Public’s perceptions of fundraising as a career revealed in IoF survey

Melanie May | 24 September 2019 | News

Over half – 57% – of the UK public would be proud to work in the charity sector but only a quarter would be interested in working in fundraising, according to Institute of Fundraising research on public perceptions, with reasons for not considering it including not knowing enough about the careers on offer, salary issues, and not feeling it is a job for people like them.
Perceptions of fundraising as a career is the second instalment of an IoF commissioned YouGov survey on how the fundraising profession is seen and understood by the public, and particularly at whether age, race, religion, disability, or gender make a difference to how fundraising is perceived.
Part one was released earlier this month and looked at what the public thinks about fundraising.
public perceptions
This second instalment shows making a difference to be the biggest reason people would consider working in fundraising (65%), followed by the feeling that it would be a job to be proud of, and personal fulfilment. Working for an ethical, responsible employer was the fifth most frequently mentioned reason overall, rising to second place for Asian and Muslim respondents, and third for black respondents.
People with experience over the past 12 months of fundraising or volunteering were more likely to be interested in working in fundraising, as were women, black respondents, those educated to GCSE level, and 25-34 year olds.
Only 36% of people however said they knew something about what is involved in a fundraising career.
The main reasons people would not consider it are because the work doesn’t interest them (35%), and because they are happy in their current career (31%). Salary was also an issue for 22%, who felt it would be lower paid than other sectors, while 28% did not think it offered the potential to earn a good income.
In addition, 21% said they wouldn’t be interested because they don’t know enough about careers in fundraising, and 21% said it was not a job for people like them.
public perceptions
The survey also asked people for their views on what they thought would help people get a job in fundraising. At the top was passion and commitment to causes, and a positive attitude (both 48%), followed by experience of building relationships with a wide range of people (43%), and previous work experience with relevant skills (37%). Almost half (48%) said a university education was not important.
The full data set can be downloaded from the IoF site.

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