Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Fundraiser

Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or are already working in the field. Whatever the situation, as with any defining aspect for your character, you’ll need to do the proper research to be able to write that career knowledgeably.

Enter the Occupation Thesaurus. Here, you’ll find important background information on a variety of career options for your character. In addition to the basics, we’ll also be covering related info that relates to character arc and story planning, such as sources of conflict (internal and external) and how the job might impact basic human needs, thereby affecting the character’s goals. It’s our hope that this thesaurus will share some of your research burden while also giving you ideas about your character’s occupation that you might not have considered before.

Below is a sample version of this entry to help you see how an occupation can reveal your character’s beliefs, history, goals, and more.

To view the full entry, visit One Stop for Writers where it resides within the largest fiction-based descriptive database ever created. (Free Trial available.)

Occupation: Fundraiser

Overview: Fundraisers are hired by businesses, organizations, and non-profits to raise money on their behalf. Their job duties can include organizing fundraising campaigns and events, training volunteers, using social media to raise money, contacting potential donors or sponsors…

Necessary Training: Some clients and firms prefer that their fundraisers have a bachelor’s degree—preferably in business, public relations, public administration or a similar area—while others are…

Useful Skills, Talents, or Abilities: A knack for making money, charm, empathy, exceptional memory, gaining the trust of others, good listening skills…

Helpful Character Traits:

POSITIVE: Adaptable, analytical, calm, charming, cooperative, courteous, creative, diplomatic, efficient, empathetic, enthusiastic, extroverted…

Sources of Friction: A big event flopping, donors promising money and not following through, failing to meet a campaign goal, clients who don’t clearly communicate their goals, clients with unrealistic expectations, micro-managing clients, taking on a client whose cause is socially unacceptable and will make fundraising difficult, secrets from a client’s or business’s past becoming public during a campaign…

People They Might Interact With: nonprofit and business owners, administrative staff, volunteers, other fundraisers and bosses at a consulting firm…

How This Occupation Might Impact One’s Basic Needs:

  • Self-Actualization: Fundraisers are often passionate about their work and the good they’re able to do. Those who are unable to work with their preferred organizations or are assigned to clients they don’t respect may feel…
  • Esteem and Recognition: If a fundraiser’s failure or shortcomings keep a worthwhile organization from receiving much-needed funds, she may begin to doubt her abilities. Esteem can also be impacted if…
  • Love and Belonging: A fundraiser’s passion to help others may drive her to work too hard, putting a strain on family relationships…
  • Safety and Security: If the client has high-profile or radical enemies who don’t want them to succeed, these people may seek to sabotage…

Common Work-Related Settings: Airport, art gallery, ballroom, big city street, black-tie event, boardroom, community center, elevator, golf course, gymnasium, hotel room, limousine, museum, newsroom, office cubicle, parking garage, parking lot, performing arts theater, public restroom, upscale hotel lobby, waiting room, winery,  yacht

Twisting the Fictional Stereotype: Fictional fundraisers are typically associated with glitzy events for wealthy clients. But even small businesses and non-profits need money, and fundraisers need to start somewhere. What if your character started out raising funds for a local charity or cause—maybe a no-kill shelter, a health clinic, or after-school program for kids?

Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.

How will your character’s occupation help reveal their innermost layers?

Much of your character’s life will revolve around their work, and whether they love it or hate it, their job is a great way to show, not tell, their personality traits, skills, work ethic, worldview and beliefs, and more, so we should choose it with care.

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“It’s like I fed my imagination Red Bull…” ~ Tracy Perkins

The Occupation Thesaurus is yet another priceless author resource released in this series…” ~ Brandi MacCurdy

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Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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Dawn Simon
1 year ago

The Occupation Thesaurus! Ooh, I can totally see how that could be so helpful to writers! Congratulations on another book! 🙂