Fundraisers’ pay grows; gender gap persists

The average salary for fundraisers grew 7.4 percent in the U.S. and 11.2 percent in Canada in 2009, compared to a decline of 2 percent in the U.S. and 3.9 percent in Canada in 2008, although a long-standing gap in salaries for men and women continued, a new study says.

Average salaries for fundraisers grew to $76,482 from $71,199 in the U.S., and to $79,554 from $71,511 in Canada, says the Compensation and Benefits Study by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

“The decline in fundraising salaries across North America that occurred in 2008 seems now to have reversed,” Paulette V. Maehara, president and CEO, says in a statement.

Despite the tough economy, she says, “nonprofit leaders understand the critical role fundraisers play in the financial success of their organizations, and are willing to compensate them accordingly.”

Male fundraisers reported an average salary of $92,490 in the U.S. and $87,245 in Canada, compared to $72,210 for women in the U.S. and $74,729 in Canada.

In the U.S., average salaries ranged from $70,032 in the Southeast to $80,842 in the Northeast, while in Canada they ranged from $62,198 in the Eastern provinces to $83,574 in the Central provinces.

Fundraisers working for consulting firms in the U.S. had the highest average salary, $101,076, followed by $87,515 for those working for trade and professional associations, and $83,111 for those working for organizations related to health problems.

In Canada, fundraisers working for health services had the highest average salary, $93,386, followed by those employed by community-development agencies, with $92,529, and public-broadcasting groups, $92,500.

Fundraisers in the U.S. with a Certified Fund Raising Executive credential were paid $25,000 more, on average, than those without that credential, and those with an Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive credential were paid $51,000 more than those without either credential.

In Canada, fundraisers with the CFRE credential earned, on average, $28,000 more than those with no certification, while those with the ACFRRE credential earned $35,000 more than those without either credential.

Average compensation in the U.S. and Canada also was proportionately higher for fundraisers who had more education and years of professional experience, and for organizations with larger staffs, budgets and total funds raised.

With the exception of 2005, when it fell slightly, the salary gap between male and female fundraisers in the U.S. consistently has totaled roughly $20,000 for the nine years the survey has been conducted.

In Canada, the gender salary gap has totaled $12,000 to $16,000 each year except for 2007, when the difference was $3,353.

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