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How would I become a professional Fundraising Specialist for nonprofits?

I am interested in taking this certificate from Boston University https://onlineprofundraising.bu.edu/ but I'm wondering if there are cheaper ways, and what you as a possible fundraising specialist would recommend.
#fundraising #nonprofitmanagement
#campaigns #raisefunds


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Matthew’s Answer

Hi Ana,

I worked for a large non profit for over 10 years in operations and dealt with fundraising and operations as well. The first skill you need to master is learning how to connect with people. People do business with those they know, like and trust and that includes donors. You also need to master the art of becoming an influencer. As a fundraiser you are going to use this skill to influence people to either participate, volunteer, give or all three. There are books and youtube videos that can help you develop these skills. A good book to read is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Let's go back to the original quote which was "people do business with those they know, like and trust." What does that mean. In order to be effect in fundraising first people need to know you. The real you. You will need to be vulnerable and transparent and get to know people on a level that's not superficial. Find a common subject or hobby and just approach the relationship with the intent to get to know the person, not to make an ask for anything. Second, is the "like." Once you develop a commonality and lower the walls of unfamiliarity people will walk away saying, "you know, I like Ana, she was neat." Once they feel like they know enough about you and the general opinion is that you are likeable, now you can start with building trust. How? If you have a conversation and end with, I will call you tomorrow before 10am with more info on that" then you better call by 10am with the info. You can build trust through small and big actions that can be measured. Trust is defined as - a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. Are you reliable? Can someone have confidence in your ability? Does the organization or cause you represent have these qualities as well? Once trust is built you now have in place the final piece of the puzzle to get donors to give, volunteer and support your efforts. Most people will believe in a cause because they believe in you!

Be creative. Find ways to create fun and engaging fundraising events, messaging and communications. Find a way to provide value to those who are supporting the cause as well. The relationship should be a two way street,

Final thoughts. Always, always work on becoming the best version of yourself. Do personal development regularly. Search youtube for 'personal development' or if you feel like you are weak in an area work on that area of your life. If you are shy search for 'how to get over being shy' and if you want info on fundraising search 'effective fundraising skills.'

Hope this helps.

I'll definitely check out that book asap! Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it! Ana V.

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Roshawnda’s Answer

Great question Ana! Definitely taking a course (like the one you mentioned from BU) can be a good starting point for jumping in and getting acquainted with the fundraising world. As some others have mentioned, getting in and working with someone who does fundraising work or for most NPOs their development team is great experience and will teach you a great deal. There are lots of certificate programs from different schools that you can check out. I did one from LaSalle University's Nonprofit Center that was focused around fundraising and development. It was helpful but definitely getting to work in development with some hands on work I learned a lot. I 100% agree with the statement about working on connecting with people. That is a huge part of the nonprofit sphere and networking with companies and organizations that have foundations, grant giving or may purchase/participate in fundraising events you hold is big. If you have not already get into building your network or contacts as this will serve you well down the line with fundraising and if you get into grant work. Hope that helps.

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Darcel’s Answer

Hi Ana it is expensive because it's a private school. In addition it's a certificate not a degree. Some certificate programs are for professional already in the field or career position looking for more specialization. If you really interested in working in your future career in non-profit start volunteering. What non-profit organizations in your community, city or state are you most interested. If you interested in a college degree you might consider sociology, social services. Let see what the public college and universities have in your area, you live in a large city. Suffolk University has a Public Administration degree program the college has minors Nonprofit Management minor or Public Service and a degree in Public Relations
Major, Minor, Accelerated
I copied this off the internet. fundraising Specialist Career | What do they do?
https://www.marketing-schools.org/careers/fundraising-specialist.html
What Do They do?
Qualifications
Becoming A Fundraising Specialist
Fundraising specialists help organizations identify areas most in need of fundraising support. They discover how much money needs to be raised, and which avenues they can raise that money through. Fundraising specialists develop strategies for making the case that an organization needs funding. One of the principle questions they answer is “why should I donate?” Meeting with other fundraising coordinators, they embark on large campaigns where they contact many people and businesses to incre…

Darcel recommends the following next steps:

Consider attending a (public)community college to save time and money also to complete your college/general education courses.
Strive to fine tune your non-profit passion, field or cause. Volunteer with these organization. I hope this information helps good luck!
Strive for A's and Bs to raise your high school or college Grade Point Average GPA
The Non-Profit Management Minor in the Public Administration major at Suffolk has course in fundraising. It will prepare you for the career.
There are 15 public community colleges (public schools) in your area locate the closet one to you on line and see if they have a transfer degree to Suff

0
Updated Translate

Darcel’s Answer

Hi Ana it is expensive because it's a private school. In addition it's a certificate not a degree. Some certificate programs are for professional already in the field or career position looking for more specialization. If you really interested in working in your future career in non-profit start volunteering. What non-profit organizations in your community, city or state are you most interested. If you interested in a college degree you might consider sociology, social services. Let see what the public college and universities have in your area, you live in a large city. Suffolk University has a Public Administration degree program the college has minors Nonprofit Management minor or Public Service and a degree in Public Relations
Major, Minor, Accelerated
I copied this off the internet. fundraising Specialist Career | What do they do?
https://www.marketing-schools.org/careers/fundraising-specialist.html
What Do They do?
Qualifications
Becoming A Fundraising Specialist
Fundraising specialists help organizations identify areas most in need of fundraising support. They discover how much money needs to be raised, and which avenues they can raise that money through. Fundraising specialists develop strategies for making the case that an organization needs funding. One of the principle questions they answer is “why should I donate?” Meeting with other fundraising coordinators, they embark on large campaigns where they contact many people and businesses to incre…

Darcel recommends the following next steps:

Consider attending a (public)community college to save time and money also to complete your college/general education courses.
Strive to fine tune your non-profit passion, field or cause. Volunteer with these organization. I hope this information helps good luck!
Strive for A's and Bs to raise your high school or college Grade Point Average GPA
The Non-Profit Management Minor in the Public Administration major at Suffolk has course in fundraising. It will prepare you for the career.
There are 15 public community colleges (public schools) in your area locate the closet one to you on line and see if they have a transfer degree to Suff

0
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Tom’s Answer

Hi Ana. Good for you. The non-profit world needs more folks like you.

I took a fundraising management certificate course from the University of Washington and it was valuable in seeking this line of work. I'd recommend you take the course. I would also suggest interning if possible with someone else who is already doing this kind of work. There are individuals and actually companies who provide fund raising services to a variety of non-profits. Try Googling and see what turns up in your area. If nothing more you may find a phone number to call and ask if you can speak to someone about getting into this field. Most often folks are willing to help.

Good luck on a very worthwhile goal.

Thank you so much for your advice. I'll have to do some more googling about this haha. Take care~ Ana V.

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Updated Translate

Darcel’s Answer

Hi Ana it is expensive because it's a private school. In addition it's a certificate not a degree. Some certificate programs are for professional already in the field or career position looking for more specialization. If you really interested in working in your future career in non-profit start volunteering. What non-profit organizations in your community, city or state are you most interested. If you interested in a college degree you might consider sociology, social services. Let see what the public college and universities have in your area, you live in a large city. Suffolk University has a Public Administration degree program the college has minors Nonprofit Management minor or Public Service and a degree in Public Relations
Major, Minor, Accelerated
I copied this off the internet. fundraising Specialist Career | What do they do?
https://www.marketing-schools.org/careers/fundraising-specialist.html
What Do They do?
Qualifications
Becoming A Fundraising Specialist
Fundraising specialists help organizations identify areas most in need of fundraising support. They discover how much money needs to be raised, and which avenues they can raise that money through. Fundraising specialists develop strategies for making the case that an organization needs funding. One of the principle questions they answer is “why should I donate?” Meeting with other fundraising coordinators, they embark on large campaigns where they contact many people and businesses to incre…

Darcel recommends the following next steps:

Consider attending a (public)community college to save time and money also to complete your college/general education courses.
Strive to fine tune your non-profit passion, field or cause. Volunteer with these organization. I hope this information helps good luck!
Strive for A's and Bs to raise your high school or college Grade Point Average GPA
The Non-Profit Management Minor in the Public Administration major at Suffolk has course in fundraising. It will prepare you for the career.
There are 15 public community colleges (public schools) in your area locate the closet one to you on line and see if they have a transfer degree to Suff

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