Director of Fundraising | Skills of a Fundraising Director
Charities seeking to recruit a Fundraising Director today will usually seek a professional with managerial experience and a wide range of business skills. These can have been gained in the commercial, public or charity sectors. Many charities now employ fundraisers who have gained skills in business.
A proven track record in generating income and business is probably the most valuable experience to charities, and charity recruitment companies have reported difficulties in recruiting sufficient candidates to meet demand. Indeed, throughout the charity sector there are still not enough experienced fundraisers to fill the vacancies available. This is even more the case at senior fundraising level.
As well as people management, fundraising directors will typically need business development skills, the ability to influence and negotiate (e.g. with major donors), budgeting and financial analysis skills (given that many charities apply multi-million pound fundraising budgets), and the ability to manage a number of commercial partnerships.
These partnerships can be with direct marketing agencies, digital agencies, street fundraising companies, major brands who are corporate sponsors, and celebrities’ agents.
They must also have a good technology background, given the prime role played by direct marketing in securing and retaining donors, and in growing fundraising income. Experience with one or more of the main CRM tools in the sector is essential.
Fundraising Directors will also be expected to research new funding and income generation activities, and to develop the skills of their fundraising team through training, mentoring and other professional development activities.
There is no formal qualification for being a Fundraising Director, although the Institute of Fundraising’s Academy is formalising more and more professional development within the sector.
Some Directors of Fundraising will have MBAs, while others will have minimal academic or business qualifications. However, to progress within fundraising and charities at senior level, it is likely that Fundraising Directors will become members of the Institute and study to achieve the Certificate in Fundraising.
Recruitment of Fundraising Directors
Although many senior fundraising vacancies are published in the national and charity trade press, both printed and online, many positions are filled via headhunting and professional recruitment agencies that specialise in the charity and not-for-profit sectors.
Salaries for Fundraising Directors
These range considerably depending on the size and location of the charity, with national and international charities and those based in London and the South East typically paying more. Typical rates of pay are the subject of annual surveys which are widely reported on in the fundraising media.
A Director of Fundraising typically manages fundraisers who raise funds using a variety of methods, such as grantseeking, legacies, major gifts, events and direct marketing. He or she tends to work at one of the larger charities or nonprofits. Medium sized charities with fundraising teams will normally style their leader as a Fundraising Manager.
Their responsibility is to generate sufficient income to ensure the charity can meet its objectives and obligations. Usually they aim to do so by focusing on a range of different types of income in order to spread risk. They provide strategic management and leadership in co-ordinating a portfolio of income generating activities.
Directors of Fundraising work at charities, campaigning organisations, hospital trusts, universities (at which they are more commonly styled Directors of Development), NGOs, social enterprises, and at other kinds of not-for-profit organisation.
A Director of Fundraising will usually be a member of the senior management team, collaborating with a Finance Director, Communications Director, Services Director and sometimes a Campaigns Director, all of them reporting to the charity’s Chief Executive.
To search for Fundraising Director positions currently available within the third sector, please visit www.charitydirectors.co.uk or call 0845 094 8033.
Fundraising Director Role
- Increase Income From Existing Sources
- Increase Funding Via New Sources
- Identify Innovative Fundraising Initiatives
- Increase Online Giving
- Manage Fundraising Team
- Recruit Fundraising Staff
- Report To Trustees
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