By Nsim Team
If you’re skilled in marketing and communications, and you’re interested in non-profit work, then becoming a development associate may be a good career option for you! Here are some quick highlights of working in this field:
• Excellent opportunities for career advancement
• Very good level of pay
• An opportunity to apply your marketing and communications skills
• An opportunity to motivate, persuade and inspire people
As a development associate (also known as a ‘fund development associate, or a ‘fundraiser’) you would be responsible for accepting and recording the donations received by a non-profit organization. Generally, you would also perform administrative duties related to assisting the director of development.
Although the specific duties you would perform would vary from job to job, you could expect to be responsible for performing some, or all, of the following duties:
• Receive, record and respond to donations
• Source prospective donors
• Prepare reports on donors
• Maintain calendars of grant progress, due dates and reports
• Assist with the preparation of grant proposals, newsletter and annual reports
• Assist with fundraising events and activities
• Develop and publish website content
• Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and organizational policies
• Facilitate progress meetings
• Recommend improvements for future fund development activities
Some employers prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees in fields that are relevant to the work, such as public relations, communications, or marketing.
Degrees in other subjects may also be acceptable, although your resume will have to reflect that you have the skill set or experience to perform your duties with competence.
Some employers may not require that you have a degree at all, provided you have extensive experience.
As a fund development professional, you could be employed by many different types of charitable, not-for-profit and public sector organizations, such as:
• Amateur sports organizations
• Consulting firms (provide fundraising services on a contractual basis)
• Cultural and arts organizations
• Disease related organizations
• Educational institutions
• Health care facilities
• Religious organizations
• Self-employed (providing services on a contractual basis)
• Social service agencies
• Various charities
In order to survive the ups and downs of working as a fund development professional (and enjoy yourself along the way!), you’ll need to have certain professional interests, skills, and personal traits, including:
• Tact when dealing with others
• Enthusiasm, and the ability to work under pressure
• A strong interest in the community and ethical practice
• The ability to lead, manage and work with staff and volunteers
• The ability to motivate, persuade and inspire people
• The ability to plan, organize and implement complex projects
• The ability to network and build relationships
• Take enjoyment in coordinating information
• Take enjoyment from taking a methodical approach to researching information and dealing with people
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