A fundraising assistant is responsible for administrative support to fundraising staff and the fundraising director. The assistant also participates in all fundraising activities, including donor relations, direct mailings, and special events.
Primary duties include processing donations and writing acknowledgement letters and other correspondence; maintaining office files for corporate, foundation, and individual donors; producing and mailing annual letters of appeal; and updating the database containing records of donations, including tax deduction documentation. The assistant will also research donors, including identifying potential new donors and updating information on current and past donors.
The assistant will help with charity events, including preparing registration materials for guests and insuring their correct completion. Attending these charity events is often required, and there are typically several such events each year.
The assistant is also responsible for helping with quarterly meetings of the development committee, including preparing/distributing the notice of meeting, the agenda, and typing the minutes. Other duties are often assigned as needed.
Although the work is performed mostly in offices, there is some physical labor involved in transporting boxes of materials to fundraising events. The ability to lift 25 pounds is necessary. Familiarity with Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint are required and knowledge of GiftMaker Pro would be a plus.
While an Associate's or Bachelor's degree is often required for this position, experience could substitute for education. Typically, three years of experience in a development office or similar fundraising or charitable setting would be required for an applicant without a degree.
An ability to prioritize assignments is important, as are excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Applicants must be able to write correspondence from scratch with little to no input from staff or the director.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this position is interacting with donors and potential donors. Donors are the lifeblood of any charitable organization; the assistant must not only be diplomatic, accommodating, and outgoing, but must possess exceptional social skills and a fair amount of emotional intelligence.
Although most of the work is performed in an office, some will be performed at local hotels, ballrooms, and other meeting spaces where events are held.
The work schedule is usually Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 5:30, but some days could start as early as 7:00 am and last late into the evening when board meetings are held or charitable events are scheduled. Because charitable events are often held on weekends, some weekend work is necessary.
Typically, the fundraising assistant works closely with the development director and fundraising staff. On any given day, however, he/she could work with anyone from the wealthy CEO of a major international corporation to the maitre d' at a local hotel.
Fundraising Assistant Tasks
Responds to inquiries and requests for fundraising information.
Updates and maintains volunteer and donor records.
Helps recruit and train volunteers for fundraising events.
Assists in planning fundraising activities.