The Fundraising Disadvantage

Yesterday I wrote about some of the great advantages of working in fundraising. Today I’m going to talk about what are some of the disadvantages. I enjoy my work a great deal but it is not all roses and rainbows. The largest perceived disadvantage is pay. Fundraising sometimes gets a bad wrap as the pay is a lot better than it use to be. I consistently make around $10,000 under market, but I still make enough to do the things I want to do.

You have to rely very heavily on the work of community volunteers. This can be really exciting but can also be difficult and frustrating as they have thousands of other things they are working on. And, because involvement is connected to hearts and wallets volunteer work can sometimes become rather political.

It can be hard to measure success because what you are doing is so relationship based. Measuring only by dollars raised can lead to low employee moral especially in difficult times. Fundraising leadership is very different than what you’ll find in other industries as most decisions are made by consensus. Leaders have less of an ability to autocratically lead which can make leadership more challenging.

My biggest frustration is about how much staff actually get to ask for money but I’ll write more about that in my next post. How about you? What do you see as a disadvantage about fundraising work?


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