they feel confident about where their money is going.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in fundraising management. As technology advances, fundraisers are finding new ways to use it to connect with potential donors.

This trend is likely to continue in the future, as technology becomes even more ubiquitous. Fundraisers who are able to utilize technology effectively will be better positioned to reach potential donors and raise funds.

How to Become a Fundraising Manager

A fundraising manager career can be a great way to use your skills in marketing, communications, and sales. It’s important to have a strong network of contacts when you start your fundraising manager career, so make sure to attend networking events and reach out to people who can help you get started.

You should also develop a clear vision for how you want to raise money for your organization. What are the goals of your fundraising campaign? How will you measure its success? What strategies will you use to reach your target audience? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before starting any fundraising campaign.

Related: How to Write a Fundraising Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for fundraising managers are good. With experience, they may advance to top executive positions in their organization, such as executive director or chief executive officer. Some fundraising managers may also become consultants.

Fundraising Manager Job Description Example

The [CompanyX] is a non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of donors to continue our work. We are looking for an experienced fundraising manager to join our team and lead our efforts to secure funding from individuals, foundations, and corporations. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of successful fundraising, excellent communication and writing skills, and the ability to build relationships with potential donors. He or she will be responsible for developing and implementing fundraising strategies, writing grant proposals, and stewardship of donors. The fundraising manager will work closely with the executive team to ensure that the organization’s fundraising goals are met.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement fundraising strategies to meet annual revenue goals
  • Research and identify new potential donors, as well as cultivate relationships with existing donors
  • Write grant proposals and manage submissions process
  • Plan and execute special events to support fundraising efforts
  • Manage social media accounts and website content related to fundraising campaigns
  • Keep accurate records of donations and donor contact information
  • Send thank-you letters or emails to donors
  • Prepare reports on fundraising activities for upper management
  • Train and supervise fundraising staff and volunteers
  • Develop budgets for fundraising campaigns
  • Negotiate contracts with vendors for fundraising events
  • Stay up-to-date on trends in the philanthropic sector

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or related field
  • 7-10 years professional experience in fundraising, sales, marketing, or related field
  • Proven track record of meeting or exceeding fundraising goals
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and solicit major gifts
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in nonprofit management, business administration, or related field
  • CFRE certification
  • 5-7 years supervisory experience
  • Experience with donor databases, preferably Raiser’s Edge
  • Familiarity with federal and state regulations governing charitable giving

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