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REPORT - Majority of Fundraisers See Salary Increases in 2013

More than 63 percent of fundraisers in the U.S. and Canada saw their average incomes rise in 2013, even as average salaries fell by nearly eight percent compared to 2012, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) 2014 Compensation and Benefits Study.

Though 63 percent saw their income rise in 2013 compared 2012, 28 percent reported no change overall and eight percent saw decreases. These figures are a slight drop from last year’s data, when 66 percent reported increased income, but higher than in 2011, when just 58 percent saw increased incomes.

The mean (average) U.S. salary in 2013 was $75,483, a decline of almost 8 percent from the 2012 average. The median salary also declined—to $65,000—a drop of 8.5 percent from the 2012 median.

Canadian fundraisers experienced similar declines in salary in 2013. The average fundraising salary declined by more than 10.7 percent to $78,862, while the median salary fell 5.3 percent to $72,000.

“We saw strong growth in 2012, but salaries seemed to have reversed course, falling by about as much last year as they gained in 2012,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP. “I think the marketplace may be correcting itself after the significant increases in 2012. Despite that, we’re pleased to see a large majority of fundraisers experiencing rising incomes and continuing to be optimistic about the future.”

Salary by Geography, Position, Credential

The compensation survey found that location and type of organization continue to play an important role in determining salary. Within the three regions of Canada, average salaries for all respondents ranged from $66,441 in the Eastern provinces to $99,372 in the Central provinces. The highest earners were CEOs and Chief Development Officers (CDOs). CEOs in Canada earned $92,245, and CDOs earned $91,199 on average.

The possession of a certification credential correlates positively with salary.  In Canada, CFREs reported average salaries more than $17,250 higher than the average for respondents with no certification. Canadian respondents who hold an ACFRE or FAHP also reported significantly higher salaries than individuals with no certification, although the sample is too small to make generalizations.

As expected, there were positive correlations between average compensation and the size of an organization’s budget and amount of funds raised, as well as individuals’ age, level of education and years of professional experience.

Gender gap continues 

A significant gap continues to exist between the salaries of male and female fundraisers in both countries. There was a gap in salaries by gender in Canada, where male fundraisers reported an average salary of $85,780 and women earned $76,826. The gender salary gap in Canada is smaller this year, where it has been approximately $12,000-$16,000 each year of the survey except for 2007, when the difference was only $3,353. Seventy-seven percent of all survey respondents were female, while 26 percent were male.

The average turnover rate (number of years in fundraising divided by the number of fundraising jobs held) for Canadians was 3.9 years per job, half a point higher than they were in last year’s survey.

The survey also addressed health, retirement, continuing education and other benefits. 

The 2014 AFP Compensation and Benefits Report is available free to AFP members on the Members Only section of the AFP website. Non-members may purchase the 119-page report for $150. To purchase a copy of the report, contact the AFP Professional Advancement Department at

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