Charity and voluntary sector careers for graduates: fundraising.

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Charity fundraisers focus on raising money for their organisation from corporations, statutory bodies, major donors, individuals and other sources. In large charities there are fundraising staff dedicated to each potential source of income (major gifts, foundations, sponsorship etc) while in smaller organisations a fundraiser will oversee a number of areas. Fundraising is an extremely professional, focused and strategic function within any charity and there is constant competition between charities to offer innovative fundraising ideas to the public and to target new sources of funds.

The role of fundraiser is to increase contributions to a charity by building relationships and developing new and effective fundraising ideas such as grant applications, sponsorship and donations.

Much of the day-to-day work is involved directly with fundraising, for example identifying and investigating opportunities for new funding initiatives; making contact with potential donors; and developing long term relationships with benefactors. However, there are also connected administrative and financial tasks, along with some marketing and PR work.

While there are no specific entry requirements to work as a fundraiser, it is definitely an area where people tend to ‘work their way up’. Graduate job titles could include development officer and fundraising co-ordinator.

If you are serious about pursuing a career in fundraising it is probably best to focus on the large national and international charities. The Irish market is very small so you should consider mainland UK for opportunities.

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