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Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.Education
For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.
Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not mandatory, public relations managers can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on years of experience and must pass an exam to become certified.
The International Association of Business Communicators offers a credential to demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise.
The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is voluntary, but fundraisers who pursue certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. Candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising and have 80 hours of continuing education through conference attendance and classroom instruction to qualify. Fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years to keep their certification valid.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such as a public relations specialist or fundraiser.
Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience, whereas directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts and donors.
Leadership skills. Public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities.
Organizational skills. Public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.
Problem-solving skills. Managers sometimes must explain how the company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.
Speaking skills. Public relations and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to explain the organization’s position clearly.
Writing skills. Managers must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them succinctly in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Communications Director
Top Careers After Communications Director
Hispanic or Latino9.4%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix7.8%
George Washington University6.3%
Michigan State University6.3%
New York University5.6%
University of Texas at Austin5.3%
University of Florida5.1%
Florida State University4.4%
University of Missouri - Columbia4.2%
University of Maryland - College Park4.2%
University of Alabama4.1%
Arizona State University3.7%
University of Central Florida3.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Director of Communications||Baker Botts, LLP||Houston, TX||Feb 08, 2016||$242,000|
|Director, Communications||The Ford Foundation||New York, NY||Jul 13, 2015||$230,000|
|Group Communications Strategy Director||Droga5, LLC||New York, NY||Oct 10, 2016||$230,000|
|Director of Communications||Baker Botts, LLP||Houston, TX||Sep 03, 2015||$220,000|
|Director, Medical Communications||Biogen IDEC||Cambridge, MA||Jan 09, 2015||$215,000 -
|Director of Community Solar (Environmental Economist)||Sunpower Corporation||San Jose, CA||Jan 06, 2016||$195,000|
|Group Communications Strategy Director||Droga5, LLC||New York, NY||Jun 13, 2016||$195,000|
|Director, Enrollment Marktng & Communications, Latin America||Hult International Business School||Groveland, FL||Aug 08, 2016||$172,000|
|Communications Director||Twitter, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Jun 27, 2016||$170,000|
|Communications Director, Oncology||Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP||Gaithersburg, MD||Dec 14, 2015||$165,000 -
|Communications Strategy Director||Anomaly Partners LLC||New York, NY||Apr 04, 2016||$150,000|
|Social Communications Strategy Director||Droga 5, LLC||New York, NY||May 17, 2016||$145,000|
|Community Director||Tartan Hospitality LLC||New York, NY||Nov 13, 2015||$144,000|
|Director, Communications||The Boeing Company||Renton, WA||Feb 08, 2016||$140,000 -
|Director Executive Communications||Le Technology, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Sep 16, 2016||$117,541 -
|Communications Director||Rising Tide Capital||Jersey City, NJ||Sep 14, 2016||$117,437|
|Investment Director, Community & Impact Investing||Gary Community Investment Company||Denver, CO||Sep 18, 2015||$116,667 -
|Investment Director, Community & Impact Investing||Gary Community Investment Company||Denver, CO||Sep 26, 2015||$116,667 -
|Director of Communications||Population Action International||Washington, DC||May 10, 2015||$116,459|
|Director of Communications||Queens College of The City University of New York||NY||May 12, 2016||$116,364|
|Global Marketing Communications Director||ESI International, Inc. (Providence Corporate Development Holding Comp||Cambridge, MA||Sep 05, 2015||$113,948|
|Director of Communications||Population Action International||Washington, DC||Jan 12, 2015||$113,300|
|Communications Director||Concern Worldwide U.S.||New York, NY||May 16, 2016||$92,288|
|Director of Communications and Media||Astraea Foundation Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 30, 2016||$90,000|
|Communications Director||International Rescue Committee, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 16, 2016||$90,000 -
|Director of Management, Communications & Research||TAKK International Ltd||New York, NY||Jun 01, 2015||$85,000|
|Communications Director||The Belgian American Chamber of Commerce In The United States, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 08, 2016||$85,000|
|International Communications Director||Buzzfeed, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 20, 2016||$85,000|
|Communications Director||Cargo Management Group Inc.||Miami, FL||Feb 09, 2016||$83,200|
|Director of Communications||Altuzarra LLC||New York, NY||May 18, 2015||$80,000|
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