Think about your favorite parts of your college education. What did you learn that most excites you for a career in this field? Begin by telling the interviewer where you went to college, and share 2-3 of your favorite things about your education such as favorite courses, team projects, key learning concepts, or how great of an overall education you feel you received. Next, share what you learned that gets you excited for a career in the field! Finally, be sure to mention that this excitement will be used to propel you in the field.
Fundraising Interview Questions
Tell me about your college education and how it will propel you in this field?
Would you host a dinner for potential donors?
Absolutely! Hosting a dinner is a great fundraising option, and showing the interviewer that you are open to hosting an event is always well received. You might share what you would do at the dinner as well as have an informal presentation or some form of entertainment. You may theme the event, have sponsors host tables, or create games/silent auction to go along with the evening to raise additional funds.
How did you develop connections in your past fundraising position?
Easy! Through building relationships! With every person you have gotten to know, they have helped introduce you to other people. This may have been through professional organizations in your town such as your local Chamber of Commerce or Young Professionals (YP) association. Think about how your connections have grown through experiences such as these, and share your story!
Why do you want a career in fundraising?
What led you to apply for this position? Have you always known that fundraising was what you wanted to do? Were you personally impacted by others' fundraising efforts? The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about the fundraising field, so share what led you to apply for this position! Your excitement for the field will automatically come through in your response.
How would you rate your communication skills?
They are super! The interviewer needs to hear that you have great communication skills both verbally and written. Begin by telling the interviewer that you believe you have great communication skills. Next, share an example of a time when you were commended for your communication skills. Did a college professor commend you for your exceptional writing abilities? Have you always been selected to speak at staff meetings because of your speaking abilities? Have you been recognized for your ability to build relationships because of your amazing verbal skills? Mention what another person has told you about your communication skills, and share a little about how you know this person. It will be sure to impress!
Fundraising is very hard work, are you up for the challenge?
Of course you are! The interviewer wants to hear that you are up for the challenge and excited to get started. Share that you understand there are a lot of complexities with fundraising, and you are excited to use your talents in the role. Mention that the challenge will keep your interest peaked and continually give you something to work towards.
How persuasive are you?
You are persuasive! Begin by telling the interviewer that you are persuasive, and you are careful to not rub people the wrong way when trying to persuade someone. Next, share that there is a polite and welcoming way to persuade people to ask for money through community activites, sales, and other initiatives, and you utilize these because it automatically makes people want to give. Finally, be sure to share that your objective is to make people want to provide the organization with money while maintaining a positive relationship and reputation for the organization.
What motivates you in life?
What keeps you going each day? Is it the feeling of satisfaction from accomplishing something great? Do you enjoy knowing that you are contributing to the greater good? Are you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle loving what you do to set a positive example for your children? Share with the interviewer this important tidbit about your life to help the interviewer understand more about who you are as a person.
Some people in the business like to call this Fun Raising, do you agree?
Yes, yes, and yes! It is often through fun events that organizations raise funds, and you understand that the fun events will bring in the most dollars for the organization! Tell the interviewer that this business is all about fun raising to raise funds! The greater the event you can host, the more interest you will generate. And, the more interest you generate, the more money you will bring in for them!
Do you feel passionate about our organization?
Absolutely! The interviewer needs to hear that you feel passionate about the organization. Tell the interviewer that you feel passionate about the organization, and explain why you are passionate about it. Was there a major life event that made you passionate about the organization's cause? Are you motivated because of another person's major life event? Have you worked for organizations that benefit from this organization, and you want to give back in this way? Whatever your motivation, now is the time to share it!
When have you been rejected before? How did you handle it?
We have all been rejected at some point, and that is okay! The key is sharing how we have learned and grown from our rejections. Think back to a time when you were rejected from something. Maybe you didn't receive a job you were hoping for. Perhaps you didn't make the college football team. Or, maybe you were vying for a promotion, and it was given to your peer. Share an overview of what you were rejected for focusing on what you learned from the situation. Tell the interviewer how you positively handled the situation even though you were very disappointed. Finally, be sure to mention how you made the most of the outcome and are successful today even after the rejection.
What creative ideas have you seen work in fundraising?
There are all sorts of creative ways to raise funds! Think about the fun things you have seen. You may have witnessed:
- A community Olympics or sports games event where teams pay to participate
- Trivia tournaments
- Dancing with the Stars Community Edition
- Casino Nights
- Talent Shows
- Fashion Shows
- Jail Night - having people raise enough 'bail' money to get out of jail
Simply share 2-3 creative ideas you have witnessed! Here's an answer example: "For my college marketing association, that I was secretary for, we held an annual casino night at the college. Each year, the event alone was successful enough to meet our annual budget."
"For my college marketing association, that I was secretary for, we held an annual casino night at the college. Each year, the event alone was successful enough to meet our annual budget."
Are you comfortable asking people for money?
Absolutely! Fundraising is all about asking people for money in unique ways, and you are a pro at it to be in the field! Tell the interviewer that fundraising is asking people for money, and this is often done in outside of the box ways. Share that you enjoy collecting money to fundraise for whatever organization you are a part of, and you look forward to doing so for this company.
Tell me about a time when you led a group of people in a business assignment.
The interviewer wants to hear about a positive experience you have had with leadership. Think about a time when you led a group either in the work environment or on a business class assignment when you were really proud of the outcome! Start off by giving the interviewer a high-level overview of what you were leading, and share that you enjoyed the experience. Discuss the positive outcome that the group had, and explain that you would gladly lead again!
What do you know about our projects, and the reason why we are raising funds?
With any job interview, it is a good idea to know key facts about the organization prior to arriving. We recommend visiting the organization's website and learning key facts such as why they will be fundraising, what they promote and advocate for, and a little about their history. When asked this question, simply recite the facts that you learned!
How would you rate your leadership abilities?
What experience do you have that you believe relates to fundraising?
How will you motivate a volunteer to raise funds?
Why would you make a good fundraiser?
Do you believe in the cause for our fundraising?
Have you done any volunteer fundraising?
Do you need a worthy cause to do fundraising?
What do you know about fundraising?
Have you worked in telemarketing before?
Have you had any experience recruiting volunteers?
How would you describe your work ethic?
Have you ever led a fundraising campaign?
Tell me about the biggest amount of capital you've raised?
What fundraising techniques would you want to use for our cause?
What sales experience do you have? If none, would you be willing to take sales training courses?