The position of the fundraising director is a highly competitive position that requires a high level of creativity. He should be at minimum a College Graduate having experience in the related field. He is required to have strong communication and computer skills. The job requirements of many of these professions include managing, supervising, coordinating, and training others, like accountants, human resource managers, teachers, police detectives, computer programmers, and chemists.
The position of the director of fundraising calls for a four years bachelor's degree although not necessarily for all these job titles. Two to four experiences in related work is required for this occupation. Persons having a master's degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing get an edge over others. Courses in management, accounting, finance, statistics, mathematics, and economics also give benefit in the long run.
A fundraising director is expected to be familiar with computer operations, like word processing and database applications. Computer skills are of vital importance, particularly for marketing and advertisement about the project through the Internet which has become nowadays a significant method in this field. The ability to communicate in foreign languages spreads many new avenues of marketing and enhances the job opportunities globally.
The required knowledge of a fundraising director includes a good knowledge of English and customer and personal services. He should have a good grip on the principals and methods of showing, selling, and promoting products and services and making others convinced of the purpose of the institution he is working in.
A director of fundraising should be highly motivated, creative, and mature. He should be capable to resist stress and make appropriate decisions with a flexible approach. The high ability of persuasive communication both written as well as oral with all strata of people, managers, and staff is highly desirable in the field of fundraising. Fundraising professionals should have an exceptional ability to establish and maintain effective personal relationships with all their professional and supervisory staff members and the contributors/client's firm.
In larger organizations many of the responsibilities relating to fundraising like sales, marketing, advertising, marketing strategy, pricing, product development, and public relations are performed by different persons; but in smaller size institutions, all these responsibilities are performed single handedly by the director of fundraising itself.
A fundraising director has to work under pressure meeting the deadlines and goals of the institution and the project he is associated with. His job involves substantial travel. He has to attend meetings sponsored by associations or industries. At times he has to travel to meet with government officials or special-interest groups. He has to maintain continuous liaison with media and clients. As per assessment, during the year 2006, two thirds of such professionals worked about 40 hours a week.
Salary levels for fundraising professionals vary significantly depending upon the managerial responsibilities they perform, their length of service, academic qualifications, and the size and location of the institution they are working in and the industry. As per the Nonprofit Times Annual Salary Survey, the average total compensation in 2006 to a director of volunteers who usually receive a salary was $41,894. The job responsibilities of a fundraising director are almost similar to that of Public Relations Manager. The median annual earnings of a Public Relations Manager in May 2006 were $82,180.
Growth as fast as the average of occupations has been estimated, but there is likely to be keen competition for these highly coveted jobs. Employment growth in fundraising is expected to be 12 percent through 2016. There were 583,000 jobs of advertising, marketing, promotions, sales managers, public relations, or fundraising managers in the year 2006 of which 50,000 were public relations managers/fund raising managers.
It may be mentioned that the zoo also provides good opportunity for the career of fundraising professionals. The working place of a Zoologist is normally the Zoo where he works as director, curator, or zookeeper. The responsibility of the director includes fund raising besides public relations. The Curator is responsible for supervisory functions of the zoo and acquires animals while the zookeeper's responsibility includes the daily looking after of the animals in the zoo. There is an increasing trend of working in the areas of protection & preservation of species, their conservation, and breeding. There are 18,000 persons involved in the profession of Zoologist. The average growth of employment opportunities for zoologist is expected to be as fast as the average of all other jobs.
The potential places where job opportunities for fundraising professionals exist include charities, hospitals, and consulting companies, and in government social services departments.