New Research Finds Gender Gap Persists in Fundraising Salaries

Gender accounts for a 10 percent difference in salaries between male and female fundraisers, according to new research published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The research, based on more than 10,000 responses to AFP’s Compensation and Benefits Studies from 2014 to 2018, found that controlling for all other factors, women make 10.5 percent less than their male colleagues. Across the five years of the survey, women accounted for 77 percent of all the respondents.

Gender was just one of several factors that influence salaries, and six factors influenced salaries more strongly than gender. Using the comparison of a deputy director of development or development officer with a bachelor’s degree working at an organization with a budget of under $1 million, the following factors had the most impact on salary:

  • Organizational size (budget of $50 million or more): 53.7 percent increase
  • Organizational size (budget of $10 – $49.9 million): 31.0 percent increase
  • Current position (Director of Fundraising, Vice President, CDO, CEO): 25.3 percent increase
  • Current position (Other position): 20.2 percent decrease
  • Organizational size (budget of $3-4 million): 18.2 percent increase
  • Education (Doctoral or professional degree): 15.5 percent increase

While women comprise a significant majority of the profession, a larger share of male respondents comprised many of the groups above. For example, 42 percent of men work in an organization with a budget of $10 million or more, compared to one-third of women respondents. Nearly 60 percent of men hold a higher-level position (director of development, vice president, CDO or CEO) compared to 52.5 percent of women. Finally, more than half of the male respondents (52.3 percent) hold a master’s, doctorate or professional degree compared to 42.5 percent of women.

The complete report, The Impact of Gender on Fundraising Salaries 2014-2018, is available for free download here.