Fundraisers' Salaries Rose Nearly 8 Percent in 2018, Survey Finds

Fundraisers' Salaries Rose Nearly 8 Percent in 2018, Survey Finds

Average fundraising salaries in the United States rose nearly 8 percent in 2018, a report from the Association of Fundraising Professionals finds.

Based on survey responses from nearly thirty-six hundred AFP members across the U.S., the 2019 Compensation and Benefits Report (158 pages, PDF) found that the mean salary for fundraising professionals in 2018 was $83,826, an increase of 7.7 percent from the 2017 average of $77,862, while the median salary was $72,500, an increase of 8 percent from the 2017 median of $67,100. While a third of respondents reported a salary increase of at least 4 percent, 45 percent reported more modest increases of between 1 percent and 3 percent, while 22 percent saw no increase or experienced a cut in pay.

According to the report, there was no significant difference between the mean salaries of fundraisers of color and their white peers ($83,494 vs. $83,179). However, the mean salary for male fundraisers was 27.7 percent higher than the mean for female fundraisers ($100,008 vs. $78,326), while the median salary for male respondents was 21.4 percent higher than the median for female respondents ($85,000 vs. $70,000). The report also found that fundraisers with a credential reported an average salary between 3 percent and 14 percent higher than those with comparable experience but no credential.

In addition, the survey found that while a majority of respondents were satisfied with their current position, 37 percent said they were dissatisfied with their opportunities for advancement, 32 percent were dissatisfied with their compensation and benefits, and 25 percent said there was insufficient staff to do the fundraising work at their organization.

"After a period of flat growth and even decreases in salaries, we've seen very strong increases in compensation for two years now — a very good sign for the profession," said AFP president and CEO Mike Geiger. "While the increases are not across the board, there's clearly now a very positive job environment for fundraisers. People are coming to the profession, especially younger generations, and seeing they can have a fulfilling career and help change the world."