So, you want to be a fundraiser! Congratulations you have picked the best occupation in the world 😉
As with many career paths, experience will get you in the door. But, what if you have just left school, college or university and don’t have any experience? What if you are about to leave and are worried about not getting interviews? What if you are going into fundraising from a completely different career path? Here is a list of a few things you can do to help you on your journey!
I can’t emphasise how important this is! Volunteering is the number one thing you can do to get into a fundraising role. It shows initiative, drive and passion for a cause and it also will provide you with key experience and understanding of the sector. Volunteering also provides a wide range of options for getting into fundraising. There are usually volunteer positions in multiple departments, for example; events, social media, campaigning, grant applications, street fundraising, thank-a-thons etc. Pick an area you want to develop in and find related volunteering opportunities. Then, when you go for an interview, you will be able to demonstrate your experience. It also gives you a chance to work out what you do and don’t like!
- Host a fundraising event
This may seem daunting, but a key area of fundraising for many organisations is through events and even if you just have a basic knowledge of what goes into organising an event, you will stand out during an interview. Organise a quiz night, sponsored walk, bake sale, world record attempt, fancy dress party or anything else you can think of! By going through the process of choosing an event, finding a venue, inviting people to attend and running the event, you will gain so much invaluable experience!
- Attend someone else’s fundraiser
By being supportive of other fundraising ventures, you will come to appreciate how much hard work goes into raising money for charities. It also demonstrates to potential employers your empathy for charitable causes and an understanding of why fundraising is important. Attend/volunteer at someone else’s fundraiser and you will see what makes an event great!
- Pick a cause you love!
If you aren’t 100% committed to the cause that you fundraise for, it will be much harder for you to raise money for that cause. If you hate cats, don’t apply for a job at a cat sanctuary. Ultimately, your disengagement will come across to potential donors which will put donors off giving to your organisation. Go for a cause that really rings true to your beliefs and passions. Many interviewers will ask why you have chosen their organisation, so be prepared with your personal story!
- Get involved at university
If you are at university, get involved with your Student Union and their RAG (Raise and Give) society. They usually choose a few charities to support each year and will as a group organise fundraisers. It will give you lots of experience in ways to fundraise, but will also be less pressure than running all of the events yourself.
- Meet other fundraisers
Fundraisers as a group are very giving and happy to share advice and experiences. Find a fundraiser you admire and ask them to meet for a coffee to talk about how to get into fundraising. Finding a fundraising mentor is so valuable and really will help you on your way to being the best fundraiser you can be!
Have you got any other advice for those wanting to get involved in fundraising? Let me know in the comments!