Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

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
2018 Median Pay $114,800 per year
$55.19 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 years or more
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2018 81,200
Job Outlook, 2018-28 8% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2018-28 6,300

Summary

What Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Do

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.

Work Environment

Public relations and fundraising managers generally work in offices during regular business hours. However, many of these managers travel to give speeches and to attend meetings and community activities. Some 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 are also necessary.

Pay

The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers was $114,800 in May 2018.

Job Outlook

Employment of public relations and fundraising managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of public relations managers will be driven by the need for organizations to maintain their public image, especially with the growth of social media. The need to raise funds for nonprofit organizations will require more fundraising managers.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for public relations and 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 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:

  • Develop their organization’s or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Identify 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
  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • 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:

  • 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 donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Manage progress toward achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • 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 clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They monitor social, economic, and political trends that might affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm’s image on the basis of those trends. For example, in response to concern about damage to 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 draft speeches, arrange interviews, and maintain other forms of public contact to help the organization’s top executives.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists. 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 hire fundraising workers 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 include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, and soliciting for major gifts. Social media has created another avenue for fundraising managers to connect with potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

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

In contrast, fundraising managers who work on capital campaigns generally focus on raising money over a short time period for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraising managers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes related to gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will. Major gifts are a feature of many fundraising efforts, and fundraising managers generally request these gifts in person, 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 81,200 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of public relations and fundraising managers were as follows:

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 21%
Educational services; state, local, and private 20
Professional, scientific, and technical services 15
Management of companies and enterprises 8

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 workdays. Some managers work more than 40 hours per week.

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 to hire candidates who have 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 become certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on a combination of experience and education and must pass an exam to become certified.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is also voluntary, but fundraisers who are awarded certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. To become certified, candidates must meet certain education, professional practice, and professional performance requirements, as well as pass an exam. Fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years to keep their certification valid.

The International Association of Business Communicators offers two credentials that allow communications specialists to demonstrate higher levels of knowledge and expertise. Public relations and fundraising managers may apply to take the certification exams when they have 6 to 8 years of experience in the communications field.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

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

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Public relations and fundraising managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build a rapport with, and receive support from, their media contacts and donors.

Leadership skills. 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 for 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 succinctly present the key messages they want to get across in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.

Pay

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Median annual wages, May 2018

Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers

$126,250

Public relations and fundraising managers

$114,800

Total, all occupations

$38,640

 

The median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers was $114,800 in May 2018. 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 $64,250, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $208,000.

In May 2018, the median annual wages for public relations and fundraising managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $133,110
Management of companies and enterprises 129,910
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 115,360
Educational services; state, local, and private 101,720

Most public relations and fundraising managers work full time, which often includes long workdays. Some managers work more than 40 hours per week.

Job Outlook

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2018-28

Public relations and fundraising managers

8%

Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers

6%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of public relations and fundraising managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

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 social media increases the speed at which news travels. Consequently, public relations managers will be needed to coordinate and help respond to news developments 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. More nonprofit organizations are focusing on cultivating an online presence and are increasingly using social media for fundraising activities.

Job Prospects

About 7,800 openings for public relations and fundraising managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who exit the labor force, such as to retire, and from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations.

Prospective public relations managers should face strong competition at businesses that have large media exposure and at 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, 2018-28

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

Occupational Title

Public relations and fundraising managers

SOC Code11-2031
Employment, 201881,200
Projected Employment, 202887,600
Percent Change, 2018-288
Numeric Change, 2018-286,300
Employment by IndustryGet data

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 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 public relations and fundraising managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2018 MEDIAN PAY
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fundraisers image

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Bachelor's degree $56,950
Market research analysts

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Multimedia artists and animators

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public relations specialists image

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Contacts for More Info

Last Modified Date: Monday, December 16, 2019

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Public Relations and Fundraising Managers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm (visited March 29, 2020).

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

View this page on regular www.bls.gov

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