Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Summary

public relations managers image
Public relations and fundraising managers plan campaigns to raise donations or improve the public image of their clients.
Quick Facts: Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
2012 Median Pay $95,450 per year
$45.89 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 years or more
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 62,100
Job Outlook, 2012-22 13% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 8,000

What Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Do

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Work Environment

Public relations and fundraising managers generally work in offices during regular business hours. However, many must travel to give speeches and meet with individuals who are important to their organization. Many work more than 40 hours per week.

How to Become a Public Relations or Fundraising Manager

Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience is also necessary.

Pay

The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers was $95,450 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of public relations and fundraising managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of public relations managers will be driven by the need for organizations to maintain their public image in a high-information age and with the growth of social media. The need to raise funds for non-profit organizations will require more fundraising managers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of public relations and fundraising managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about public relations and fundraising managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Do

public relations managers image
Public relations and fundraising managers plan an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, and media outlets.

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Duties

Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Develop their organization's or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Fundraising managers typically do the following:

  • Manage progress towards achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Create and plan different events that can generate donations
  • Meet face-to-face with highly important donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Public relations managers review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve the image of their organization or client.

Public relations managers help to clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm's image based on those trends. For example, in response to a growing concern about the environment, the public relations manager for an oil company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop cleaner fuels.

In large organizations, public relations managers often supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They also work with advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray. For example, if a firm decides to emphasize its appeal to a certain group, such as young people, the public relations manager needs to make sure that current advertisements are well received by that group.

In addition, public relations managers may handle internal communications, such as company newsletters, and may help financial managers produce an organization’s reports. They may also help the organization’s top executives by drafting speeches, arranging interviews, and maintaining other forms of public contact.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists to report the facts accurately. In some cases, the information they write has legal consequences. As a result, they must work with the company's or client's lawyers to be sure that the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns and events intended to bring in donations for their organization. Many organizations that employ fundraisers rely heavily on the donations they gather in order to run their operations.

Fundraising managers usually decide which fundraising techniques are necessary in a certain situation. Common techniques may include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, or major gifts.

Those who work on annual campaigns focus heavily on contacting donors who have given in the past, and request that they give again. Finding new contacts for future donations is also a component of a successful annual campaign.

Capital campaigns are different; they are generally used to raise money over a shorter time period and for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraisers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will.

Major gifts are a feature of many different campaigns and are generally requested personally given the large value of the potential donation.

Work Environment

Public relations managers
Public relations managers and specialists work in fairly high-stress environments, often managing and organizing several events at the same time.

Public relations and fundraising managers held about 62,100 jobs in 2012.

The industries that employed the most public relations and fundraising managers in 2012 were as follows:

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations24%
Educational services; state, local, and private17
Health care and social assistance9
Advertising, public relations, and related services8
Management of companies and enterprises8

Public relations and fundraising managers usually work in offices during regular business hours. However, many must travel to deliver speeches and attend meetings and community activities.

They work in high-stress environments, often managing and organizing several events at the same time.

Work Schedules

Most public relations and fundraising managers work full time, which often includes long hours. About 2 in 5 managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

How to Become a Public Relations or Fundraising Manager

public relations managers image
A bachelor’s degree and years of work experience are typically needed for public relations or fundraising manager positions.

Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.

Education

For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, public relations managers can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on years of experience and must pass an exam to become certified.

The Accredited Business Communicator credential is also available from the International Association of Business Communicators.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is voluntary, but fundraisers who pursue certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. To qualify, candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising and have 80 hours of continuing education through conference attendance and classroom instruction. To keep their certification valid, fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such as public relations specialist or fundraiser.

Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience, whereas directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts and donors.

Leadership skills. Public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities.

Organizational skills. Public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Managers sometimes must explain how the company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to explain the organization’s position clearly.

Writing skills. Managers must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them succinctly in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.

Pay

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Median annual wages, May 2012

Public relations and fundraising managers

$95,450

Management occupations

$93,910

Total, all occupations

$34,750

 

The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers was $95,450 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,630, and the top 10 percent earned more than $180,480.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for public relations and fundraising managers in the top five industries in which these managers worked were as follows:

Advertising, public relations, and related services$119,500
Management of companies and enterprises111,030
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional,
and similar organizations
93,580
Educational services; state, local, and private87,730
Health care and social assistance78,590

Most public relations and fundraising managers work full time, which often includes long hours. About 2 in 5 managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

Job Outlook

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Public relations and fundraising managers

13%

Total, all occupations

11%

Management occupations

7%

 

Employment of public relations and fundraising managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As online social media increases the speed at which news travels, public relations managers will be needed to address good and bad news for their organization or client.

Organizations continue to emphasize community outreach and customer relations as a way to enhance their reputation and visibility. Public opinion can change quickly, particularly as news spreads rapidly through the Internet. Consequently, managers will be needed to coordinate and help respond to news developments in order to maintain their organization’s reputation.

Fundraising managers are expected to become increasingly important for organizations (such as colleges and universities) that depend heavily on donations, as state funding for these institutions has fallen. More nonprofit organizations are focusing on cultivating an online presence and are increasingly using social media for fundraising activities.

Social media has created a new avenue for fundraising managers to connect with potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Job Prospects

Competition for public relations and fundraising manager jobs is expected to be very strong.

Competition for jobs for public relations managers should be toughest at businesses that have large media exposure and also at the most prestigious public relations firms.

Job prospects for fundraising managers should be best for those with a master’s degree in philanthropic studies or fundraising. These degree programs lead to experience in the industry, giving graduates an advantage over those who do not have such experience.

Employment projections data for Public Relations and Fundraising Managers, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Public relations and fundraising managers

11-2031 62,100 70,100 13 8,000 [XLS]

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of public relations and fundraising managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2012 MEDIAN PAY
Advertising sales agents

Advertising Sales Agents

Advertising sales agents sell advertising space to businesses and individuals. They contact potential clients, make sales presentations, and maintain client accounts.

High school diploma or equivalent $46,290
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Bachelor’s degree $115,750
Craft and fine artists

Craft and Fine Artists

Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles or other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.

High school diploma or equivalent $44,380
fundraisers image

Fundraisers

Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other donations for an organization. They may design promotional materials and increase awareness of an organization’s work, goals, and financial needs.

Bachelor’s degree $50,680
Market research analysts

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

Bachelor’s degree $60,300
Multimedia artists and animators

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Bachelor’s degree $61,370
public relations specialists image

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.

Bachelor’s degree $54,170
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Public Relations and Fundraising Managers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm (visited November 28, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014