How to Become a Charity Fundraiser…
Without wanting to starting this article by stating the obvious, the name of this job, gives away the key responsibility of the role pretty well. Working for a Charity, it is your role to raise funds for the charity itself. Comprendez? It’s your job to raise as much cash as possible and also at the same time raise as much awareness and good PR as possible on the good work of the charity and why they need funding in the first place.
There are various types of fundraiser roles, but in this post we are going to focus on how to become a Charity Fundraiser specifically. Like most fundraising roles, you will raise money from various avenues and sources including from the community, from events, from donations, from corporate sponsorship and local organisations. Depending on the role and the size of the charity – you may be responsible for raising money from one or all of the above sources.
You might even consider trying to convince others to donate a boat for charity, as some organisations have had success with this method. The basic idea is that when individuals donate an unneeded item, such as a boat, the item can then be sold at auction with the proceeds going to charity. The person who makes the donation then receives a tax deduction. This is often a much easier method of securing donations because people are often hesitant to part with their hard-earned cash.
This is a role where degree level qualifications may aid any application you make and having a degree is accepted as popular shortlisting criteria for this type of position. Having a specific type of degree or HND will also help – such as in marketing, business administration, event management, or even a tailored qualification specific to charity work.
A role as a Charity Fundraiser can be in some areas quite common – but these type of roles are often based around major cities or towns and therefore if you are based in a more rural area, it may be that opportunities are rather limited unless you want to work for a local and small concern.
However irrespective of location and also irrespective of qualification – you really need to build up some valuable and relevant work experience to aid any job application you make in this sector.
As highlighted above, degree or otherwise, it is the experience you have on your CV that will really make the important difference if you are applying for this type of role.
The most obvious way to gain experience in this voluntary dependent job sector, is to do just that – volunteer and gain valuable, on the job experience. The more experience you have in various capacities working for different charitable and community organisations, the more knowledge you will also gain in understanding the sector and the challenges and opportunities that they face.
Having said that, volunteering experience and little else will not mean you are immediately specifically employable for a charity fundraising role, but will at least help you get your foot in the door. It may mean you are deemed suitable for an assistant fundraising or events assistant role within the charity sector.
If you are looking to jump straight into a charity fundraising role, but don’t fancy working your way up the ladder, then any previous positions in events, marketing, business development, recruitment and so on, will certainly match to this type of role.
If you are reading this and still in education, don’t wait too long before you consider ways of getting practical work experience. Apart from volunteering, you could try getting a work placement or internship with a charity and of course making the most of the opportunity that it gives you too.
For this role many generic employability skills are required. Good communication, presentation and written skills are essential – as is the ability to organise, administer and plan your diary and workload in an effective way. This is a role where you will be on occasion managing others, managing events and managing deadlines so you need to have good people management skills and the ability to work well under pressure.
On top of these more ‘generic’ skills, a passion for doing good work and more specifically an interest and genuine desire to make a real social impact in the charity field you work in will really aid any application you make.
Still fancy a career as a Charity Fundraiser? Good luck!! We hope these basic tips help you along the way…
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