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Charity Fundraiser

Sep 2023
Career of the Month
Ocean Cleanup volunteers stand on a beach

Key Facts

Starter Salary
Experienced Salary
Working Hours
37-39 hours a week


Charity fundraising managers organise fundraising events and other activities, and secure funds in other ways to help a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Many work for just one charity, whilst others are freelance consultants who are hired by charities as they are needed.

The work carried out by a fundraising manager varies with each organisation depending on their needs. Fundraising can include organising large-scale events, such as a charity ball or flag day, or smaller operations such as a sponsored walk. Managers also work with businesses in order to secure corporate sponsorship. A major part of their work is to prepare bids and applications for funding from trusts, lotteries etc.

Charity fundraising managers have good communication skills; they are organised, persuasive and are able to work well under pressure.

What it takes

What it takes:

Skills and knowledge you'll need

  • persistence, determination and able to work under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persuading skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • administration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
  • knowledge of how organisations operate
  • organisational skills

Day to day

Day to day:

Your work may involve

  • researching, developing and planning fundraising activities and events
  • writing bids to secure funds
  • managing door-to-door and street collections
  • recruiting and training fundraising volunteers
  • keeping records and reporting performance
  • managing charity shops, and online and mail order stores
  • controlling budgets and meeting targets
  • giving talks about your charity to the public
  • writing reports and press releases

You could work in an office or at events.

You will need

  • You will need
  • A GCSE (4+/A*-C) (or equivalent) in English
  • A GCSE (4+/A*-C) (or equivalent) in maths
  • Work experience in a charity or volunteer work

You may need

  • An A Level (or equivalent) in economics
  • An A Level (or equivalent) in business studies or similar
  • A degree

Academic and Vocational Notes

There is no set entry route to becoming a charity fundraising manager, but you need some relevant experience - through paid work, work experience, internships and/or volunteering.

Many entrants are graduates. Any degree may be acceptable, but marketing, media, public relations, business, public services and events management may be particularly useful. When researching courses, check the content and entry requirements with individual providers.

Some large charities run formal graduate management training schemes that include fundraising.

It is possible to start working in fundraising through an apprenticeship. Vacancies are advertised locally, with training providers and employers, and through the Government's apprenticeships website.

Some people start in an administrative or support role within a charity and work their way up to fundraising management. Others enter directly having gain experience in public relations, finance or events management elsewhere.

Postgraduate courses, such as charity marketing and fundraising, are also available.

Work Based Training Notes

Training is mainly on the job; larger charities run graduate training schemes.

A number of professional organisations offer relevant short courses and your employer may support you to achieve qualifications on a part-time basis - available up to postgraduate level.

With experience, charity fundraising managers can progress to more senior roles within a charity, or set themselves up as freelance charity fundraising consultants.

Other Routes

Whilst these are the usual routes to this career, there can be alternatives. You will be able to discuss these with your adviser.

To learn more about getting into a career in Charity Fundraising, take a look at our article - Career Focus of the Month: Charity Fundraiser

Some data provided by NCS. May contain public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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