Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fundraisers

fundraisers image
Fundraisers plan and oversee campaigns and events to raise money and other donations for an organization.
Quick Facts: Fundraisers
2020 Median Pay $59,610 per year
$28.66 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2020 101,300
Job Outlook, 2020-30 16% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2020-30 16,100

Summary

What Fundraisers Do

Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization.

Work Environment

Fundraisers work primarily for nonprofit organizations, including educational institutions, religious organizations, health research foundations, social services organizations, and political campaigns. Most work full time.

How to Become a Fundraiser

Fundraisers typically need a bachelor’s degree and strong communication and organizational skills. Employers generally prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Pay

The median annual wage for fundraisers was $59,610 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 12,000 openings for fundraisers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for fundraisers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of fundraisers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

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

What Fundraisers Do

fundraisers image
Fundraisers must create a strong fundraising message that appeals to potential donors.

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

Duties

Fundraisers typically do the following:

  • Research prospective donors
  • Create a strong fundraising message that appeals to potential donors
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Use online platforms to raise donations
  • Organize campaigns or events to solicit donations
  • Maintain records of donor information
  • Evaluate the success of previous fundraising events
  • Train volunteers in fundraising procedures and practices
  • Ensure that all legal reporting requirements are satisfied

Fundraisers plan and oversee campaigns and events to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization. They ensure that campaigns are effective by researching potential donors and examining records of those who have given in the past.

Fundraisers who work for political campaigns must be knowledgeable about campaign finance laws, such as the contribution limits of an individual giving to a specific candidate.

The following are examples of types of fundraisers:

Annual campaign fundraisers solicit donations once a year for their organization. Many nonprofit organizations have annual giving campaigns.

Capital campaign fundraisers raise money for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university. Capital campaigns also raise money for renovations and the creation or expansion of an endowment.

Major-gifts fundraisers specialize in face-to-face interaction with donors who can give large amounts.

Planned-giving fundraisers solicit donations from those who are looking to pledge money at a future date or in installments over time. These fundraisers must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will.

Work Environment

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Fundraisers spend much of their time communicating with potential donors.

Fundraisers held about 101,300 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of fundraisers were as follows:

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 40%
Educational services; state, local, and private 25
Healthcare and social assistance 16
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 4
Administrative and support services 3

Most fundraisers raise funds for an organization which employs them directly, although some fundraisers work for consulting firms that have many clients.

Fundraisers spend much of their time communicating with other employees and potential donors, either in person, on the phone, or through email.

Some fundraisers may need to travel to locations where fundraising events are held. Events may include charity runs, walks, galas, and dinners.

Work Schedules

Most fundraisers work full time. Some attend fundraising events on nights and weekends, possibly requiring additional hours.

How to Become a Fundraiser

fundraisers image
Fundraisers typically need a bachelor's degree and strong communication skills.

Fundraisers typically need a bachelor’s degree and strong communication and organizational skills. Employers generally prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Although fundraisers have a variety of academic backgrounds, employers typically prefer a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Degrees in other subjects also may be acceptable.

Other Experience

Internships and previous work experience are important in obtaining a paid position as a fundraiser. Many fundraising campaigns rely on volunteers having face-to-face or over-the-phone interaction with potential donors. It is important for the fundraiser who organizes the campaign to have experience with this type of work.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Laws vary by state, but many states require some types of fundraisers to register with a state authority. Check with your state for more information.

Advancement

Fundraisers can advance to fundraising manager positions. However, some manager positions may also require a master’s degree, in addition to years of work experience as a fundraiser.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Fundraisers need strong communication skills to clearly explain the message and goals of their organization so that people will make donations.

Detail oriented. Fundraisers must be detail oriented because they deal with large volumes of data, including lists of people’s names and phone numbers, and must comply with state and federal regulations. Failing to do so may result in penalties.

Interpersonal skills. Fundraisers need strong interpersonal skills to develop and maintain relationships with donors. 

Organizational skills. Fundraisers manage large campaigns and events. They must have strong planning and organizational skills in order to succeed.

Pay

Fundraisers

Median annual wages, May 2020

Business operations specialists

$71,450

Fundraisers

$59,610

Total, all occupations

$41,950

 

The median annual wage for fundraisers was $59,610 in May 2020. 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 $34,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $103,320.

In May 2020, the median annual wages for fundraisers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Educational services; state, local, and private $65,220
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 58,360
Administrative and support services 57,850
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 55,810
Healthcare and social assistance 54,840

Most fundraisers work full time. Some attend fundraising events on nights and weekends, possibly requiring additional hours.

Job Outlook

Fundraisers

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Fundraisers

16%

Business operations specialists

9%

Total, all occupations

8%

 

Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 12,000 openings for fundraisers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Employment growth will be driven by the continued need of nonprofit organizations to collect donations in order to run their operations.

Many nonprofit organizations are focusing on cultivating an online presence and are increasingly using social media for fundraising activities. As a result, social media platforms have created new avenues for fundraisers to connect with potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Employment projections data for fundraisers, 2020-30

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

Occupational Title

Fundraisers

SOC Code13-1131
Employment, 2020101,300
Projected Employment, 2030117,500
Percent Change, 2020-3016
Numeric Change, 2020-3016,100
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of fundraisers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2020 MEDIAN PAY
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services.

Bachelor's degree $141,490
Meeting, convention, and event planners Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings.

Bachelor's degree $51,560
Public relations managers and specialists Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

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

Bachelor's degree $118,430
public relations specialists image Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent.

Bachelor's degree $62,810

Contacts for More Info

The Handbook does not have contacts for more information for this occupation.

O*NET

Fundraisers

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fundraisers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/fundraisers.htm (visited October 07, 2021).

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

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