Public Relations or Fundraising Manager

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Job Outlook:
Faster than average
Education: Bachelor's degree
Average: $125,620.00
Average: $60.40

What Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Do

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.


Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Develop their organization’s or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Identify audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Fundraising managers typically do the following:

  • Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Create and plan different events that can generate donations
  • Meet face-to-face with donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Manage progress toward achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Public relations managers review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve the image of their organization or client.

Public relations managers help clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They monitor social, economic, and political trends that might affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm’s image on the basis of those trends. For example, in response to concern about damage to the environment, the public relations manager for an oil company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop cleaner fuels.

In large organizations, public relations managers often supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They also work with advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray. For example, if a firm decides to emphasize its appeal to a certain group, such as young people, the public relations manager needs to make sure that current advertisements are well received by that group.

In addition, public relations managers may handle internal communications, such as company newsletters, and may help financial managers produce an organization’s reports. They may also draft speeches, arrange interviews, and maintain other forms of public contact to help the organization’s top executives.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists. In some cases, the information they write has legal consequences. As a result, they must work with the company’s or client's lawyers to be sure that the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns and events intended to bring in donations for their organization. Many organizations that hire fundraising workers rely heavily on the donations they gather in order to run their operations.

Fundraising managers usually decide which fundraising techniques are necessary in a certain situation. Common techniques include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, and soliciting for major gifts. Social media has created another avenue for fundraising managers to connect with potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Those who work on annual campaigns focus heavily on contacting donors who have given in the past to request that they give again. Finding new contacts for future donations is also part of a successful annual campaign.

In contrast, fundraising managers who work on capital campaigns generally focus on raising money over a short time period for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraising managers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes related to gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will. Major gifts are a feature of many fundraising efforts, and fundraising managers generally request these gifts in person, given the large value of the potential donation.

Work Environment

Public relations managers
Public relations managers and specialists work in fairly high-stress environments, often managing and organizing several events at the same time.

Fundraising managers held about 33,700 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of fundraising managers were as follows:

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 36%
Educational services; state, local, and private 30
Social assistance 7
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 6
Hospitals; state, local, and private 5

Public relations managers held about 72,000 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of public relations managers were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 20%
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 18
Educational services; state, local, and private 13
Management of companies and enterprises 8
Government 6

Public relations and fundraising managers usually work in offices during regular business hours. However, many must travel to deliver speeches and attend meetings and community activities.

They work in high-stress environments, often managing and organizing several events at the same time.

Work Schedules

Most public relations and fundraising managers work full time, which often includes long workdays. Some managers work more than 40 hours per week.

Getting Started

How to Become a Public Relations or Fundraising Manager

public relations managers image
A bachelor’s degree and years of work experience are typically needed for public relations or fundraising manager positions.

Public relations and fundraising managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.


For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor’s degree in a field such as public relations, communications, or business typically is required. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, public relations managers can become certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on a combination of experience and education and must pass an exam to become certified.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is also voluntary, but fundraisers who are awarded certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. To become certified, candidates must meet certain education, professional practice, and professional performance requirements, as well as pass an exam. Fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years to keep their certification valid.

The International Association of Business Communicators offers two credentials that allow communications specialists to demonstrate higher levels of knowledge and expertise. Public relations and fundraising managers may apply to take the certification exams when they have 6 to 8 years of experience in the communications field.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related occupation, such as public relations specialist or fundraiser.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of public relations and fundraising managers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 7,800 openings for public relations and fundraising managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Organizations continue to emphasize community outreach and customer relations as a way to enhance their reputation and visibility. Public opinion can change quickly, particularly as social media increases the speed at which news travels. Consequently, public relations managers will be needed to coordinate and help respond to news developments to maintain their organization’s reputation.

Fundraising managers are expected to become increasingly important for organizations, such as colleges and universities, that depend heavily on donations. More nonprofit organizations are focusing on cultivating an online presence and are increasingly using social media for fundraising activities.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about public relations and fundraising managers, including professional certification, visit

CFRE International

International Association of Business Communicators

Public Relations Society of America

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Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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