Inside Fundraiser Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Event Planner: "The best part is getting to go to the events that we hold for free and meeting all of the cool people who attend them. I like knowing that my job helps others as well. It makes me feel good to know that I get to do fun things on a daily basis and then help others in the process. The worst part is that because it's a non-profit, the pay isn't great. Fortunately, that negative is off-set by a positive - the environment is really casual and the hours are really flexible." (2011)

Development Associate: "The best part of my job is the ability to be doing something that helps fund, and move forward the efforts of, an organization that I believe in and admire the work of. MRT produces the highest quality of theatre that I've seen in the area and it means a lot to me to be a part of the "inner workings" that help this organization continue doing what it does and does so well. The harder part of my job is that it can get tedious. There is a lot of paperwork and filing involved, by virtue of that it can get a bit boring at times, but for the most part it is an extremely positive and rewarding position." (2011)

Executive-Fund Raising: "The best part of the work is that you are the lifeline of the organization, because if there are no funds, people cannot work there. The staff cannot be paid. Hence I like the job because I get a lot of respect. But what I do not like is that it makes you very responsible and accountable. Taking leave is a big problem. You also have to make your donor agencies happy all the time, which can also be a headache." (2011)

Career Background


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  How to Prepare for the Job
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Career Tips

"Get Involved...
1. Take as many internships as you can - it looks good to employers to have experience, even it might not seem completely relevant. 2. See if you can volunteer at non-profit events. Non-profits like the free labor, you get to attend a cool event for free, and you get your foot in the door. 3. Attend events just to get some ideas." (Event Planner; 2011)

"Know The Organization Well...
Get to know the organization you are trying to work for. My experience with the company before moving in to my present job was invaluable to me in terms of my advancement and knowledge base to succeed in my current position. As an example, I started with the theatre in the Box Office answering phones, making ticket orders and doing exchanges. Being able to deal with the subscribers on a "one to one" basis really helped with my knowledge of them as donors when moving in to Development." (Development Associate; 2011)

"Maintain Strong Communication With Donors...
1. Do not miss any opportunities for attending workshops or seminars. You get to meet lots of people and learn new things. 2. Be in constant connection with the donor agencies and update them regularly. It really helps. 3. If you are not good at PowerPoint presentations or Excel sheets, work on it." (Executive-Fund Raising; 2011)