Job descriptions and industry overviews

Charities fundraiser: job description

19 Jul 2023, 08:55

Charities fundraisers encourage people and organisations to donate money to good causes.

A team of charity fundraisers putting their hands together signalling that they're a team.

Charities fundraiser : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Charities and not-for-profit organisations rely on donations and funding, and they employ fundraisers to help keep these coming in. Fundraising is generally a paid, specialist role: it's not the same as collecting with a bucket in the street as a volunteer (although fundraisers may organise street collections and help out).

Typical duties include:

  • approaching businesses, local authorities and individuals to encourage donations.
  • researching grant-making organisations and applying for funding.
  • organising and helping with fundraising activities such as sponsored or promotional events, house-to-house and street collections.
  • recruiting volunteers and coordinating their work.
  • planning donation campaigns and events, along with the communications needed to ensure they are a success.
  • ensuring that donors and funders are kept informed about how their money is being used.
  • using specialist software to keep records, manage donations and send communications.
  • reporting on funding and donation income to trustees, members of the public and charity supporters.

Coming up with new ways to acquire funding – through events, online advertising, celebrity promotions or legacy-giving campaigns, for example – is a particularly important part of the job. In smaller organisations, fundraisers may need to manage communications and events for donors, while in larger ones, they will work with communications specialists to manage relationships with donors and funders.

Charity fundraisers may need to work long or unsociable hours when events or campaign deadlines are approaching. You may also need to travel to events and to meet representatives from funding organisations.

Graduate salaries

Salary survey websites suggest that starting salaries for charity fundraisers range from around £14,000 to £25,000. Your earnings will increase as you gain experience and/or if you move to a larger organisation; the average salary for a fundraising manager is £34,000.

Typical employers for charity fundraisers

Charity fundraisers can find employment within the following types of organisations:

  • Charities.
  • Not-for-profit organisations.

With experience, you could become a self-employed fundraiser or bid-writing consultant.

Small organisations may combine fundraising work with other tasks such as communications or management, or they may use part-time staff to reduce costs.

Vacancies in small organisations are likely to be advertised locally. Look at community news sources, follow social media pages that post about local opportunities and contact your local council for voluntary service or volunteer centre for ideas.

Jobs in larger organisations may be advertised in the national press and on specialist websites. Some recruitment agencies also specialise in charity jobs.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into becoming a charities fundraiser for both graduates and school leavers.

For graduates, any degree is acceptable for entry into the profession. However, qualifications in management, marketing, communications or public relations may be helpful.

Voluntary work with a charity or not-for-profit will strengthen your application. It'll demonstrate that you have some understanding of how the voluntary sector operates, and how funding and donations help keep organisations running. Look for opportunities via your university or contact your local volunteer centre. You can also search national websites such as and

We’ve also got an article on how to volunteer your way to a graduate job .

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising runs training courses for fundraisers, including certificates and diplomas.

You don’t need a degree to work in fundraising. School leavers can take a fundraising apprenticeship, which involves working in a fundraising role while studying for a qualification. Alternatively, you can work your way up from a junior role. As for graduates, experience of working with charities and volunteers will help your job applications succeed, as will administrative experience that demonstrates your abilities.

Key skills for charities fundraisers

  • Excellent communication skills .
  • Negotiation abilities.
  • Social media skills.
  • The ability to keep detailed, accurate records.
  • Good organisation .
  • Administrative and project management skills.
  • Resourcefulness.
  • The ability to build and maintain professional relationships.
  • Creative thinking.
  • Initiative and the ability to solve problems .

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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