Fundraiser: Executive Summary

By + More

Whether it's for a political party or the Little League, many people like the idea of being a fundraiser, except for one thing: "I could never ask for money." Fact is, only a small percentage of a development (fundraising) director's time is spent on "the ask." In fact, the ask is often easy if you've built a relationship with the donor and made the donor's involvement in the organization pleasant. Most of a development director's time is spent recruiting, training, and motivating volunteers, developing a database of donors, overseeing E-mail and phone campaigns, and running fundraising events, like a splashy gala. The best development directors naturally inspire trust. They're intelligent but low key and comfortable being self-effacing—that makes donors feel as though they're a cut above. Low-pressure, polished sales executives do well as development directors.

Median Pay

National: $76,200. More pay data by metropolitan area

(Data provided by


Generally, fundraisers are trained on the job, although they may take courses offered through such organizations as the Association of Fundraising Professionals or the Foundation Center

Smart Specialties

Fundraising for Arts Organizations. Working for a museum, symphony, or theater group allows you to have a life in the arts without becoming a starving artist.

Other Resources