Career Definition of an Annual Giving Officer
Annual giving officers are responsible for creating and executing fundraising strategies for an organization's annual donations campaign, which may include working with an established donor pool or soliciting new donors. Most positions are full-time and may involve travel to meet with donors or fundraising events. Annual giving officers can work for a variety of organizations, including educational institutions, non-profit organizations, or religious organizations.
Specific job responsibilities for annual giving officer vary based on the type of employer. General job duties may include monitoring progress toward the campaign goal, interacting with donors via telephone or in-person meetings, and securing funding through grant opportunities. Annual giving officers work on encouraging previous donors to increase their annual gifts by devising events and communication methods that make donors feel valued and important. Those who work for educational institutions may serve as the point of communication between different departments and donors.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent interpersonal skills, strong organizational skills, program management, negotiating, and technical knowledge|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$54,130 (for all fundraisers)|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||9% (for all fundraisers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Prospective annual giving officers will need a bachelor's degree in fundraising, communications, or nonprofit management, with some advanced positions requiring a master's degree. Relevant coursework includes business administration and public speaking. Individuals can pursue voluntary certification through professional organizations like CFRE International, which offers the Certified Fund Raising Executive program. It requires five years of relevant work experience and eighty hours of continuing education, with the option to renew every three years.
Excellent interpersonal skills are one of the most important skills for annual giving officers, as their primary responsibility is interacting with donors to raise funds. Annual giving officers should have strong organizational skills in order to effectively plan and implement fundraising events. Program management skills are essential for managing daily operations and overseeing personnel or volunteers. Annual giving officers will need negotiating skills to successfully solicit donations. Experience with relevant industry donor software programs, such as Blackbaud's The Raiser's Edge or SofterWare DonorPerfect, will be helpful for candidates to have.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect information specifically on annual giving officers; however, they reported a 9% growth for the category of fundraisers during 2014-2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Candidates with a master's degree in fundraising or philanthropic studies will gain relevant work experience, thereby giving them the best job prospects. The BLS reported a 2016 median annual salary of $54,130 for fundraisers.
Individuals considering a career as an annual giving officer might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their interpersonal skills in other client-focused positions.