Monday, May 4, 2009

Careers in Fundraising

What librarian doesn't have experience looking for more money, whether eking it out of our own budgets, looking for more funds through grant applications, or networking with prospective donors. If you don't have these experiences, you might want to think about getting them.

How would you get these jobs?

You do not need to have an undergraduate degree in business, though that could help. The Certified Public Library Administrator program does offer a course on Fundraising/Granstmanship that might offer a good introduction to the topic. There are also a few books from the ALA on the topic, such as Fundraising and Friend-raising on the Web (I hope they are planning a new edition), or Becoming a Fundraiser. The CFRE also provides a list of fundraising compentencies; see how many you currently have.

If you're currently a librarian, you should be looking for opportunities to do research in fund raising and networking with prospects who could give money to the library. There might be some training opportunities with your local Chamber of Commerce, (you can use the World Chambers of Commerce directory to find your local), as well as networking events that will put you in touch with local business people. Obviously, working with your community and its patrons in general can also be an asset.

If you current job will not allow you to get experience in any of those areas, consider some of the opportunities available to volunteers locally, or use Idealist to find ones that you may be able to volunteer for remotely. You don't necessarily have to agree to go out canvassing for your local charity, since someone has already done the research in those cases.

If you're a student:

Obviously, the management principles course would be helpful. Write a paper on fundraising. You can probably get some experience in the field, as a student, if your development office has student positions available during the school year. You can, of course, volunteer to do fundraising, and taking on some of the entry-level positions, such as calling alumni for donations, is a good introduction to see if you can hack it in this field.

When you look for jobs online use fundraising, fund development, gifts, donor, development, as some of your keywords until you hit on the ones used most frequently for the types of jobs that appeal to you.

Sample Job Postings:

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