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Fundraising professionals are generally the most in need of professional support within the nonprofit team. But, with hard pressed budgets and pushes from donors to spend their money directly on programs, they are often the least likely to get support.

If you are a nonprofit executive, think about ensuring that just a bit of  budget money goes to professional support for your fundraisers. If you are a freelance fundraiser, make sure you take care of yourself and spend a bit of your revenues on professional support. Some amazing resources are even free!

Here are just a few suggestions of where to look for fundraiser professional support:

fundraiser professional support - people working together

Idealist Careers

Idealist  posts regular articles on new internet-based, international, national, and local opportunities for networking and career development. It’s a great site to sign up to (for FREE) and keep yourself updated on new opportunities for peer support, networking, and growth.

NonProfitReady

NonprofitReady hosts hundreds of FREE webinars and training courses for nonprofit professionals across the world. The nonprofit organization, borne from Cornerstone on Demand, partners with top experts and renowned global professionals to create videos, seminars and courses. Titles include:

  • Building Resiliency: Avoiding Burnout while Optimizing Organizational Achievement
  • Optimizing Your Self-Care Based on Your Coping Style
  • Dan Pallotta: The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong

Also read: Hiring a Fundraising Consultant

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

The AFP is one of the oldest and most renowned fundraiser networks. Along with being a part of a North American (and increasingly global) network of fundraisers, members gain access to training courses, conferences, and local chapter support.

Professionals pay a yearly fee (at the time of writing this article it was $250). Fundraisers located globally have a much reduced fee, for e-membership. Members pledge that they support a strict ethical code developed by the Association, to promote honest and fair fundraising.

American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA)

The AGWA is an association specifically aimed at professional grant writers. Grant writers can become members for an annual fee. They claim 1000 active members. They offer an annual conference in the United States. Members can take courses for certification of their grant writing skills. And members get a reduced price on a GrantStation membership. (GrantStation is a popular grant searching and writing platform mostly aimed at funders in the United States.)

Global Network of Fundraising Professionals (GNFP)

This network is hosted by BGW Development Group. It is aimed at mission-oriented, faith based organizations and professionals. They offer an interesting array of professional development courses, networking and peer support, and certifications for fundraising professionals working globally.

The Nonprofit Learning Lab

Membership with the Nonprofit Learning Lab includes access to mentoring, training, and other amazing resources. These can help you feel more connected and develop professionally. Membership at the time this article was written cost $85 for a normal membership or $225 for a premier membership. The latter affords free access to webinars and trainings.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

When you sign up for a subscription to The Chronicle, you receive top news in the philanthropy sphere as well as lists of job openings in fundraising and access to webinars and resources. For years it has been the most acclaimed fundraising periodical in the United States. Courses help toward receiving a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification.

Also read: GreatNonprofits.org: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

Forums for At-Home Freelancers

A growing number of fundraising professionals are freelancers, many working in isolation in their homes. Along with taking courses and seminars, it can be helpful to network with other folks in your same or similar work situation.

  • WAHM is a forum and resource base specifically for Work at Home Moms.
  • Home Business Online is more broad, for anyone operating a business from home.

If you have time and resources, look locally for conferences, seminars, and special retreats for fundraisers and freelance professionals. Many business councils and local governments (especially in entrepreneurial metro areas) offer free or low cost programs. Look at sites like Meetup or in your local paper for more opportunities!

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