Fundraisers’ pay dips slightly

Fundraising salaries
Fundraising salaries

Salaries for charitable fundraisers in the U.S. and Canada fell slightly in 2010 after posting big increases in 2009, and were significantly higher for men than for women, for fundraisers with certification credentials than for those with none, and for fundraisers working for consulting firms, a new survey says.

The location and type of organization played a big part in determining salary, as did the size an organization’s staff, its budget and the amount of funds raised, as well as fundraisers’ education and professional experience, says the annual Compensation and Benefits Survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, or AFP.

Among 2,438 fundraisers in the U.S. and 434 in Canada responding to a web-based questionnaire, the average salary in 2010 fell less than 1 percent to $76,193 for U.S. fundraisers after growing 7.4 percent in 2009, and fell 1.5 percent to $78,388 for Canadian fundraisers after growing 11.2 percent in 2009, the survey says.

“The 2009 results were surprising given the general economy at the time, but perhaps reflect the trend that economic changes tend to affect philanthropy and charities later than other sectors,” Andrew Watt, AFP’s president and CEO, says in a statement. “The 2010 findings tend to mirror what other professions are experiencing.”

Average salaries for male fundraisers totaled $92,540 in the U.S. and $92,086 in Canada, compared to $70,614 and $74,341, respectively, for female fundraisers in the U.S. and Canada.

With the exception of 2005 in the U.S. and 2007 in Canada, average salaries for men consistently have exceeded those for women by $20,000 in the U.S. for the 10 years in which the survey has been conducted, and by $12,000 to $17,000 in Canada.

Seventy-five percent of all fundraisers responding to the survey classified themselves as female, and 24 percent classified themselves as male.

Fundraisers with the Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, or CFRE, reported average salaries that were over $25,000 higher in the U.S. and over $26,000 higher in Canada than the average for fundraisers with no certification.

That gap was over $50,000 in the U.S. for fundraisers with the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive, or ACFRE, or the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy Fellow certification, or FAHP, respectively.

The survey had no Canadian ACFRE respondents.

Fundraisers working for consulting firms reported the highest average salaries, $90,923 in the U.S. and $101,583 in Canada, followed in the U.S. by fundraisers employed by trade and professional associations, with $90,289, and scientific or research organizations, with $88,917 and, in Canada, by federated appeals, with $100,000, and health-service organizations, with $97,113.

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