Generosity is on the rise, according to The Nonprofit Times. Compared with 2020, 2021 saw a 6% increase in dollars donated by Americans, as well as a 10% increase in the overall number of donors. Unfortunately, not all nonprofits, schools, and charities benefit equally from these philanthropic trends.
Many organizations depend on such donations to continue their services and positively impact the communities they serve. A fundraising manager is vital to these endeavors, coordinating fundraising efforts to maximize outreach and help organizations achieve their financial goals.
If you’re seeking a unique role in the business management world and want to use management skills and core business practices to help notable causes, charities, schools, or nonprofits, a position in fundraising may be right for you. Fundraising can be a rewarding field for those who have a degree in management and leadership, as well as interests in philanthropy.
Fundraising Manager Job Description
Fundraising managers are in charge of developing and managing campaigns that bring in donations from various sources. This can include a number of different responsibilities, such as identifying and interacting with potential donors through connection strategies ranging from fundraising events to crowdsourcing campaigns to public relations. They may also apply for grants and provide stakeholders (including executives and organizational leaders) with regular updates on their fundraising progress.
Core Duties and Responsibilities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the basic responsibilities of the fundraising manager might include:
- Developing and executing fundraising strategies
- Fostering ongoing relationships with donors
- Providing updates or checking in with regular or recurring supporters
- Planning and hosting fundraising events
- Assigning tasks and supervising the progress of staff members
What Are the Skills of a Fundraising Manager?
Aspiring fundraising managers should develop a number of vital skills that apply to both the management and fundraising aspects of the role. Some of the most consequential of these skills include:
- Writing and speaking skills. Fundraising managers should clearly convey why the project, cause, or organization is worthwhile. They may also need to field questions about the use of the collected funds. Writing skills are also essential for drafting grant proposals or corresponding with donors.
- Project management and organizational skills. A skilled fundraiser may have to hit certain goals or milestones, progress down a fundraising timeline, or fulfill small steps — such as events — on the way toward achieving broader goals. The ability to organize and manage these milestones is integral to their completion and success.
- Creative problem-solving skills. Fundraising management professionals may need to exhibit outside-the-box thinking as they seek new, more effective ways to get the word out about their project or cause — or to attract new financial donations.
- Interpersonal skills. Fundraisers will likely have face-to-face meetings with big donors or recurring supporters, expressing their gratitude, answering questions, and maintaining ongoing support.
- Financial acumen. Fundraisers may also undertake basic financial management, bookkeeping, and accounting tasks to ensure that they are accurately tracking their fundraising progress.
- Leadership skills. The person in charge of fundraising may lead teams of employees, which requires vision casting, task delegation, administration, and other leadership competencies.
Ultimately, fundraising success hinges on an ability to manage teams and projects internally while also ensuring that funds and donations come in regularly. Prospective fundraising managers can cultivate many of these skills in advanced management and leadership programs.
What Is the Fundraising Manager Salary?
According to PayScale, the median annual fundraising manager salary was approximately $55,000 as of October 2021. Salaries for this role range from $40,000 among the lowest 10% of earners to $76,000 among the highest 10%.
Factors That Impact Fundraising Manager Salary Range
A number of factors affect the basic salary expectations in this profession. Some examples include:
- Years of experience. More seasoned fundraising professionals can attain higher salaries.
- Education level. Those who have advanced academic backgrounds in management, leadership, finance, or other fields may have higher salaries.
- Type of employer. Some nonprofits and schools are simply able to pay higher salaries to their management team members. This can also vary based on the industry.
- Geographic location. Salaries can also vary depending on geography, in keeping with the local cost of living.
The BLS categorizes fundraising managers alongside public relations managers. Its data projects a 13% increase in jobs for public relations and fundraising managers between 2020 and 2030, which represents slightly faster-than-average growth.
A Rewarding Job That Helps Others
The role of the fundraising manager can allow you to practice disciplines from the worlds of leadership and business management in the service of altruism, philanthropy, and nonprofit support. With the right management skills, you can help important organizations improve their finances and foster ongoing donor relationships.
With 100% online coursework, a well-rounded curriculum, and eight different concentrations, Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership can help you learn real-world skills for management and fundraising in your industry. Discover how you can become a successful fundraising professional with Maryville University.
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The Fundraising Effectiveness Project, “Americans Give Generously and More People Give — But Not All Nonprofits Benefit”
Houston Chronicle, “What Are the Most Important Goals of a Fundraising Coordinator?”
National Council of Nonprofits, Fundraising
The Nonprofit Times, “Study: First Quarter 2021 Beat 2020”
O*Net Online, Fundraising Manager
PayScale, Average Fundraising Manager Salary
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations and Fundraising Managers