Fundraisers' Incomes Rise as Salaries Remain Flat, Survey Finds

Nearly two-thirds of fundraisers reported an increase in income in 2016, even as average salaries in the field remained flat, a survey conducted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals finds.

According to the 2017 Compensation and Benefits Report, the mean salary for all survey respondents in 2016 was $70,256, a decline of less than 1 percent from the 2015 average of $70,880, while the median salary in 2016 was $65,000, a 4.8 percent increase over the 2015 figure of $62,000. The survey also found that the top 25 percent of fundraisers in 2016 earned more than $86,500, while the bottom 25 percent earned $49,000 or less — a slight increase in both cases over 2015. In addition, more than seven in ten respondents reported that their income grew in 2016 — the fourth consecutive year in which the number of respondents reporting an increase in income grew.

The survey also found a strong positive correlation between years of experience and compensation. Fundraisers with fewer than ten years of experience reported average salaries ranging from $50,889 to $67,678, while those with ten to twenty-four years of experience reported average salaries ranging from $76,534 to $91.996 and those with twenty or more years of experience reported salaries ranging $92,080 to $94,491. The survey also found that the possession of a certification credential correlated positively with salary. In the United States, those holding certified fundraising executive credentials reported average salaries that were at least $21,000 higher than the average of respondents with no certification.

"While salaries have generally remained static, I'm pleased to see that a large majority of fundraisers continue to see their overall incomes increase every year," said Jason Lee, interim president and CEO of AFP. "There's still a lot of movement of fundraisers within the sector as demand for fundraising services remains very high."

"71 Percent of U.S. Fundraisers See Overall Incomes Rise as Salaries Remain Flat." Association of Fundraising Professionals Press Release 06/21/2017.