Make the most of your career in professional fundraising
1. Invest in professional development
Taking your career seriously means making a plan for the next five to 10 years. This plan should include training, such as conferences and training workshops held by reputable providers. Look for opportunities by national fundraising organizations, such as:
- Fundraising Institute of New Zealand
- Fundraising Institute of Australia
- Institute of Fundraising (U.K.)
- Association of Fundraising Professionals (U.S.)
2. Adopt ethical practices
Ethics are an essential commodity for a professional fundraiser. Have you developed a personal code of ethics? Do your fundraising practices reflect your ethical beliefs? Do you follow a professional code of ethics?
Check out these examples:
- Fundraising Institute of New Zealand Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- Fundraising Regulator Code of Fundraising Practice
- Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Standards
3. Create a strong database
A strong working database that's updated regularly and offers reporting ability will make your job easier and inform both strategy and fundraising. Encourage your charity to invest in this software. A great database will also save effort and prevent stuff-ups and duplication. It also means that when you leave, you're not walking away with your charity's intellectual property.
4. Learn to network
Do you have people to talk to about your career in professional fundraising? There's nothing like discussing ideas and plans with others to excite and inform your work. Participate in local networking events and mentor programs offered by professional fundraising organizations. Team up with someone who's where you want to be in five years.
5. Choose your charity well
Your job as a fundraiser will be much more enjoyable and rewarding if you're passionate about your charity's cause. Look for a charity that has a strong leadership team and board members who understand, recognize and resource fundraising.