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Career profile Fundraising Consultant

Also known as Direct Response Consultant, Fundraising Consultant, Principal Gifts Officer

Fundraising Consultant

Also known as Direct Response Consultant, Fundraising Consultant, Principal Gifts Officer

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$34,320 - $103,320 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Identify and build relationships with potential donors.
  • Secure commitments of participation or donation from individuals or corporate donors.
  • Write and send letters of thanks to donors.
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What does a Fundraising Consultant do?

Fundraising Consultants organize activities to raise funds or otherwise solicit and gather monetary donations or other gifts for an organization.

In addition, Fundraising Consultants

  • may design and produce promotional materials,
  • may also raise awareness of the organization's work, goals, and financial needs.

What kind of tasks does a Fundraising Consultant perform regularly?

Fundraising Consultants are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Identify and build relationships with potential donors.
  • Secure commitments of participation or donation from individuals or corporate donors.
  • Write and send letters of thanks to donors.
  • Solicit cash or in-kind donations or sponsorships from individual, business, or government donors.
  • Create or update donor databases.
  • Develop strategies to encourage new or increased contributions.
  • Develop or implement fundraising activities, such as annual giving campaigns or direct mail programs.
  • Compile or develop materials to submit to granting or other funding organizations.
  • Conduct research to identify the goals, net worth, charitable donation history, or other data related to potential donors, potential investors, or general donor markets.
  • Develop fundraising activity plans that maximize participation or contributions and minimize costs.
  • Direct or supervise fundraising staff, including volunteer staff members.
  • Establish fundraising or participation goals for special events or specified time periods.
  • Monitor progress of fundraising drives.
  • Recruit sponsors, participants, or volunteers for fundraising events.
  • Contact corporate representatives, government officials, or community leaders to increase awareness of organizational causes, activities, or needs.
  • Attend community events, meetings, or conferences to promote organizational goals or solicit donations or sponsorships.
  • Write reports or prepare presentations to communicate fundraising program data.
  • Explain the tax advantages of contributions to potential donors.
  • Design or produce materials such as posters, Web sites, or newsletters to promote, market, or advertise fundraising events.
  • Write speeches, press releases, or other promotional materials to increase awareness of the causes, missions, or goals of organizations seeking funds.
  • Monitor budgets, expense reports, or other financial data for fundraising organizations.
  • Plan and direct special events for fundraising, such as silent auctions, dances, golf events, or walks.
  • Direct or coordinate Web-based fundraising activities, such as online auctions or donation Web sites.
  • Secure speakers for charitable events, community meetings, or conferences to increase awareness of charitable, nonprofit, or political causes.

The above responsibilities are specific to Fundraising Consultants. More generally, Fundraising Consultants are involved in several broader types of activities:

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

What is a Fundraising Consultant salary?

The median salary for a Fundraising Consultant is $59,610, and the average salary is $64,550. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Fundraising Consultant salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Fundraising Consultants earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Fundraising Consultants earn less than $34,320 per year, 25% earn less than $45,170, 75% earn less than $78,990, and 90% earn less than $103,320.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Fundraising Consultants is expected to change by 16.0%, and there should be roughly 12,000 open positions for Fundraising Consultants every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$34,320 - $103,320
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Fundraising Consultants?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Fundraising Consultant are usually higher in their Enterprising, Conventional, and Artistic interests.

Fundraising Consultants typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Fundraising Consultants typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Fundraising Consultants typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Fundraising Consultant tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Fundraising Consultants very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Fundraising Consultants very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Fundraising Consultants very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Fundraising Consultants must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and persistence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Fundraising Consultants, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Fundraising Consultants need?

Many Fundraising Consultants will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Fundraising Consultants usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Fundraising Consultants

  • 0.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 2.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 6.1% completed some college coursework
  • 2.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 51.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 33.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 4.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Fundraising Consultants

Fundraising Consultants may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, sales and marketing, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Fundraising Consultants might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Important Abilities needed by Fundraising Consultants

Fundraising Consultants must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Fundraising Consultants need abilities such as oral expression, speech clarity, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Fundraising Consultants, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Fundraising Consultants

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Fundraising Consultants frequently use skills like speaking, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Fundraising Consultants, ranked by their relative importance.

Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.