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Become A Fundraising Internship

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Working As A Fundraising Internship

  • 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

  • $56,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Fundraising Internship 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 Fundraising Internship

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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Fundraising Internship Career Paths

Fundraising Internship
Office Assistant Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Property Manager
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Principal
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Team Leader Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Team Leader President
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Team Leader Vice President
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Manager's Assistant/Administrative Assistant
City Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Account Executive Realtor
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Lead Teacher Executive Director
Chief Development Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Program Lead Assistant Director
Assistant Director Of Development
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Senior Scientist Associate Director
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Fellow Senior Consultant Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Policy Analyst Campaign Manager
Campaign Director
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Development Coordinator Development Officer
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Owner Communications Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Professor Dean
Associate Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Grant Writer Grant Manager
Associate Director Of Development
8 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Fundraising Internship

  1. Auction Donations
  2. Donor Database
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Secured in-kind donations and auction donations.
  • Managed national donor database, tracked incoming donations, updated donor profiles and researched potential first time donors
  • Completed substantial database entry projects utilizing Microsoft Excel.
  • Assisted with special events mailings, logistical tasks for events, donation correspondence, and other tasks as determined by director.
  • Organized fundraisers for political campaigns and non-profit organizations.

Fundraising Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

63.8%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

12.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

10.6%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.1%

French

16.9%

Mandarin

5.6%

Arabic

5.1%

Italian

4.1%

Chinese

4.1%

Hebrew

3.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Hindi

1.5%

Filipino

1.5%

Tagalog

1.5%

German

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Swahili

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Hmong

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%
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Fundraising Internship Education

Schools

George Washington University

11.8%

New York University

6.9%

American University

6.9%

Boston University

6.5%

George Mason University

6.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.9%

Florida State University

4.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

University of California - Berkeley

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

University of Washington

4.1%

DePaul University

4.1%

Columbia University

4.1%

Northeastern University

4.1%

Temple University

3.7%

Georgetown University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.7%

Fordham University

3.7%
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Majors

Political Science

16.2%

Business

13.7%

Communication

10.5%

Public Relations

6.6%

Psychology

5.2%

International Relations

4.9%

Economics

4.6%

Global Studies

4.1%

Marketing

4.1%

History

3.2%

Sociology

3.2%

Kinesiology

3.1%

English

3.1%

Management

2.9%

Finance

2.9%

Social Work

2.5%

Public Administration

2.5%

Public Health

2.3%

Hospitality Management

2.1%

Accounting

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

66.8%

Masters

20.4%

Other

8.7%

Certificate

1.8%

Doctorate

1.1%

Associate

1.0%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.1%
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