More fundraisers see higher pay; average salaries drop

More fundraising professionals in the U.S. and Canada got a boost in their average income in 2013, compared to 2012, but average salaries fell nearly eight percent, a new survey says.

And a longstanding and large gap persisted between pay for men and women in fundraising jobs, while the average turnover rate among fundraisers grew slightly, says the 2014 Compensation and Benefits Study from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Average income

Over 63 percent of fundraisers in the U.S. and Canada saw their average income grow from 2012 to 2013, down from 66 percent in 2012 but up from 58 percent in 2011.

Twenty-eight percent reported no change in 2013, while eight percent reported decreases, says the survey, which is based on responses from 3,378 AFP members, including 2,952 in the U.S. and 426 in Canada, reflecting response rates of 13.9 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively.

The average salary for fundraising professionals in the U.S. was $75,483, down nearly eight percent from 2012, while the median salary fell 8.5 percent to $65,000.

In Canada, the average fundraising salary fell over 10.7 percent to $78,862, while the median salary fell 5.3 percent to $73,000.

Highest-paid fundraising jobs

Among U.S. fundraising professionals, senior-level fundraisers working for consulting firms and CEOs at charities received the highest average salaries — $103,689 and $87,728, respectively.

Within the six regions of the U.S., average salaries for all survey respondents ranged from $70,115 in the South Central region to $81,747 in the Northwest.

In Canada, the highest paid fundraising professionals were CEOs, who received $92,245, on average, and chief development officers, who received $91,199, on average.

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.

Impact of certification

Fundraising professionals who have earned a certification credential tend to have higher salaries, on average, the survey says.

In the U.S., fundraisers with a CFRE certification, or Certified Fund Raising Executive, reported average salaries over $25,000 more than survey respondents with no certification, while those who hold the ACFRE certification, or Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive, reported average salaries $46,000 higher than those with no certification.

In Canada, those with a CFRE reported average salaries more than $17,250 higher than the average for those with no certification.

Canadian survey respondents with an ACFRE or FAHP — Fellow from the Association for Health Care Philanthropy — reported significantly higher salaries than those with no certification, although the survey sample was too small to make generalizations, AFP says.

Gender gap

In the U.S., the average fundraiser’s salary in 2013 was $94,497 for men and $70,145 for women, the survey says.

With the exception of 2005, when it narrowed slightly, the salary gap in the U.S. consistently has totaled $20,000 or more during the 13 years the survey has been conducted.

In Canada, the average fundraiser’s salary was $85,780 for men and $76,826 for women.

The gap in Canada, which was down slightly, has been roughly $12,000 to $16,000 each year of the survey except 2007, when it fell to $3,353.

Turnover rates

The average turnover rate — the number of years in fundraising, divided by the number of fundraising jobs held– was 4.4 years per job for respondents in the U.S. and 3.8 years per job in Canada.

Both rates were half a point higher than a year earlier.

Todd Cohen

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