All You Need To Know About A Fundraiser Career
You think about working as a fundraiser but are not sure whether this job is right for you or not?
Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about a fundraiser career in the following chapters!
Not only will you learn how much you can make as a fundraiser, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements, future outlook and much more.
You will also find an FAQ section where I answer the most common questions about being a fundraiser at the end of this article.
After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become a fundraiser or if you rather want to work in a different field instead.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it!
What does a Fundraiser do?
Fundraisers collect money for social projects that are often not funded by the government but still urgently need private financial support to be maintained in the long run.
Responsibilities & Duties of a Fundraiser
- Collecting money for social purposes
- Raising awareness of social, human and environmental problems
- Approaching people on the street
- Collecting funds through e-mail marketing
- Using social media channels to spread the word
- Reaching out to corporations to ask for financial support
- Organizing big fundraising campaigns
- Trying to bring celebrities onboard
- Researching potential sponsors
- Creation of funding proposals
What a Typical Day of a Fundraiser looks like?
Most fundraisers start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m.
After checking their mails and answering the most important and urgent ones, fundraisers get to their actual work and work on their campaigns to collect as much money as possible for social purposes.
This can include using social media but also approaching people in public in person to explain to them why those projects are important and should be financially supported.
It can also help to reach out to local companies to ask them whether they want to sponsor those projects.
After many hours of work, you will usually finish your workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Fundraiser Salary 2021
Fundraiser salary brackets 2021
|Salary Brackets||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Top 10 %||> $81,000||> $40.39|
|Top 25 %||$72,000 – $76,000||$35.91 – $37.93|
|Bottom 25 %||$37,000 – $43,000||$18.42 – $21.48|
|Bottom 10 %||$24,000 – $29,000||$11.88 – $14.45|
|Range||$24,000 – $89,000||$11.88 – $44.41|
Fundraiser salary 2021 by expert level
|Level of Experience||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Entry level||$24,000 – $29,000||$11.88 – $14.41|
|Junior||$27,000 – $38,000||$13.46 – $18.92|
|Professional||$36,000 – $51,000||$17.89 – $25.37|
|Senior Professional||$48,000 – $63,000||$23.93 – $31.47|
|Expert||$61,000 – $74,000||$30.39 – $36.94|
|Top Expert||$72,000 – $89,000||$35.86 – $44.41|
Fundraiser salary by state 2021 (average)
|State||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|District of Columbia||$59,800||$29.87|
Job Security of Fundraisers
Fundraisers have barely any job security at all.
Since barriers to entry to work in this field are pretty low and almost everyone can do this job, fundraisers may lose their jobs from one day to the other and if you search for something stable and secure, you should not become a fundraiser but rather work in a different field instead.
Future Job Prospects of Fundraisers
Future outlook for classical fundraising will be rather poor since many fundraisers will become obsolete in the near future since they will just be replaced by intelligent machines and the attention of people will be more and more on the internet.
However, if you become really good at digital marketing and understand social channels well, you can still make decent money as a fundraiser.
Yet, fundraisers who solely rely on talking to people in public in person will have a pretty hard time and may lose their jobs sooner or later.
Working Hours of Fundraisers
Fundraisers usually start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Hence, working as a fundraiser is a classical 9 to 5 job and can be great for you in case leisure is more important to you than money and you don’t want to work long hours every day.
Job Satisfaction of Fundraisers
Some fundraisers are pretty happy with what they are doing for a living since they can make decent money while they still don’t have much stress at work and also have more than enough time to spend on the things they like even more than working.
However, many of them are also not happy at all with overall working conditions and think about quitting their jobs soon.
Promotion Opportunities of Fundraisers
There are barely any promotion opportunities as a fundraiser.
Once you work in this field, you will work in the same job for many years or even decades without prospects to get promoted anytime soon.
Career Levels of Fundraisers
- Fundraiser intern
- Junior fundraiser
- Senior fundraiser
- Fundraiser with personnel responsibilities
- Manager of a fundraising campaign
- Manager of multiple fundraising campaigns
- Owner of a fundraising company
Fields and Types of Fundraisers
- Fundraiser focused on talking to people in person
- Fundraiser specialized in social media marketing
- Fundraiser focused on digital marketing
- Fundraiser focused on organic search
- Fundraiser focused on e-mail marketing
- Fundraiser specialized in big fundraising events
- Fundraiser with emphasis on environmental topics
- Fundraiser focused on social topics
- Fundraiser with emphasis on humanitarian topics
Educational Requirements for Fundraisers
You don’t need a fancy degree for becoming a fundraiser.
Most of the time, you just need to finish high school and you will be ready to go.
Hence, almost everyone can become a fundraiser and you don’t have to spend many years on education as in many other jobs.
How to become a Fundraiser
- Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a fundraiser
- Work as an intern for a fundraising campaign
- Stay in touch with your colleagues
- Improve your people skills
- Learn about digital marketing
- Finish high school with decent grades
- Apply for fundraising jobs in your region
- Sign your labor contract
- Focus on projects you are really interested in
- Hone your skills and get better every day
Character Traits you need as a Fundraiser
- Empathy for difficult people
- Strong mindset helps to deal with negative comments
- You should be confident enough to deal with drawbacks
- Good people skills help you collect more money
- You should be friendly and not afraid to talk to people
- Patience helps you succeed in the long run
- Ambition to always learn and hone your craft
- Persistence helps you get up in the morning
- Passion for helping others
- You should not be afraid to speak in public
- Assertiveness helps to stick to your goals
Hard Skills for Fundraisers
- Knowledge of how to deliver important messages to the general public
- Expertise in digital marketing
- Knowledge of how to use social media channels
- Good promotion skills help to convince people to donate to your projects
- Knowledge of rules and regulations related to fundraising campaigns
- Experience in organizing campaigns
- You should understand how the human mind works
- Good written communication skills
- Good verbal communication skills
Soft Skills for Fundraisers
- Talent for bonding people
- You should be open to talking to new people every day
- You should have a persuasive attitude
- Passion for your projects
- People skills help you lead a fundraising team
- Good organization skills help you manage big fundraising campaigns
- Good time management things help you get things done
- Empathy for people helps you collect more money
- You should be able to deal with critique in a healthy manner
Exit Options for Fundraisers
There are not many exit options for fundraisers.
While you could work as a salesperson or as a digital marketer, there are just not many others jobs out there where the skills you learn as a fundraiser would be needed.
Fundraiser – Similar Careers
- Digital marketer
- Marketing manager
- Working in public relations
- Social media specialist
Fundraiser Career FAQs
Is working as a fundraiser physically demanding?
Working as a fundraiser is not physically demanding most of the time.
While you might have to do some physical work during your campaigns, you will still not have to lift many heavy things like construction workers or other people who work in craftsmen jobs have to do on a regular basis.
Is working as a fundraiser mentally demanding?
Being a fundraiser can be mentally demanding, especially if you focus on digital marketing campaigns and how to optimize them as best as possible.
However, there are still many other jobs out there where you have to use your brain much more and being a fundraiser is still rather relaxed in this regard when you put things into perspective.
Is it dangerous to work as a fundraiser?
Working as a fundraiser is not dangerous at all.
Most of the time, you will just talk to people on the streets or work with a computer and while some people may not be happy about your work, most people will still let you do your job and there will be no need to be afraid of them.
How long do fundraisers stay in their jobs?
Fundraisers often stay in their jobs for quite a long time when they are still young since they can make decent money from what they are doing while they still don’t have much stress at work.
However, once they get older, most fundraisers search for a job in a different field since they want to have higher job security.
Is it easy for fundraisers to find a new job?
It is not that easy for fundraisers to find a new job since this industry is pretty crowded and competition is fierce.
In fact, many people out there want to work as fundraisers while the overall demand of workers needed in this industry is slowly declining.
Hence, once you get fired, you may have a hard time finding a new job as a fundraiser.
Is it hard to switch from being a fundraiser to another field of work?
Since you will not learn many skills needed in the job market right now from your fundraising job, you will also have a pretty hard time finding a job in a different field since not many companies in different industries will be willing to employ you.
Do fundraisers have a high social status?
Fundraisers don’t have a high social status.
Even though they are important to keep social projects running, many people are annoyed by fundraisers and don’t want to talk to them anymore.
Can you help out your family and friends as a fundraiser?
You can help your family and friends with fundraising campaigns in case they want to collect money for social projects and don’t have the expertise to do those projects on their own.
Can fundraisers work remotely?
If you specialize in fundraising online, you will be able to work remotely quite a lot.
However, if you focus on classical fundraising by approaching people in public, you will have to be present in person and it will not be possible for you to work from home.
Is it easy to find a partner as a fundraiser?
Fundraisers will often have a hard time in the dating market since their overall social standing is rather poor and they also have a rather insecure job.
Consequently, it will be hard for you to find someone for a long-term relationship since you will just not be considered a good provider.
Do fundraisers have to work on weekends?
Fundraisers also often have to work on weekends.
In fact, you will have to be quite flexible regarding your schedule since big fundraising events often take place on Saturdays or Sundays and if you are not willing to work during those days, you should not become a fundraiser but rather work in a different job.
Do fundraisers have to work on holidays?
Fundraisers sometimes also have to work on holidays.
Consequently, you should not become a fundraiser if you rather want to spend those special days with your loved ones instead of working.
Do fundraisers have to work at nighttime?
Fundraisers barely have to work at nighttime.
Most of the time, you will just work in a classical 9 to 5 job and if you don’t get things done on one day, you just leave your work behind and continue with your projects the next day.
Do you have to travel as a fundraiser?
You will often also have to travel as a fundraiser.
In fact, you will have to visit many different cities and regions to convince as many people as possible to donate for your projects and if you rather want to stay at home with your family, you should not become a fundraiser but rather work in a classical office job where there will be no need for business trips for most of the year.
Are fundraiser pensions good?
While really good fundraisers can make good money, most fundraisers don’t make that much money and also their pensions are rather poor.
Moreover, fundraisers are often also not able to save and invest enough money for retirement and may suffer from serious financial issues once they get older.
Are fundraiser salaries going up?
Fundraiser salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years since there is just a huge number of people who want to work in this field and there are also no educational barriers to entry.
Consequently, almost everyone can do this job and competition is fierce, which translates into rather low wages and this trend will likely continue in the future.
Can you have a positive impact on society as a fundraiser?
You can have a big positive impact on society as a fundraiser since you will raise awareness of serious problems that need to be addressed and by collecting money for social projects, you can really contribute to making the world a better place.
How long does it take to become a fundraiser?
Since you will not need to go to college, you can start your fundraising career right after finishing high school.
Thus, while many other people have to spend many years on education, you don’t have to worry about that as a fundraiser and can start making money at a rather young age.
Is it difficult to become a fundraiser?
Becoming a fundraiser is not difficult at all.
Since you don’t need fancy formal education, almost everyone can work in this field and if you are really passionate about working as a fundraiser, you will most likely get the chance to work in this industry sooner or later.
Do you need to be smart to work as a fundraiser?
You don’t need to be smart for working as a fundraiser.
What’s much more important is that you have a passion for the projects you advertise to people and that you are also really committed to collect as much money as possible to support social projects.
Do fundraisers have a good work-life balance?
Fundraisers have rather poor work-life balance.
Even though they don’t have to work that many hours, fundraisers still sometimes have to work on weekends and holidays and this can become really annoying and frustrating in the long run since it will be hard for your to make plans for your private life.
Do fundraisers have to work many extra hours?
Fundraisers don’t have to work many extra hours. Instead, you will just do your shift and if you don’t get things done in time, there will be the opportunity to continue to work on your projects the next workday.
How to maximize your chances of becoming a fundraiser?
The more experience you get as a fundraiser at a rather young age, the higher your chances that you develop the skills needed to succeed as a fundraiser in the future.
Hence, you should volunteer or work as an intern for a fundraising institution while you are still in school to get a competitive edge over the competition.
Can fundraisers work part-time?
While students and pensioners often work part-time, you will have to work full-time as a fundraiser if you really want to make a living from what you are doing since your hourly wage will just be too low to only work part-time, especially if you live in an expensive region where living costs and rents are high.
Do fundraisers work indoors or outdoors?
Fundraisers both work indoors as well as outdoors.
Therefore, you should not be afraid of bad weather and if you rather want to work indoors for your entire workday, you should not become a fundraiser but rather go for a classical office job instead.
What does the workplace of a fundraiser look like?
As a fundraiser, you will work in many different locations since you will work on many different campaigns over the course of your career.
Consequently, while you will often be surrounded by many people and you will also often use banners to increase visibility of your projects and to raise awareness of people, it is hard to say what your workplace really looks like for specific projects.
Do you have to look good for working as a fundraiser?
While you don’t necessarily have to look good for working as a fundraiser, it can still help since the better you look, the more people will be willing to talk to you and donate money.
Is a fundraiser career beneficial for your private life?
A fundraising career is not that beneficial for your private life since you will be away from home quite often and you will also frequently work on weekends while you may still not make that much money and will have a rather insecure job.
Consequently, your spouse may start cheating on you sooner or later and may look for a better deal.
Do you need a college degree for becoming a fundraiser?
You don’t need to go to college for working as a fundraiser.
In fact, what’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you have a passion for what you are doing and that you have a strong inner motivation to help others.
Do you need to be certified to work as a fundraiser?
You also don’t need to be certified for working as a fundraiser.
All you need is a high school diploma and passion for what you are doing and you will learn most things you need on the job anyway.
How much does it cost to become a fundraiser?
Since you don’t need to go to college, you also don’t have to spend lots of money on education for becoming a fundraiser.
Instead, you can become a fundraiser at virtually no cost and can start making money at a rather young age.
Is being a fundraiser a good career?
While you can make decent money if you are really good at fundraising, you will still have to work on weekends quite often and you will also have pretty low job security.
In turn, being a fundraiser cannot be considered a really good career when taking all relevant factors into account, even though there might be worse jobs out there.
Is it easy to start your own business as a fundraiser?
It is relatively easy to start your own fundraising business since you would not need to spend lots of money upfront and can just work as one-man or one-woman shop until you grow your business to the next level and will be able to employ employees.
Can fundraisers teach themselves?
Fundraisers are able to teach themselves most things they need on the job.
Consequently, there is no need to get any fancy formal education.
What’s much more important is that you gain experience as early as possible to hone your craft and to get better over time.
Do fundraisers make good money?
While a small minority of fundraisers make really good money, the majority of fundraisers don’t make that much money and some fundraisers are not even able to make a living from what they are doing.
Is it ever too late to become a fundraiser?
It is never too late to become a fundraiser.
Since you don’t need fancy formal education and also don’t have to work in a hard physical manner, you can become a fundraiser at any age.
Do fundraisers have to quit their careers early?
Most fundraisers don’t have to quit their careers early since they don’t have to work in a heavy physical manner in contrast to construction workers, welders or carpenters who often have to stress their bodies at work and may have to quit their careers early due to physical health problems.
What is the most challenging thing about working as a fundraiser?
The most challenging thing about being a fundraiser is that you have to talk to many different people and that you never know how people react.
Moreover, you also need a strong mindset since you will often get rejected and in order to succeed in your job, you should not get discouraged by drawbacks easily.
Can you provide for your family by working as a fundraiser?
While some fundraisers are able to provide for their families, many others will not be able to make enough money and will have a hard time in this regard.
Moreover, most fundraisers only have short-term contracts and continuously have to worry about losing their jobs.
Hence, fundraisers are not good providers and if you want to have a family sooner or later, you may want to work in a different job instead.
Will fundraisers suffer from old-age poverty?
Since many fundraisers will not be able to make really good money from what they are doing, also their pensions will be rather poor.
Consequently, many fundraisers suffer from old-age poverty and may no longer be able to pay rent and other basic expenses once they quit their active careers.
Can fundraisers retire early?
Most fundraisers are not able to retire early since they just don’t make enough money and will therefore have to work until they officially reach retirement age or even longer in case their pension may not be enough to cover their bills.
Do fundraisers get a fixed or variable salary?
Fundraisers often get a mix of fixed and variable salary so that they have the incentive to work hard since the more they work and the better they are at what they are doing, the more fundraisers are able to make from their jobs.
Can you get rich as a fundraiser?
It is almost impossible to get wealthy or even rich as a fundraiser.
Hence, if money is really important to you, you should rather become a doctor or investment banker instead of aspiring to a fundraiser career.
Do fundraisers need a second job?
While some fundraisers are able to make enough money to pay their bills from what they are doing, others may need a second job to cover their expenses, especially if they live in regions where living costs are quite high and a fundraiser salary will not be enough.
Do you get continuous training as a fundraiser?
You don’t get continuous training as a fundraiser.
Instead, you will learn many things on the job and it will be your job to hone your skills and to become really good at what you are doing over time.
Do you get sick pay as a fundraiser?
Most fundraisers don’t get paid in case they get sick.
Therefore, you should always have an emergency fund which you can use to pay your bills in case you get sick and don’t get paid anymore.
Do fundraisers have a high level of responsibility?
Fundraisers have a high level of responsibility since they are crucial to raising awareness of serious global problems and if you do this right, you can really have a big positive impact on the lives of many people.
Can fundraisers work abroad?
Fundraisers are needed all over the world.
Hence, you can also work as a fundraiser in a foreign country as long as you speak the language and are also willing to adapt to new living conditions.
Is it stressful to work as a fundraiser?
Being a fundraiser is not that stressful since you will have lots of freedom regarding how you want to do your job and you will also not have that much time pressure.
However, you will still have lots of emotional pressure since you can never be certain how long you will be able to keep your job and whether you get fired soon or not.
Is it boring to work as a fundraiser?
Working as a fundraiser may also become boring in case you are not really passionate about the projects you advertise.
Thus, really make sure that you want to help other people and that you are also staffed for the right projects so that you can really give it your all and never get bored with what you are doing.
Is being a fundraiser hard?
While working as a fundraiser is not hard from a physical perspective, it can still be tough on an emotional level since you will have to deal with lots of insecurity and will also have to deal with rejection all day long.
Are fundraisers at risk of burnout?
Since fundraisers don’t have that much stress at work, their risk of suffering from burnout will be rather low.
However, if you don’t have the right mindset and snarky comments of others easily bring you down, you may still burn out or may just not get happy with what you are doing in the long run.
Is there a dress code for fundraisers?
There is no dress code for fundraisers.
Quite often, you will be able to decide for yourself what you want to wear and instead of having to wear a fancy suit or a dress, you can wear clothing you feel most comfortable with.
What kind of fundraisers are paid the most?
The more money you collect for your projects, the more you will make as a fundraiser.
Hence, if you really want to make good money, you should be passionate about the projects you advertise and you should also really get good at selling stuff in general.
What percentage of fundraisers are women?
The majority of people who work as fundraisers are women.
In fact, around 70% of all fundraisers are female while only 30% are men. However, you will still have equal chances, independent of what gender you have in this industry.
Do I need a mentor to succeed as a fundraiser?
You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a fundraiser.
However, it can still help if you build strong connections with other fundraisers so that you can support each other on an emotional level during difficult times when you might lose motivation to carry on.
Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a fundraiser?
You will not be personally liable for mistakes you make as a fundraiser most of the time.
However, if you want to be 100% sure in this regard, you should consult a lawyer.
Do fundraisers have a high life expectancy?
Fundraisers have an average life expectancy.
While they don’t have to work in a risky environment, they also don’t make that much money and also their income varies significantly over time.
Consequently, fundraisers may not be able to afford proper medical treatment in case of emergency and may therefore not get the best treatment possible, which in turn lowers life expectancy to a certain extent.
Do fundraisers suffer from sleeping problems?
Since fundraisers don’t have to work at nighttime, they are also not at risk of suffering from sleeping problems related to their jobs since they can maintain a healthy sleeping rhythm.
What states are best for working as a fundraiser?
If you want to succeed as a fundraiser, you should be working in states where people have lots of money to spend.
For instance, big cities in New York or California are great places in this regard.
Who do fundraisers work with?
Fundraisers work with many new people on a regular basis.
Hence, you should be an open and outgoing person if you want to succeed and stay happy as a fundraiser in the long run.
Is working as a fundraiser cool?
Working as a fundraiser is not considered cool by the majority of the general public.
However, if you still really want to work in this field, you should just give it a try no matter whether your friends may understand your decision or not.
Can you start a side hustle as a fundraiser?
It is pretty hard to start a side hustle as a fundraiser since you will not have much time and will often also lack the skills necessary to do so.
Do you have to be creative as a fundraiser?
Being creative really helps to succeed as a fundraiser since you will often have to spontaneously find answers to questions of people and if you are not creative, your answers may just be lame and people may not be willing to donate for your projects.
Do fundraisers suffer from being overweight?
Since fundraisers are on the road quite often, they will also get enough exercise and if you eat healthily, chances are that you will not have a big problem with overweight as a fundraiser.
How employable are fundraisers?
Classical fundraisers are not that employable anymore since the attention of people is in the digital world right now and it will be hard to convince people to donate to your projects in person.
Consequently, many fundraising jobs may vanish in the near future since most of the work will be done by digital marketers who really understand who to optimize those digital campaigns for maximum success.
Are fundraisers happy with their jobs?
While fundraisers are often passionate about what they are doing since they really want to make the world a better place, many of them still complain about overall working conditions since they don’t have high job security and also have to be flexible when it comes to working on weekends.
Is working as a fundraiser exciting?
Working as a fundraiser is not that exciting.
Even though you will meet many new people, you will still do the same work over and over again and this may become really exhausting in the long run.
Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a fundraiser?
You can have a positive impact on our environment as a fundraiser since you can start campaigns that are targeted to protecting our planet and to make the world a better place in general.
What are the pros and cons of working as a fundraiser?
If you are still interested in becoming a fundraiser, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a fundraiser career.
Interviews and own research.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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