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."