Majority of NA Fundraisers See Salary Increases in 2013

More than 63 percent of fundraisers in the U.S. and Canada saw their average incomes rise in 2013, even as average salaries fell by nearly eight percent compared to 2012, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) 2014 Compensation and Benefits Study.

Though 63 percent saw their income rise in 2013 compared 2012, 28 percent reported no change overall and eight percent saw decreases. These figures are a slight drop from last year’s data, when 66 percent reported increased income, but higher than in 2011, when just 58 percent saw increased incomes.

The mean (average) U.S. salary in 2013 was $75,483, a decline of almost 8 percent from the 2012 average. The median salary also declined – to $65,000 – a drop of 8.5 percent from the 2012 median.

Canadian fundraisers experienced similar declines in salary in 2013. The average fundraising salary declined by more than 10.7 percent to $78,862, while the median salary fell 5.3 percent to $72,000.

In general, respondents are very committed to the nonprofit sector (85 percent agree or strongly agree) and feel that career advancement opportunities in the sector are good (58 percent agree or strongly agree). Study results show that respondents are very satisfied with their fundraising career in general, and satisfied with their salary and benefits.

Salary by Geography, Position, Credential

The compensation survey found that location and type of organization continue to play an important role in determining salary. Within the six regions of the United States, average salaries for all survey respondents ranged from $70,115 in the South Central area to $81,747 in the Northwest region. Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and senior-level fundraisers working for consulting firms earned the highest average salaries. CEOs earned $87,728 on average, and consultants had average salaries of $103,689.

Within the three regions of Canada, average salaries for all respondents ranged from $66,441 in the Eastern provinces to $99,372 in the Central provinces. The highest earners were CEOs and Chief Development Officers (CDOs). CEOs in Canada earned $92,245, and CDOs earned $91,199 on average.

The possession of a certification credential correlates positively with salary. In the United States sample, CFREs reported average salaries more than $25,500 higher than the average for respondents with no certification. Those who hold the ACFRE reported average salaries $46,000 higher than non-credentialed individuals. In Canada, CFREs reported average salaries more than $17,250 higher than the average for respondents with no certification. Canadian respondents who hold an ACFRE or FAHP also reported significantly higher salaries than individuals with no certification, although the sample is too small to make generalizations.

As expected, there were positive correlations between average compensation and the size of an organization’s budget and amount of funds raised, as well as individuals’ age, level of education and years of professional experience.

Gender Cap Continues

A significant gap continues to exist between the salaries of male and female fundraisers in both countries. Male fundraisers in the United Stated reported an average salary of $94,497 in 2013. Women earned $70,145 on average. With the exception of 2005 when the salary gap diminished slightly, the gap in the U.S. has consistently been $20,000 or more during the 13 years in which the survey has been conducted.

There was also a gap in salaries by gender in Canada, where male fundraisers reported an average salary of $85,780 and women earned $76,826. The gender salary gap in Canada is smaller this year, where it has been approximately $12,000-$16,000 each year of the survey except for 2007, when the difference was only $3,353. Seventy-seven percent of all survey respondents were female, while 26 percent were male.

The average turnover rate (number of years in fundraising divided by the number of fundraising jobs held) for United States respondents was 4.4 years per job, and for Canadians the rate was 3.9 years per job. Both of these figures were half a point higher than they were in last year’s survey.