Fundraiser, raise your hand if you know the meaning of this term and can explain what exactly it does. Let’s find out by trying to understand the fundraiser job description, who this professional is, what he does, and in what field he operates.
It is the professional who raises the funds. He must know how to manage the relationship with the donor, he must have skills in database management through IT tools, and he must have a broad knowledge of all ways to raise funds: direct marketing, telemarketing, e-mailing, and web marketing. (Wikipedia)
Literally translating from English, therefore, a fundraising expert is someone who professionally works or collaborates on a fundraiser.
In the course of your reading, you will discover how to become a fundraiser, what your skills are, and how this professional figure is positioned.
You will also find an interview with Elena Zanella, trainer and editor of the Nonprofit blog, who will help us better understand the figure of this professional; with her we will delve into the field of social work, trying to understand the connections between the work of a fundraiser and the web.
How Fundraising Works
Fundraising is the process you put in place to finance a start-up, a company, or a non-profit organization. It is the fundraising, the research one does when trying to raise capital to start a business. It is the term used to describe the fundraising campaign carried out by individuals or companies.
The concept of fundraising has always been associated with non-profit organizations. But in recent years, many start-ups and entrepreneurs in various activities have started to finance themselves with this methodology.
In the United States, for example, presidential candidates very often use fundraising to finance their election campaigns. So, to recap, if your goal is to start a start-up, and you do not have sufficient capital, you can rely on the financial help of other people.
To do this, however, you will need a professional, and here we find the fundraiser or fundraising manager.
Working as a fundraiser
Working as a fundraiser is a creative and multi-tasking profession; today it is a figure that is increasingly in demand in the job market a job that requires passion and commitment and consists, in a nutshell, of all those activities carried out to raise money.
The fundraising manager finds financial resources by talking to multiple stakeholders. In this way, he supports an organization and promotes its development over time.
Fundraising has evolved over the years and has become complex and ramified. Today, a fundraising expert must be able to:
- exploiting the potential of the web and social networks
- innovate and experiment to generate competitive advantages
- devising online donor retention strategies
- using multi-channel campaigns
In short, he must know the subject of digital marketing very well. The best path to learning strategies and methods to become an expert in online marketing is the Digital Marketing Program, by Digital Coach.
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Fundraising and Crowdfunding
Let’s look at the difference between Fundraising and Crowdfunding. Very often these two terms are confused, but in reality, they are very different.
Crowdfunding, from the English crowd and funding, refers to the concept of collective fundraising campaigns. Both the request and the raising of funds take place on the web through specific online portals. The goal is to obtain donations from all those people, worldwide, who are interested in investing in an idea or project.
So both activities aim to raise funds, but while crowdfunding is limited to the actual raising of funds, fundraising is about finding supporters for one’s business to affiliate with in the long run.
The donor must be retained and involved in the success of the project. The relationship between people is therefore very important. One of the main activities of the fundraising manager is precisely to place the donor at the center of the activity of the organization he represents.
We can say that the fundraiser can use crowdfunding as a method of fundraising, but this cannot be the only source of fundraising.
Read the interview with fundraising expert Elena Zanella to learn more about this profession.
What is the fundraiser job description?
It is not always easy to frame this profession. It is a relatively new figure, which we started to hear about 20 years ago, but only in the last 5/6 years have we started to hear about fundraising assiduously.
He is a transversal figure who works within non-profit organizations and beyond, his task is to find economic resources. In this way, he ensures the sustainability of his organization. It is his task to find the money needed to guarantee the achievement of the social objectives that the non-profit organization sets itself.
This figure is no longer restricted to the non-profit sector, for example, he was and is a much sought-after figure in organizations such as Green Peace, but today, he also works in other fields such as public administration, politics, and companies dealing with social responsibility. It is therefore a new, complex, and very challenging job.
What skills are needed and what is the route to acquire them?
The fundraiser must have communication and marketing skills. The fundraising professional must have a good knowledge of the markets and how demand reacts to a certain type of offer. He must know how to analyze budgets and must be able to intervene in favor of his own structure.
Another fundamental competence is the mastery of new communication technologies.
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Are digital skills important for fundraisers?
The professional fundraiser must have a particular passion for the web, must monitor the reputation of their organization, and get in touch with donors. There is more and more talk about digital fundraising and web positioning strategies and personal branding. All these activities must become part of the competencies of a fundraising professional.
Due to limited economic resources, it has to make full use of the network’s potential to improve performance without severely affecting the bottom line.
What are the differences in fundraising abroad?
For the past five years, there has been little difference between fundraising abroad and another country. Usually, we have many training offers, both in universities and in highly professional courses. There are no differences in the use of new technologies and the only differences may concern remuneration and recognition.
How does the web influence the daily work of the fundraiser?
The work involves an in-depth analysis of the market. Through the web, one gets a sense of the sentiment and reputation of the organization. The web allows the activity to be adjusted and adapted to reality.
A good fundraiser is able to keep an eye on the reputational aspects of himself and the company he works for.
Can you tell us about the SURF and FUNDRAISING VIRTUAL HUB projects?
SURF is an acronym and refers to the Start-Up Fundraising Unit. A process that starts with an audit analysis, an understanding of how exactly an organization works, to create a tailor-made consultancy around it.
Through the SURF approach, I try to understand the needs and future developments in order to give reliable answers. As for the FUNDRAISING VIRTUAL HUB, it is a network of which I am a founder and which I launched in early January 2016.
I make use of the aggregating potential of the network because it breaks down barriers and real boundaries. Therefore, I thought of setting up a network of freelancers who work remotely and by mandate towards a common goal.
When I do not possess a given competence, I acquire it in the network from another professional, who compensates for what I cannot offer. The fundamental characteristic of this project is the non-materiality of an enterprise, which has excessive fixed costs.
Bringing skills into the virtual field can help a new organization grow. This makes one even more responsible since everyone is his own entrepreneur. Each professional is committed to giving his or her best for the improvement of his or her own results and of the organization he or she works for.
With a degree in communication and marketing, I have collected several work experiences in multinational companies and attended a 6-month course in web marketing. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree as a Digital Coach in web marketing, social media marketing, and e-commerce, with the prospect of retraining and starting a career in digital.