Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

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Working in the voluntary sector

5 Skills needed for fundraising

Photo of a woman looking at a page about fundraising on her laptop.
Figure 6 Learning to be a fundraiser

Now that you have read about what fundraising entails, what do you think it takes to be a fundraiser? As you have seen this week, fundraising is often carried out by professional staff with the relevant training and experience, but many members of staff and volunteers will also be involved at all levels, whether collecting at events or writing grant applications.

Core competences

The following list of ‘core competences’ shows the types of activity, skill and knowledge required of fundraisers.

  • Plan, implement and review particular events, appeals or campaigns, including identifying needs, setting goals, managing the planning process, and planning events.
  • Effective communicator with external and internal audiences, including identifying audiences, writing skills, using the media, presentational skills, and persuasiveness.
  • Managing staff and volunteers, including recruitment, motivation, supervision, support, development, and working with groups and committees.
  • Collect, analyse and manage relevant information, including prospect research, developing and acquiring lists, and storing, analysing and updating information.
  • Develop and maintain effective relations with donors, supporters and other relevant agencies, including understanding donor motivation, and developing and sustaining donor commitment.
  • Deal effectively with the commercial aspects of fundraising, including costing projects and plans, tendering and negotiating contracts, trading, and both legal and tax requirements.
  • Choose and apply various approaches or techniques for fundraising, including knowledge of a range of fundraising and campaigning techniques within an understanding of ethical principles and the external fundraising environment.

Activity 6 Thinking about your fundraising skills

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes

Look at the list of ‘core competences’ above and identify:

  • which areas you do now
  • which areas you would like to do in the future
  • which areas you do not wish to do.

Then note your reasons for each in the table below.

Table 2 Core competences

NowThe futureNot interested
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Comment

Even if you do not think you want to do fundraising as a main activity, you may have seen that some of the skills involved can be applied to many areas of your work or volunteering. Some of the core competences are particularly useful when working to ethical standards (all of the competences relate to this); working in teams (managing staff and volunteers core competence); and working on projects (plan, implement and review; collect, analyse and manage relevant information). You should now also understand how fundraisers might work in your organisation and the challenges they face.

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