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Fundraising Salaries Rise, Gender Gap Still Significant

(June 28, 2004) U.S. fundraising salaries rose more than 9 percent and Canadian salaries increased more than 1.5 percent from 2002 to 2003, according to the latest AFP Compensation and Benefits Study.

The 2003 mean (average) salary for U.S. fundraisers was $71,470, compared to an average wage of $65,751 in 2002. For Canadian fundraisers, the average salary was C$64,316 in 2003, compared to a 2002 average of C$63,334.

Of continuing concern to the profession is the significant gap that still exists between the salaries of male and female fundraisers across both the United States and Canada. In the United States, men reported an average salary of $86,459, while women earned $65,361. In Canada, men averaged C$78,093 while women averaged C$59,613. Seventy-one percent of the respondents were female while 29 percent were male.

The survey was sent at random to 3,000 United States and 1,260 Canadian members. A total of 1,402 AFP members (1,020 United States and 382 Canadian) submitted usable responses by the time the survey closed on March 30, resulting in a response rate of 30 percent for both the U.S. and Canadian samples. The survey was conducted online, reaching all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the United States as well as the five major regions of Canada, exclusively reviewing those members who had email addresses.

Other Findings

  • In the United States, the turnover rate in 2003 was 25 percent; in Canada, the turnover rate was 34 percent.
  • Fifty-eight percent of U.S. respondents and 64 percent of Canadian respondents reported having worked for three or fewer employers.
  • The top three fields or backgrounds from which fundraisers come to the profession are public relations/marketing (17.6 percent for U.S. respondents and 23.5 percent for Canadian); business (14.1 percent for U.S. and 20.1 percent for Canadian), and school/student (12.7 percent for U.S. and 15.5 percent for Canadian).
  • Sixty-one percent of U.S. and 49 percent of Canadian respondents plan to serve in their present position indefinitely. Only 3 percent of American and 5 percent of Canadian respondents want to leave fundraising for a different field. Thirteen percent of American and 18 percent of Canadian respondents would like to move into a higher management level at work.
  • There was a strong positive correlation between average compensation and level of education in the United States. Those who reported holding a law degree had the highest average compensation at $94,750. Only 88 individuals of the 1,402 respondents reported having less than a baccalaureate degree. There was a positive correlation between average compensation and level of education in Canada, but it was not as strong as that in the United States.
  • The possession of a certification credential correlates positively with salary. In the U.S. sample, CFREs reported average salaries $11,521 higher than the average for all respondents. Those holding the ACFRE reported average salaries $16,750 higher than the average for all respondents. In Canada, CFREs reported average salaries C$14,527 higher than the average for all respondents.

The study is available in the members-only section of the AFP website, Log in to the members-only section and click on Member Gateway. Scroll down the page to see the link for the AFP Compensation and Benefits Study.

AFP sincerely thanks all of the members who participated in the AFP Compensation and Benefits Study.

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