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Become A Donor Relations Officer

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Working As A Donor Relations Officer

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Donor Relations Officer Do

Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other donations for an organization. They may design promotional materials and increase awareness of an organization’s work, goals, and financial needs.

Duties

Fundraisers typically do the following:

  • Research prospective donors
  • Create a strong fundraising message that appeals to potential donors
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Use online platforms, such as crowdsourcing, to raise donations
  • Organize a campaign or event to solicit donations
  • Maintain records of donor information
  • Evaluate the success of previous fundraising events
  • Train volunteers in fundraising procedures and practices
  • Ensure that all legal reporting requirements are satisfied

Fundraisers plan and oversee campaigns and events to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization. They ensure that campaigns are effective by researching potential donors ahead of time and examining records of those who have given in the past. Many of the organizations that employ fundraisers rely heavily on donations to run their operations.

Many states require “charitable soliciting organizations” to register with a state agency. The National Association of State Charity Officials provides advice to charities, as well as links to each state’s charity office. Professional fundraisers who work as private consultants need to register with the state in which they do business. Fundraisers who work for an organization that engages in fundraising activity will not have to register individually as long as their organization is already registered.

Fundraisers who work for political campaigns must be knowledgeable about campaign finance laws, such as the contribution limits of an individual giving to a specific candidate. More information on federal campaign finance laws can be found at the Federal Election Commission. State laws can be found at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The following are examples of types of fundraisers:

Major-gifts fundraisers specialize in face-to-face interaction with donors who can give large amounts.

Planned-giving fundraisers solicit donations from those who are looking to pledge money at a future date or in installments over time. These fundraisers must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will.

Direct-mailing fundraisers send out requests for donations to large numbers of people through the mail, over the phone, and online.

Events fundraisers obtain donations through charity events, including dinners, auctions, galas, and charity races such as 10Ks.

Annual campaign fundraisers solicit donations once a year for their organization. Many nonprofit organizations have annual giving campaigns.

Capital campaign fundraisers raise money for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university. Capital campaigns also raise money for renovations and the creation or expansion of an endowment.

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How To Become A Donor Relations Officer

Fundraisers typically need a bachelor’s degree and strong communication and organizational skills. Employers generally prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Fundraisers have a variety of academic backgrounds. However, some employers prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business, but degrees in other subjects also may be acceptable.

Several schools offer master’s degree programs in philanthropic studies or fundraising. Requirements for entering these programs generally are based on work or volunteer experience at a nonprofit or grantmaking foundation. Students may take courses in annual campaigns, planned giving, major gifts, grant proposals, and marketing.

In addition to taking relevant coursework, students can gain experience by volunteering at local charities or participating in student-led organizations.

Other Experience

Internships and previous work experience are important in obtaining a paid position as a fundraiser. Many fundraising campaigns rely on volunteers having face-to-face or over-the-phone interaction with potential donors. It is important that the fundraiser who organizes the campaign have experience with this type of work.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is voluntary, but fundraisers may obtain it to demonstrate a level of professional competency. CFRE International offers the Certified Fund Raising Executive designation for fundraisers. Candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising, as well as 80 hours of continuing education through attendance at conferences and classroom instruction. To keep their certification valid, fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years.

Advancement

Fundraisers can advance to fundraising manager positions. However, some manager positions may require a master’s degree, in addition to years of work experience as a fundraiser.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Fundraisers need strong communication skills to clearly explain the message and goals of their organization so that people will make donations.

Detail oriented. Fundraisers must be detail oriented because they deal with large volumes of data, including lists of people’s names and phone numbers, and must comply with state and federal regulations. Failing to do so may result in penalties.

Leadership. Many fundraisers manage large teams of volunteers and must be able to lead them without having the usual incentive of pay at their disposal.

Organizational skills. Fundraisers manage large campaigns and events. They must have strong planning and organizational skills in order to succeed.

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Donor Relations Officer Career Paths

Donor Relations Officer
Human Resources Manager General Manager Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager General Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager General Manager Vice President
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Labour Relations Manager Director Of Human Resources President
Commissioner
5 Yearsyrs
Labour Relations Manager Director Of Human Resources Executive Director
Chief Development Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Labour Relations Manager Manager Director
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Manager Owner Marketing Director
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Director Development Director
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Account Manager Recruitment Manager
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Office Manager Assistant Director
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Supervisor Assistant Director
Assistant Director Of Development
5 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Restaurant Manager Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Supervisor President Senior Vice President
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Communications Manager Communications Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Restaurant Manager Banquet Manager
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Operations Manager Terminal Manager
City Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Administrator Officer
Senior Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Portfolio Manager Investments Manager
University Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Grant Writer Development Officer
Fundraising Consultant
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Grant Writer Grant Manager
Associate Director Of Development
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Donor Relations Officer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Do you work as a Donor Relations Officer?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$166,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Colorado Springs, CO
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Donor Relations Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Donor Relations Officer in the United States is $80,884 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $166,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Donor Relations Officer?

Have you worked as a Donor Relations Officer? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Donor Relations Officer.

Top Skills for A Donor Relations Officer

  1. Procedures
  2. Alumni
  3. VIP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administered and/or investigated violations and settlement of violations of law or CDCR Regulations, policies and procedures including Administrative Disciplinary Actions.
  • Developed a new constituent engagement strategy which provides career resources to alumni, students and community.
  • Conducted strategic marketing associated with satisfaction of five star international hotel's VIPs and long-term guests.
  • Maintained integrity of donor database and ensured that constituent records were accurate and up to date.
  • Educated customers on product and service offerings that best fit their personal financial needs.

Donor Relations Officer Demographics

Gender

Female

50.3%

Male

31.8%

Unknown

17.9%
Ethnicity

White

57.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Asian

11.5%

Black or African American

11.2%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.3%

French

17.4%

Japanese

7.4%

Mandarin

6.6%

Chinese

6.6%

German

6.6%

Arabic

5.8%

Italian

4.1%

Tagalog

3.3%

Korean

2.5%

Portuguese

2.5%

Thai

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%

Urdu

1.7%

Swedish

0.8%

Swahili

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Indonesian

0.8%
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Donor Relations Officer Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

13.8%

University of Phoenix

9.7%

University of Cincinnati

7.6%

American University

6.2%

University of California - Berkeley

5.5%

Columbia University

4.8%

Northwestern University

4.1%

San Diego State University

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

Northeastern University

4.1%

University of the West

4.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.1%

Franklin University

3.4%

George Washington University

3.4%

The Academy

3.4%

University of Pennsylvania

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.4%

Cornell University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.4%
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Majors

Business

19.5%

Hospitality Management

7.1%

Law

6.2%

Communication

6.0%

Human Resources Management

5.9%

Management

5.5%

Political Science

5.3%

Marketing

5.0%

Finance

4.3%

English

4.1%

Psychology

4.1%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Economics

3.7%

Public Relations

3.4%

Sociology

3.2%

Public Administration

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Journalism

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.1%

Masters

26.6%

Other

10.7%

Associate

4.9%

Doctorate

4.8%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

1.5%
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What is it like to work as a Donor Relations Officer

5.0

Excellent Job

May 14, 2019 on Zippia

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