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A fundraising consultant’s job is to develop creative and successful techniques to raise money for a charitable cause. Plans often include ways to elicit cash donations or procure valuable items that can be auctioned off to the public. She does not normally participate in the fundraising efforts and typically works only in advisory, inspirational and leadership capacities. The consultant may be an independent contractor, work for a fundraising company or provide her services, often free of charge, to an organization or association of which she is a member.
Once hired, the consultant’s first step is usually to meet with the group in need of funds to clearly define their goals. This commonly entails defining the monetary objectives as well as establishing a clear vision of the organization’s mission statement. This initial meeting also normally establishes any methods of fundraising or sources of funds that the group has no interest in using. These group decisions are often based on possible conflicts of interest or may be related to personal or political relationships.
After these objectives are established, the consultant typically entertains fundraising ideas from the group for which she works. She is ordinarily expected to provide constructive feedback as well as present her ideas to the group for consideration and discussion. Once the preferred fundraising methods are determined, a list of potential, generous and affluent donors is usually compiled. If formal proposals are needed to seek funds from businesses and corporations, the fundraising consultant normally assists in writing them.
Committees with specific tasks are frequently assigned by the consultant. She customarily reviews the goals with each committee chairperson to be sure the objectives and methods are clearly defined. If a committee chair seems to lack confidence or focus, the fundraising consultant frequently provides her personal assistance to assure the group’s success.
If efforts appear to dwindle once the fundraising is underway, a fundraising consultant is typically expected to provide motivation and inspiration to renew the members' energy and drive. She often meets with the committees or committee chairs and encourages them to candidly present their challenges to her. Using her experience and expertise, the consultant usually offers solid solutions and gets the fundraising efforts back on the track to success.
A triumphant fundraising consultant is normally outgoing, engaging and analytical. Her ability to motivate and encourage the fundraisers to achieve goals is crucial to her success. Having a good head for numbers coupled with imaginative ideas to kindly part people and companies from their money is normally a winning combination for a person in this profession.
Getting hired for a fundraising consultant position usually depends more on experience than education. However, most people in this position have a degree in communications, marketing, advertising or business. A proven record of fundraising in a variety of markets and environments is an asset for job applicants.