According to a recent article by Susan Adams of Forbes, there is demand for professional fundraisers.  With this statement, we break down myth #1:  “no one is hiring.”  While we’re at it, let’s tackle some more myths…

Myth #2: “nonprofit means no $.”  Browse the 990 tax return forms for nonprofit organizations at guidestar or foundationcenter.  If you are selective by subsector or organizational size, you will have no problem finding six-figure salaries.  The author is correct; while a fundraiser’s compensation may not be competitive with the for-profit sector, a fundraiser often earns a substantial salary.

Myth #3: “fundraising only requires asking people for $.”  Well, yes, but there is much more to it!  Fundraising, ultimately,  is about building relationships.  The article emphasizes this point when describing the relevant skills for a fundraiser:  people skills with an ability to listen, speak, and write effectively.

Myth #4: “fundraising just happens.”  Sometimes, but not usually.  (An organization does receive unsolicited funds, but they general do not meet the entire budget.)  The successful management of a fundraising program requires experience and expertise.  The author suggests two prominent programs:  Fundraising Management at Columbia University and the Fundraising School at the Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University.

Myth #5: “fundraising is about the big gifts.”  Yes, major gifts are an important part of the fundraising program, but so are smaller gifts.  The Sidwell Friends School provides a great visual representation of the need for different-sized gifts.  The article includes examples of grant writers, special event planners, and annual fund directors – all of whom are not directly fundraising for major gifts.

What other misconceptions are there about the fundraising profession?  Please leave a comment to de-bunk some more myths!