Career center

Most people enter the fundraising field because it is an environment that serves human needs–needs that are not served by the other sectors, business and government.  People want to heal, to educate, to preserve cultures, to shelter the abused, to inspire, or to preserve.  But in order to succeed in fundraising as a career, you have to believe in the mission of the organization you serve.

Other objectives can certainly be worthwhile, such as career advancement, involvement in a specific field of interest, working in a field that has such significant impact on nonprofit causes, but belief in the causes that a fundraising professional serves is of primary importance.  Fundraising should touch souls, the professional’s as well as those who are served.

It’s true there are hours spent in painstaking research, preparation that goes into every “ask” from proposal writing to one-on-one solicitation, the planning for each successful event, the writing of materials such as  letters, the cultivation steps so vital for each market, the juggling of constituents’ wants and demands, the complexities of managing volunteers and working with the board.  The list could go and can be mind-numbing.

But at the end of each day, the  professional has engaged in a journey worth sharing because, whether or not the results of that day’s efforts are visible, the professional can take pride in the nature of the work.   Fundraising or development, as some prefer to call it, is a fundamental part of the process that makes institutions successful.  The genuinely committed  professional feels a “calling” to the work of fundraising.  The satisfaction is derived from results, often intangible as well as those that aren’t visible for some time in the future, not from recognition.

Fundraising is a great career. The skills required are adaptable to your field of interest and commitment, and the types of organizations in that field. Preparation for a career in fundraising can include academic programs, continuing education opportunities, reading materials, and professional organizations. Check out the information on this site and for further help, call PSI at 301.680.6133. We will be glad to get you started and customize your learning experience.

Your Future in Fundraising

Your Career in Fundraising cover copyFundraising doesn’t take place in a vacuum. It is an essential function in the entire scope of the nonprofit sector, which is supported by philanthropy. And philanthropy is a highly significant part of the fabric of American society, providing opportunities for fulfillment, meeting needs, addressing crises and disasters, and building sustainability for the future. A fundraising professional is the manager of a process that brings together a sense of caring with needs that must be met.

Whether you’re a professional fundraiser, you’re considering a career in fundraising, or you’re beginning your first fundraising project, this book provides information that can help you meet your goals. Read this book to learn about:

  • An Overview of an Ongoing Fundraising Program or Department
  • Skills and Qualities of the Aspiring Professional and Fundraising Positions to Match
  • Embarking on a Fundraising Career
  • Fundraising Professional Development Pipeline
  • Are We There Yet? Tracking the Path of Professionalism in Fundraising
  • Leading from any Level–the Fundraiser’s Challenge and Opportunity
  • Tracing the Development of Fundraising in the U.S.
  • Avoiding the No-Win Job
  • The Globalization of Fundraising

If you are considering engaging in fundraising for your church, school, or a non-profit organization, this book provides an overview of the wide range of possibilities for philanthropic action.

Your Future in Fundraising, by Dr. Lilya Wagner, is now available as a free download here:

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