Besides marketing skills, fund raisers are required to possess managerial skills to inspire those who are soliciting funds. They are also required to possess knowledge of various tax laws and finance which helps to a great extent in explaining the benefits of contributions to the potential contributor.
Mostly the fund raisers acquire their skills while working as volunteers in fund-raising campaigns. Most fundraisers possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree. There are some Colleges that offer courses directly related to fundraising. College preparatory courses in social studies, foreign language, Mathematics, and English are also beneficial. Psychology, speech, statistics, accounting, and marketing are some other college courses that are very useful for a successful fund-raiser. Quite frequently seminars and workshops are also conducted by professional societies to explain the latest techniques in the field of fund-raising.
Salaries and benefits of fund raisers determined by the experience they have and the complexity associated with the fund raising campaigns. Fund raisers working in the northeastern states tend to get high salaries. The annual median salary for fund raising managers in the year 2004 was $60,259. Fund raisers who have less experience normally earn $40,000 to $50,000 in a year while the others who have long experience may earn $90,000 or more in a year.
According to the estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, persons employed in grant making organizations had an average hourly earning of $15.81 as against $16.76 per hour to the workers in private industry in the year 2006. The lower earning indicates that there is a large population working in entry level or part time jobs. During the year 2006, the weekly earning in civic and social organizations was $232 which was very low compared to all workers in private industry who earned $568 in a week. Salaries at entry level are determined by education, experience, budget, location of the association, and the size.
Working hours of fund raisers are generally irregular and involve working nights and weekends. They are required to travel extensively particularly when campaigning at a national level. A fund raiser must have the capability to work with all kinds of people and to work under pressure.
Career advancement possibilities of an experienced fund raiser go to the level of directors of fund raising programs; a few may opt to launch their own firms while other few may become heads of consulting companies. There are a few fund raisers who would like to seek more demanding positions in high profile organizations.
As per prediction of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of grant making or fundraising is expected to increase 13 percent during the decade from 2006 to 2016 as against industries projected combined growth of 11 percent growth. A rapid increase in elderly population will enhance the requirement of home health and nursing home care. Besides this high rate of divorce, there are also a higher number of out-of-wedlock births. Ethnic and cultural diversity will contribute to the growth of employment in the grant making or fundraising field.
It is expected from the state and the local government normally to make provisions for all these services, but due to lack of resources, these governments will turn to grant making or fundraising so that effective social services could be provided.
These fund raisers may work on a consulting basis or as full time for any institution. The firms that specialize in providing these services often take services of consultants. These consultants some times are associated with various small scale fund drives. Generally the colleges, big hospitals, national level charity organizations and colleges and universities employ full time fund raisers while consultants are employed by politicians for shorter periods.
Fund raisers can seek job opportunities in hospitals, charities, and consulting companies that are involved in fund-raising activities. A beginner can have a start as an assistant fund raiser. The public relations field is closely related to the fund raising field. Listings of entry level jobs in fund raising can be searched on the internet, newspaper classifieds, government and private employment agencies, and college placement offices.