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Directors of Fund-Raising

The Job

Many organizations are classified as not-for-profit or nonprofit groups which means that they are not publicly owned or publicly funded. They depend to a great extent on donations, grants, and contributions. Examples might be certain universities or colleges, hospitals, libraries, charities, and public service organizations among others.

Monies earned by or donated to these organizations are used to help the group pursue and fulfill their mission. The director of fund-raising holds an integral position in these organizations. He or she is responsible for raising the monies to fund the organization. Within the scope of the job, the individual has varied responsibilities.

The director of fund-raising may also be referred to as the director of fund-raising and development, development director, fund raising director, director of planned giving, director of philanthropy, or the fund raising manager depending on the specific employment situation.

Directors of fund-raising develop strategies for obtaining financial support from individuals and businesses and cultivate corporate sponsorships. They often develop special programs to bring monies into the organization such as corporate fund raising programs.

A big part of the job of the director of fund-raising is the development and execution of special events to raise money for the organization. Depending on the specific organization, these events can be quite simple or very elaborate. They may include galas, auctions, dinners, golf tournaments, and other events. They additionally plan, direct, and coordinate Web-based fundraising events such as online auctions or donation sites on the organization’s Web site.

There is a great deal of writing necessary in this job. The director of fund-raising is expected to design and develop promotional materials, press releases, donor letters, fund-raising letters, thank-you letters, speeches, brochures, and other materials. The individual is additionally expected to search out, write, and apply for grants. He or she may develop materials which will be submitted to granting or other funding agencies.

The director of fund-raising is responsible for finding ways to educate and inform the public about the mission and concerns of the organization. The more people are aware of a situation, the easier it is to solicit donations and the more likely the solicitations will have a financial impact. This may be accomplished through written press releases, documents, brochures, on-line blogs, or the organization Web site. It often is accomplished when the individual goes to meetings, attends community events, and gives speeches regarding the activities of the organization.

The individual works closely with the organization’s board of directors and executive director in developing goals and programs. He or she is expected to develop strategies for obtaining the financial support from private individuals and businesses. He or she might also run large capital campaigns as well as smaller sustaining programs. The individual may also be responsible for supervising others' fund-raising efforts to guarantee a consistent fund-raising plan.

Another important function is keeping accurate records. These include recording money raised, donor management, resource development, acknowledgements, membership, and more details. The individual is also responsible for developing budgets and annual reports.