Quick Facts: Fundraisers
2017 Median Pay $55,640 per year 
$26.75 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 90,400
Job Outlook, 2016-26 15% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 13,400

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Fundraising Career, Salary, and Education Information

What Fundraisers Do

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 of Fundraisers

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.

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 for Fundraisers

Fundraisers held about 90,400 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of fundraisers were as follows:

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations: 46%

Educational services; state, local, and private: 23%

Healthcare and social assistance: 16%

Arts, entertainment, and recreation: 5%

Administrative and support services: 2%

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 worked full time in 2016. Some attend fundraising events on nights and weekends, possibly requiring additional hours.

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.


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.

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.


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.

salaries for Fundraising

The median annual wage for fundraisers was $55,640 in May 2017. 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 $33,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $94,280.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for fundraisers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Educational services; state, local, and private: $60,700

Administrative and support services: $56,110

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations: $54,880

Healthcare and social assistance: $52,640

Arts, entertainment, and recreation: $51,220

Job Outlook for fundraising

Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. 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.

Job Prospects

Job prospects for fundraisers are expected to be good because organizations are always looking to raise more donations. Candidates with internship or volunteer experience in nonprofit and grant-making organizations should have better job opportunities.

Employment projections data for Fundraisers, 2016-2026:

Employment, 2016: 90,400

Projected Employment, 2026: 103,800

Change, 2016-2026: +15%, +13,400

Careers Related to fundraising

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

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

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

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.

Public Relations Specialists

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

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing ManagersBachelor's degree$129,380
Meeting, Convention, and Event PlannersBachelor's degree$48,290
Public Relations and Fundraising ManagersBachelor's degree$111,280
Public Relations SpecialistsBachelor's degree$59,300


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fundraisers,
on the Internet at