Obtaining a Career as a Fundraising Consultant

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Fundraising is at the very base of any non-profit organizations and offers lucrative career opportunities in this field. A capable fundraising consultant can make a significant difference to the amount of funds that can be raised. Fundraising efforts requires strategic planning which is based on the advice provided by a fundraising consultant. A fundraising consultant is an independent contractor and does not necessarily work just for one company.

Responsibilities of a Fundraising Consultant

A fundraising consultant needs to carry out the tasks that require development and implementation of fundraising ideas, strategies and modes to acquire capital. As a consultant, your key responsibility is to give advice on how to raise funds and directly report to the board of directors or even the director. You should make strategies to raise funds for various purposes, like budget deficit, budget operation or similar programs.

As a fundraising consultant, you will also sometimes need to meet well-known personalities with the aim of raising funds for the organization you are working for. The organization's executive director will brief you about goals, budgets, timelines etc. for capital fundraising events and also to have an idea of the expectations from different fundraisers. These criteria are important, as based on these a consultant is supposed to carry out research to shortlist sources of funding i.e. inclusive of contributors, grants, donors, foundations, corporate contributors etc.

Fundraising plans, irrespective of whether they are short term or long term need to be devised by the consultant. You need to get the plan of action approved from the organization's head. As a consultant, it is your responsibility to monitor the work of other fundraising staff and be involved with the recruitment process. You also need to conduct training sessions on various key aspects of fundraising and how to do it successfully. As a fundraising consultant, you will also be in charge of the creation of various promotional materials.

Being a consultant is all about assessing the company properly. You have to make appropriate analysis, evaluation and study of your organization and its present fundraising strategies and efforts. First, you got to analyze the organization's readiness and ability towards fundraising to ensure success of your fundraising ideas and strategies.

There are other responsibilities that require basic computer knowledge so that you can construct a database or spreadsheet to keep all the records, regarding expenditures, budget etc. You also require keeping track of important information and details about various donors in the database.

Education and Skill Sets of a Fundraising Consultant

Like many other job requirements to become a fundraising consultant there is no basic requirement of a degree. But there are some practical requirements in this field. Anyone having sufficient knowledge in this field can apply for the job. A fundraising consultant must know the working of charitable organizations and various reasons why donations are made. They must have great professional record and experience in raising funds, strategizing funds, etc.

To get job opportunities as a fundraising consultant you must possess excellent communication and negotiation skills. Sales and marketing skills will be an added advantage. You must be capable of networking with and maintain contacts with important people. Apart from these you must be able to analyze and strategize to devise fundraising technique and methods.

As a fundraising consultant, you must also have exceptional ability to solve problems, make decisions and do analytical thinking. As a communicator, you must be good in both verbal and non verbal communication, along with excellence in writing ability. And finally, you must also be able to manage budgets and finances.

Anyone who wants to become a fundraising consultant needs to have expertise in this field. Candidates with a great professional record and experience in raising funds, strategizing funds etc. for an organization with a similar scope and size are preferred.

Future of Fundraising Consultants

The job prospects as a fundraising consultant are bright, as non-profit organizations and companies are on the rise, providing them with great expectations and promises for all aspiring consultants.

A fundraising consultant gets an average salary of around $41,000. It has been estimated that this by 2016, this field will have a growth of 13% because of demographic and also social shifts, resulting in a demand increase of social services and similar agencies.

A career as a fundraising consultant is surely rewarding. And if you are a humanitarian then you would be more than satisfied to work with organizations, making a significant difference. There are many companies and organizations that employ fundraising efforts that are within the set up. But there are few who believe in strategize planning and therefore they employ fundraising consultants who fulfill such responsibilities. Someone who really wants to prosper as a consultant should have knowledge about the working and nature of charitable organizations. You must also know the basics of fundraising and find reasons to get donations.
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