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Fundraisers See Earnings Rise

The latest glimmer of hope in a nonprofit economy that sorely needs it – and I am averting my eyes from the Dow this afternoon – is a report on fundraisers’ salaries just released by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  According to AFP’s  Compensation and Benefits Study the average salary for U.S. respondents increased by 7.4 percent—from $71,199 in 2008 to $76,482 in 2009, in strong contrast to the two percent drop in salaries that was found in last year’s survey.

“The decline in fundraising salaries across North America that occurred in 2008 seems now to have reversed,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “The results of the 2009-2010 compensation survey show that in spite of difficult economic conditions, nonprofit leaders understand the critical role fundraisers play in the financial success of their organizations, and are willing to compensate them accordingly.”

Fundraisers working for consulting firms enjoyed the highest average salary of $101,076, followed by those individuals employed by trade and professional associations ($87,515) and organizations related to health problems ($83,111). 

A significant gap continues to exist between the salaries of male and female fundraisers. Male fundraisers reported an average salary of $92,490 in 2009. Women earned $71,210 on average. With the exception of 2005 when the salary gap diminished slightly, the discrepancy has consistently been approximately $20,000 during the nine years in which the survey has been conducted.
The survey also addressed health, retirement and other benefits. For more information and a copy of the survey results, contact the AFP Public Affairs Department. 
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