What Does a Charity Fundraiser Do? (And How To Become One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 12, 2022

If you're passionate about generating excitement and funding for charities and philanthropic causes, you might enjoy a career as a charity fundraiser. Charity fundraisers perform important work planning events, engaging in outreach efforts and raising awareness for their specific missions. Learning more about what those in the role do can help you decide if a career as a charity fundraiser is the right fit for your personal and professional goals.

In this article, we define what a charity fundraiser is, explain what charity fundraisers do, list steps on how to become one and provide additional information about the role, like how much they make and what skills they need.

What is a charity fundraiser?

A charity fundraiser is someone who raises money for philanthropic causes, events and nonprofit groups. They use various methods to organize groups and generate funding for the matters they support. This might include hosting events, advertising fundraising efforts and developing outreach strategies to connect with donors and supporters. Charity fundraisers might also help direct volunteer and fundraising groups in their roles.

Related: A Guide To Starting a Career in Fundraising

Charity fundraiser responsibilities

The responsibilities of a charity fundraiser can depend on their specific employer and job description. Often, charity fundraisers handle duties like:

  • Hosting fundraising events to raise awareness and money for causes

  • Performing outreach efforts to connect with donors and groups interested in the cause

  • Organizing groups around a cause or effort

  • Directing volunteers and charity employees

  • Developing websites and social media content to facilitate fundraising efforts and crowdsource donations

  • Working with charity leadership to understand charity goals

  • Collecting and distributing charity information and activity updates

How to become a charity fundraiser

If you're interested in becoming a charity fundraiser, there are some steps you can take:

1. Develop your interests

Charity fundraisers can work in many settings and for a variety of causes. If you plan to become a charity fundraiser, developing your interests can help you make connections related to your cause so you can get involved. Charity fundraisers might work for political campaigns, advocacy groups, health organizations and nonprofits. Completing tasks for organizations you support can help you build your experience, knowledge and connections in the areas that interest you. This can make it easier to pursue a specific type of fundraising later in your career.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Working for a Nonprofit

2. Gain fundraising experience

Many employers look for candidates with previous fundraising experience. If you're currently involved with a charity or group, consider gaining experience planning events and raising money for the cause. Listing dollars earned, event sizes and fundraising effort successes on your resume can help you attract the attention of employers.

Related: 37 Fundraising Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

3. Pursue professional development opportunities

There are fundraising certifications you can pursue to boost your resume and develop your skills as a fundraiser. Consider looking at different certifications and other professional development opportunities so you can qualify for more advanced fundraiser positions. Browsing job requirements for positions that interest you can help you learn which certifications employers like candidates to have.

Related: 25 Ideas To Try When Fundraising for a Nonprofit Organization

4. Find more advanced opportunities

With your experience, skills and certification, you can often connect with more advanced fundraising opportunities. These opportunities might be with high-profile charities that generate more support from the public and advocates. Working for larger charities can give you a chance to reach more people about the issues you care about most. You might also have more resources for promoting the charity and generating funding. While you may volunteer to get initial experience and qualify for higher-level roles, most advanced opportunities offer pay to their full-time employees.

Collaborating with larger organizations can make it easier for you to develop your reputation and develop in a field you're passionate about.

Related: 10 Steps To Plan an Effective Fundraiser

Charity fundraiser skills

There are many skills that can help charity fundraisers in their roles. The specific skills you develop for your position can depend on your job requirements, but these skills can help most fundraisers in their work:

Fundraising skills

Usually, many of a charity fundraiser's responsibilities revolve around generating donations of time and money for the charity. In these efforts, fundraising skills can be especially important. These skills can help fundraisers connect with donors, raise awareness about their mission and communicate the excitement they feel for a cause. Good fundraisers are often passionate, charismatic and informed. Having confidence and enthusiasm for your charity can help others feel motivated to support your efforts.

Related: How To Develop Top Fundraising Skills in 5 Steps

Communication skills

Communication skills are also important for fundraisers. They can use them to tell others about their cause, express the charity's needs and listen to those within the charity or those wanting to get involved. Charity fundraisers often spend most of their time pursuing outreach efforts to share their charity's story and generate excitement for the cause.

Related: 10 Communication Skills for Career Success

Networking skills

Charity fundraisers can typically maximize donations and interest when they have a network of donors, volunteers and interested individuals to access. Knowing who to contact when fundraising can help them find success during events and fundraising efforts. By growing your network and discovering who might be amenable to your cause, you can grow your audience and facilitate your work.

Related: Top Networking Skills You Should Have (and How To Improve Them)

Organization skills

Organization skills are another skill that can help fundraisers find success in their roles. When coordinating volunteers, organizing events and tracking fundraising efforts, fundraisers can use these skills. By staying organized and efficient, you can optimize your processes and host successful events.

Charity fundraiser salary

The salary expectations for charity fundraisers can vary. Some work as volunteers for causes they're passionate about. Others' salary expectations can depend on factors like charity size, experience, employer and location. The national average salary for fundraisers is $47,324 per year.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, please click on the link provided.

Related: Working for Charity: 5 Jobs To Pursue and How To Get Them

Charity fundraiser work environment

Many charity fundraisers work in office environments where they might email and call prospective donors. Some fundraisers might also perform canvassing work, where they visit businesses or homes to raise awareness about their cause and generate public support. Many charity fundraisers work on evenings and weekends when they host events or represent their charity at various community gatherings.

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