dcsimg

Career Story: Coordinator Of Volunteers And Special Events Fundraiser

Coordinator Of Volunteers And Special Events Fundraiser

Job Title: Special Events Fundraiser

Type of Company: I work for a health-focused, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization.

Education: BA, American Civilization, Brown University

Previous Experience: In college I was a member, then leader, of the student group that planned the annual campus-wide Spring Weekend concert festival. I worked in advertising for a year and a half after graduation prior to starting this job.

Job Tasks: I am the staff partner to 3 groups of volunteer planning committees that put on the fundraising events that I am responsible for. Much of my time is spent recruiting, training, organizing, and assisting the volunteers who carry out the tasks that make the event happen. While I do those tasks myself, my job is much more about managing volunteers.

Since we rely heavily on volunteers, a typical day for me is spent returning phone calls and emails to answer questions or provide resources and materials to the volunteers organizing the event. My organization puts on thousands of these events in communities across the country each year, so we have lots of best practices, templates, worksheets, guidelines, and other resources that I share with the volunteers to help ensure the smooth running of each event. I work with them to customize specific events and to give them a sense of ownership, while still adhering to the necessary guidelines.

I also strive to ensure that all of the volunteers feel appreciated and satisfied with their roles and responsibilities. If conflicts arise between volunteers or something interferes with a volunteer's ability to carry out her tasks (e.g. a family member gets sick and needs to be cared for), I'll step in to pick up the slack or work out a solution so that the event preparation continues smoothly.

There is a lot of relationship management in my job, even though on the surface, the goal is to put on a successful fundraising event.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of mu job is seeing the whole event come together and be successful after a year of planning. Seeing the volunteers take pride in all of the work that they've put into the event is wonderful.

The worst part is getting mired in detail and being forced to focus on the endless list of tasks that we need to complete and forgetting about the big picture and why we're doing what we do. It can be challenging and tiring constantly trying to make sure all of the volunteers are productive and happy. They aren't paid employees so I can't necessarily expect them to behave like paid employees.

Job Tips:
1. Get experience managing volunteers. Join then lead, or start and lead, a student group in an area in which you are interested.

2. Take a business course. Business basics are even more important at a non-profit and it's a skill set that will set you apart.

3. Don't worry too much about your undergraduate major but learn how to read critically, think analytically, and write well.

Additional Thoughts: To be successful at this (and many other jobs), you need to be diplomatic, organized, a creative thinker/problem solver, understanding, flexible, patient, able to take charge when necessary but able to recognize when you need to let the volunteers run with something, data driven, and able to handle stress well.

Popular Schools offering Event Planning Management Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

  • Programs: BA/Service Management - Hospitality Enterprise, BA/Service Management - Restaurant Enterprise Management
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

  • Programs: B.S. in Hospitality Management
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Degrees: Master
Argosy University
Alameda, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Service Sector Management (MS)
  • Degrees: Master

Try Your Introductory Course Risk Free

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Human Dynamics
  • Degrees: Master

Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.

  • Programs:
  • Degrees:
ABCO Technology
Los Angeles

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

  • Programs: PMP, Project Management
  • Degrees: Certificate

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs:
  • Degrees:

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: DBA in Project Management
  • Degrees: Doctorate

University of Valley Forge was founded in 1939 and is part of an international network of Assemblies of God colleges and universities.

  • Programs:
  • Degrees:
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Meeting, Convention, And Event Planners, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104