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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014
Cause they care
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 03, 2013
First Published: 15:56 IST(3/9/2013)
Last Updated: 16:52 IST(3/9/2013)
Financial backup: ­Fundraisers raise money for non-government ­organisations by convincing ­prospective donors to support their cause

The lowdown

As the name suggests, fundraisers raise money for their ­non-government organisations. They organise charity events, shows, exhibitions and spread awareness about the ­organisation and its campaigns.

Hence, they become key spokespersons or faces of the organisation. They use various methods and ­strategies to convince prospective donors to support their cause. Major streams of fundraising include face-to-face ­meeting with strangers on the road, tele-calling, contacting ­references given by volunteers or supporters and reaching out to working people. By doing this, they not only get a sense of satisfaction and achievement, but an opportunity to earn ­incentives. Some fundraisers remain in the background and handle the role of ­‘servicing’. It involves sending thank you ­letters, receipts and tax exemption certificates, updating donors about the ­organisation’s upcoming plans. Basically, they ensure that every donor is appreciated for what he/she does

Clockwork
The schedule of a fundraiser may vary as per the requirement. A typical day would be something like this:
10am: Meeting for the campaign
11am: Schedule appointments
1am: Lunch break
2pm: Campaign updates on field and performance evaluation for the first half of the day
3pm: Direct dialogue in public ­places and scheduling appointments
6pm: Pack up

The ­payoff
While salaries in the non-profit organisations cannot be compared with the corporate sector, they are sufficient to sustain good living standards. In addition, you can earn incentives depending on how much funds you are able to raise. The starting salary of a fundraiser with an international organisation is around Rs. 15,000 per month. A city head can make about Rs. 35,000 per month. Based on performance and availability of positions in the ­organisation, one can move up and become a team leader in a year and a senior team leader in the next ­couple of years

Skills/TRAITS
* Passion and drive for the work
* Good communication and ­networking skills
* Ability to be diligent and ­persistent
* You should be able to manage a large team

Getting there
There’s no specific qualification required to become a fundraiser though a qualification in social work and ­management (for senior-level ­positions) may come handy

Institutes and URLs
* Department of Social Work, University of Delhi; www.du.ac.in
* School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; www.tiss.edu/TopMenuBar/academic/schools/school-of-social-work
* Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi; www.xiss.ac.in
* Department of Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; jmi.ac.in/aboutjamia/departments/social-work/introduction
* Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; www.bhu.ac.in/social_sciences/courses.php

Pros and cons
* Your efforts can sustain a ­worthwhile cause and change lives
* The space and freedom to try new things, which one can never experience in a corporate job
* Low pay scales
* Competition from corporate CSR arms/foundations

It’s fun to be a fundraiser, besides the seriousness of working for a cause. You get an opportunity to meet people from different walks of life and travel to different cities --- Binu Jacob, director, fundraising and mobilisation, Greenpeace India


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