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Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

At a Glance

  • Educate the public about clients' product and services
  • Plan events and news conferences
  • Regularly interact with people
  • Supervise public relations staff
  • Have excellent writing, speaking, and organizational skills
  • Often work overtime to meet deadlines
  • Have work experience and a bachelor's degree

Career summary

Public relations and fundraising managers work to build a positive public image for organizations and raise funds.

Public relations (PR) and fundraising managers help organizations build and maintain a strong reputation and raise funds. They may work directly for a company, or work for a public relations firm. They plan and direct a variety of events to publicize an organization or raise money.

Public relations and fundraising managers work with executives to determine the goals for the company's image or fundraising campaign. They focus on designing ways to educate the public about a client's products, accomplishments, or goals. They may try to increase the visibility of the company in the community.

When planning a fundraiser, they make sure to set a goal for the amount of money to raise. They also develop policies about how to collect contributions, keep them safe, and give them away to the designated cause.

PR and fundraising managers ask questions about the company's products and how they compare with the competition. They often research a particular industry. PR and fundraising managers also learn who the customers are, and what image they have of the company and its products.

PR and fundraising managers usually work with a team of PR staff to put together a plan for the best way to promote their client or company. They may work with an advertising firm to arrange a promotional campaign through the use of:

PR and fundraising managers make sure that all publicity efforts, including ads and promotions, match the company's goals and desired image. They work with support staff to produce the materials. They maintain good relationships with local officials and the media.

PR and fundraising managers also plan:

PR and fundraising managers coordinate speaking engagements or trade shows. If a company executive must give a speech, managers usually draft the speech and give advice on how to deliver it. They attend the events to make sure everything goes as planned.

PR and fundraising managers may counsel staff about how to answer the public's questions about sensitive issues. They oversee a company's use of its logo. They also manage the content of a company's website.

Related careers

This career is part of the Marketing cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to public relations and fundraising managers.

Common work activities

Public relations and fundraising managers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, public relations and fundraising managers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Public relations and fundraising managers frequently:

It is important for public relations and fundraising managers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for public relations and fundraising managers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Public relations and fundraising managers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a public relations and fundraising manager, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Most public relations and fundraising managers have a bachelor's degree or higher. Many colleges and universities offer programs in public relations, fundraising, journalism, or communications. No matter what your major is, you should take courses in advertising, business administration, public speaking, technical and creative writing, and political science.

An advanced degree is necessary in some jobs. Many public relations and fundraising manager jobs require a master's degree or higher in journalism or public affairs.

Work experience

You must prove yourself as a public relations specialist before you can enter this occupation. Most public relations and fundraising managers work for several years as PR specialists before becoming managers.

On-the-job training

You should consider participating in an internship while in college. An internship is usually part of a four-year degree program. It offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.

Many large firms provide training to new employees so they can learn that particular company's PR needs. You may spend time studying a particular industry or issue. Training may last up to six months.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be public information officers. You need a bachelor's degree to enter this military occupation. Training lasts eight weeks. Additional training occurs on the job.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers usually seek college graduates to fill entry-level jobs in public relations. Many employers prefer applicants who have majored in communications, marketing, or journalism. Others look for graduates with a business background, especially within a particular industry. Many employers prefer graduates who have work experience from internships.

Employers especially seek public relations and fundraising managers who can speak and write effectively. Employers look for a combination of experience, education, and management skills. They seek managers who can cope well with pressure or conflict. They also look for managers who are honest, fair, and get along well with others.

Most employers require managers to have several years of direct, related work experience in public relations. In many cases, companies hire their own employees who have worked first as public relations specialists.

Costs to workers

Some workers join professional associations, which may have annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Public relations and fundraising managers (SOC 11-2031)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $34.04 $43.92 $57.49 $73.83 $93.04
Monthly $5,899 $7,611 $9,963 $12,795 $16,124
Yearly $70,810 $91,350 $119,590 $153,560 $193,520
    Bellingham Hourly $35.45 $42.20 $51.88 $69.51 $83.81
Monthly $6,143 $7,313 $8,991 $12,046 $14,524
Yearly $73,742 $87,773 $107,904 $144,581 $174,331
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $32.57 $41.95 $49.65 $64.73 $75.67
Monthly $5,644 $7,270 $8,604 $11,218 $13,114
Yearly $67,753 $87,243 $103,270 $134,633 $157,385
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $35.81 $43.85 $61.62 $73.64 $83.07
Monthly $6,206 $7,599 $10,679 $12,762 $14,396
Yearly $74,488 $91,219 $128,166 $153,174 $172,777
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $34.84 $45.20 $51.05 $62.47 $77.14
Monthly $6,038 $7,833 $8,847 $10,826 $13,368
Yearly $72,471 $94,016 $106,192 $129,934 $160,443
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $38.21 $48.47 $61.96 $77.55 $98.53
Monthly $6,622 $8,400 $10,738 $13,439 $17,075
Yearly $79,464 $100,814 $128,866 $161,318 $204,939
    Vancouver Hourly $26.77 $34.00 $45.54 $61.28 $79.96
Monthly $4,639 $5,892 $7,892 $10,620 $13,857
Yearly $55,680 $70,721 $94,718 $127,476 $166,309
    Walla Walla Hourly $31.78 $41.68 $46.27 $50.91 $87.00
Monthly $5,507 $7,223 $8,019 $8,823 $15,077
Yearly $66,117 $86,695 $96,250 $105,883 $180,958
    Wenatchee Hourly $37.27 $44.97 $57.60 $74.47 $92.36
Monthly $6,459 $7,793 $9,982 $12,906 $16,006
Yearly $77,526 $93,544 $119,826 $154,898 $192,108
    Yakima Hourly $29.35 $36.01 $45.12 $54.69 $64.04
Monthly $5,086 $6,241 $7,819 $9,478 $11,098
Yearly $61,036 $74,907 $93,846 $113,755 $133,200
United States Hourly $30.89 $40.44 $55.19 $76.33 (1)
Monthly $5,353 $7,008 $9,564 $13,228 (1)
Yearly $64,250 $84,120 $114,800 $158,760 (1)

(1) Wages are greater than $90/hour or $187,200/year.

Pay varies with the worker's education, job duties, and the industry of the employer.

Most employers provide full-time public relations and fundraising managers with benefits. Benefits may include health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and a retirement plan. Employers may also provide stock options and pay for continuing education. Managers who work for for-profit companies may receive bonuses for their own or the company's success.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Public Relations Managers (SOC 11-2031)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 2,319 26.0% 16.1% 327
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 13 15.4% 13.4% 1
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 39 7.7% 8.6% 3
    Benton and Franklin Counties 30 16.7% 15.0% 3
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 27 18.5% 11.9% 3
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 77 19.5% 15.2% 9
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 72 15.3% 14.1% 8
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 54 20.4% 14.6% 7
    King County 1,611 32.6% 19.6% 253
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 38 13.2% 13.8% 4
    Pierce County 129 21.7% 15.2% 17
    Snohomish County 73 17.8% 12.4% 8
    Spokane County 178 12.9% 13.9% 19
United States 81,200 7.9% 5.2% 7,800

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will grow steadily. Online media requires quick response from public relations and fundraising managers. More companies will be involved in community outreach in order to enhance their reputation. As online fundraising opportunities increase there will be growing demand for this occupation. 

Competition for jobs will be very strong. Job prospects are best for those with a degree in fundraising.

Other resources

American Journalism Review (external link)
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (external link)
7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102
International Association of Business Communicators (external link)
649 Mission Street
Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Public Relations Society of America (external link)
120 Wall Street, 21st Fl.
New York, NY 10005-4024
Public Relations Student Society of America (external link)
120 Wall Street, 21st Fl.
New York, NY 10005-4024


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Strong Interest Inventory

Holland occupational clusters