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Nonprofit Jobs: Training to be a Fundraiser at a Nonprofit Organization

By James Collister on January 30th, 2009
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Non Profit FundraisersNonprofit organizations, neither a part of business or government, exist to further a cause rather than to make profits. Nonprofit agencies make no profits, but they still require financial resources to carry out necessary activities and programs. For students interested in pursuing nonprofit organization jobs, the position of fundraiser is one of many opportunities.

What is a Fundraiser?

The nonprofit job opportunity of fundraiser is one that encompasses seeking out money for the agency. It involves developing relationships with potential donors, hosting special events to raise awareness for the cause and solicit donations, requesting long-term regular gifts and bequests, writing grant letters, and directing phone and mail campaigns. In large organizations, there may be five financial nonprofit jobs that specialize in each of these categories of giving.

What Does a Fundraiser Do on a Daily Basis?

Nonprofit jobs in the area of large gift giving focus on researching potential donors and building relationships. Fundraisers may arrange for special gifts for major donors, such as putting his or her name on a building or giving tickets to a performance. The professional who secures the nonprofit job opportunity of planned giving also establishes relationships and stays current on tax, gift, and estate law in order to help donors receive the best tax benefits for their donations.

Other fundraising nonprofit jobs focus on event planning. Event coordinators have very detailed work, including everything from sending out invitations to planning the particulars of the event. Another detailed nonprofit job opportunity is directing campaigns. The mail campaign director may write a letter explaining the mission of the organization and asking for donations. The campaign director may also buy lists of names from marketing companies in order to better target the potential donor. He or she is then in charge of recording financial donations and sending out thank you notes.

Grant writing is another possibility in fundraising nonprofit organization jobs. A professional who has secured the nonprofit job opportunity of grant writer researches potential granters and submits a written proposal explaining the organization’s financial needs. A grant writer may also engage in relationship building by meeting with potential granters to increase a proposal’s chance of success.

What Education is Required to be a Fundraiser?

Although no specific education is required to hold fundraising nonprofit jobs, most fundraisers have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, a bachelor’s degree in public relations, or a bachelor’s degree in English. Many schools are now offering specialized degrees that focus on nonprofit management. Capella University offers a Master of Science in Human Services in Management of Nonprofit Agencies as well as a PhD in Human Services in Management of Nonprofit Agencies.

It also helps to have office experience in a nonprofit agency before beginning a nonprofit job search. Learning the ins and outs of the organization and observing fundraising activities is often the best preparation for landing a desirable nonprofit job opportunity in fundraising.

What Qualities are Necessary for Success as a Fundraiser?

Fundraising nonprofit jobs require a professional to be outgoing, confident, and service-oriented. Effective verbal and written communication skills are also a must as fundraisers must interact with potential donors and draft grant proposals and mail campaign letters. Finally, fundraising nonprofit jobs require individuals who are persuasive and not shy. Asking for money from a donor requires courage and the ability to explain why the organization’s cause merits a financial donation.

Students who are interested in nonprofit organization jobs may contact Capella University for more information. College-Pages.com also has an extensive list of available programs and education resources.

Category: Business and Management,Careers and Employment


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