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AFP eWire Printable Version: May 12, 2009

Charitable Fundraising Salaries Decrease Slightly Across North America  

Salaries for charitable fundraisers in the United States and Canada decreased in 2008, according to the latest Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Compensation and Benefits Study.

The average salary for U.S. respondents decreased by 2.0 percent—from $72,683 in 2007 to $71,199 in 2008. Average salaries for Canadian fundraisers decreased from C$74,376 in 2007 to C$71,511 in 2008—a 3.9 percent decrease.

“It’s clear that the turbulent economy that has led to declines in employment and benefits across North America is having an impact on the fundraising profession as well,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Given past data, we don’t expect these decreases to continue if the economy improves, and overall fundraiser salaries have increased significantly in the history of our compensation survey. However, the answer to the question of how quickly salaries will rebound is unclear.”

Maehara noted that despite the economy, fundraising remains one of the strongest professions with many opportunities for both beginning and experienced practitioners. “U.S. News and World Reports identified fundraising recently as one of the top 30 professions for the future,” she continued. “Fundraising knowledge and know-how is still in huge demand, especially in a challenging economy when giving is at a premium.”

The survey found that location and type of organization play an important part in determining salary. Within the six regions of the United States, average salaries for all respondents ranged from $64,231 in the South Central area to $76,847 in the Northwest region. Fundraisers working for consulting firms enjoyed the highest average salary of $81,129, followed by those individuals employed by international/emergency relief organizations ($78,313) and educational organizations ($77,381). 

Within the three regions of Canada, average salaries for all respondents ranged from C$60,017 in the Eastern provinces area to C$75,862 in the Central provinces. Fundraisers working for trade and professional associations enjoyed the highest average salary of C$100,000, followed by those individuals employed by scientific or research organizations (C$95,400) and educational organizations (C$80,878). 

The possession of a certification credential correlated positively with salary. Fundraisers in the U.S. possessing the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential earned, on average, $15,000 more than respondents with no certification, while individuals in Canada holding the credential earned C$19,366 more than those who did not. Those individuals possessing the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential earned $36,000 more in the U.S. and C$26,703 more in Canada.

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

A significant gap continues to exist between the salaries of male and female fundraisers in both countries. Male fundraisers in the United States reported an average salary of $86,596 in 2008.  Women earned $66,388 on average. With the exception of 2005 when the salary gap diminished slightly, in the United States the gap has consistently been approximately $20,000 during the nine years in which the survey has been conducted.

There was also a gap in salaries by gender in Canada, where male fundraisers reported an average salary of C$85,343 in 2008 and women earned C$67,711 on average. The gender salary gap in Canada has been approximately $16,000 each year of the survey except for 2007, when the difference was only C$3,353. Seventy-five percent of all survey respondents classified themselves as female, while 24 percent classified themselves as male.

Asked whether they looked for a job with another employer in the last 12 months, 41 percent of United States respondents and 40 percent of Canadian respondents said yes.  Top reasons for job leaving included were to earn a higher salary, frustration with the work environment, to engage in more interesting or challenging work, and opportunities for career advancement elsewhere.

The survey also addressed health, retirement and other benefits. 

To download the complete 2009 AFP Compensation and Benefits Report, go to the AFP homepage,, and click on Member Gateway. Your member log-in is required to enter the Member Gateway section of the AFP website. Please click on the link labeled Compensation & Benefits Report.

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"Dean" of American Fundraising Brakeley Jr. Dies at Age 93  

George A. Brakeley Jr., a national leader in the philanthropic and fundraising consulting communities, died of natural causes on May 1 in Naples, Fla.

During his long career as a philanthropic fundraising consultant in the United States and Canada, he was an innovator in philanthropy and fundraising, a leading spokesman for the consulting profession and a founder of the then-American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (now the Giving Institute). His career began with John Price Jones Inc., of New York, which was known at his retirement in 1983 as Brakeley, John Price Jones (today Brakeley Briscoe, Inc.). He also founded firms bearing his name in Canada and on the West Coast.

“George was a giant in the profession of fundraising, and he will be sorely missed,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “We are very grateful for his lasting contributions as a leader in the profession. He sets the bar high for fundraisers seeking to be great at what they do.”

Among his hundreds of internationally and nationally-renowned clients were Harvard University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, Yale University, Stanford University, McGill University, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington National Cathedral, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the U.S. Olympic Committee. It is reckoned that, during his forty-four year career, he assisted his clients in raising in excess of $10 billion in today’s dollars. He was a Trustee of The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress as well as the Washington National Cathedral.

A World War II veteran, Brakeley served in China and Indo China with the Corps of Engineers, leaving the service as a Captain.

He is survived by a son, George A. Brakeley III, of New Canaan, Conn., and two daughters, Deborah of Vancouver, B.C., Canada and Joan, also of New Canaan; eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. His wife Roxana, daughter Linda, and sister Barbara predeceased him.

The family has asked that gifts in lieu of flowers be made in his memory to The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, ATTN: Thomas M. Kirlin, 1020 19th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

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Certified Fund Raising Executive Program Receives Distinguished Accreditation  

CFRE International’s Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) program has been granted accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

NCCA, the accrediting arm of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), grants accreditation to a select group of organizations that demonstrate compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. The accreditation process includes a comprehensive and independent expert analysis of the certification program against the highest industry standards.

“AFP congratulates CFRE International for this important accomplishment,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Having a strong and respected credentialing program is extremely valuable to the fundraising profession, and this accreditation further solidifies the significance of the CFRE program.”

NCCA uses a peer review process to: establish accreditation standards; evaluate compliance with the standards; recognize organizations/programs which demonstrate compliance; and serve as a resource on quality certification. Certification organizations that submit their programs for accreditation are evaluated based on the process and products, not the content, and are therefore applicable to all professions and industries.  NCCA accreditation can take more than a year to achieve. CFRE international has been granted accreditation for five years, expiring in March 2014.

“While CFRE International has always adhered to quality standards in certification, accreditation by NCCA serves as an indicator to the nonprofit sector, our donors, and other stakeholders that the CFRE is a psychometrically sound and legally defensible certification exam. It is a reliable tool for measuring that a fundraising professional has mastered the set of knowledge, skills and abilities to be an effective fundraiser,” said Susan Davies Goepp, CFRE, chair of CFRE International’s Board of Directors.

The purpose of NCCA accreditation is to provide the public and other stakeholders the means by which to identify certification programs that serve their competency assurance needs. NCCA Standards address the structure and governance of the certifying agency, the characteristics of the certification program, the information required to be available to applicants, certificants, and the public, and the recertification initiatives of the certifying agency.

Information about CFRE International, its certification programs, and a directory of certified fundraising professionals are available at

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Nominations Being Accepted Now for AFP Board of Directors

AFP is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to serve on its 2010 Board of Directors as a district director or as an at-large director. Forms are due on or before July 31, 2009. To nominate someone for AFP’s Board of Directors, go to the AFP homepage,, and click on the item in the to-do list regarding board nominations. Or see the electronic version of this story.

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AFP Award Nominations Now Being Accepted - Forms Due July 15

AFP offers a number of awards for exemplary work in philanthropy and fundraising. Act now to nominate an outstanding fundraiser, philanthropist, corporation or foundation. Go to the AFP website,, and click on the link for National Philanthropy Day and AFP Awards.

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AFP, The Globe and Mail Create 'A Time to Give'  

AFP is continuing its partnership with Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail through a special June 27 philanthropy supplement titled “A Time to Give.”

Members are encouraged to advertize in this premier report because it will be a tremendous opportunity to reach a wide cross-section of donors and constituents. Special advertizing discounts are available. The deadline for reserving space is May 20.

This special national report will investigate how charities are addressing the current global economic crisis and why charitable contributions are needed now more than ever. Other topics will include the best ways donors can support a charity in the current climate, ethics and public trust, innovative programs and services being offered and planned giving, bequest and endowments.

The Globe and Mail reaches 1.3 million daily readers and is a favorite publication of Canadian senior executives, read by 71 percent of all executives and 76 percent of presidents, CEOs and chairpersons.

“In these economically challenging times, this type of national supplement focusing on philanthropy is more important than ever,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Charities can’t afford to pull back on their marketing and advertizing efforts, and we believe our partnership with The Globe and Mail is an extraordinary value and opportunity for members to show all of Canada how they’re helping to improve the world. I encourage members to participate in this special report.”

The supplement will include a limited number of one-eighth, quarter-, half- and full-page advertizing positions. The Globe and Mail will also reprint additional copies of the report and provide an online PDF version of the supplement. The special section also will appear online at for seven days and thereafter will be archived for 90 days.

The attached sell sheet has additional information about the supplement. Interested members can contact Richard Deacon, “A Time to Give” project manager, at (604) 631-6636 or

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Member Motion Reminder

Changed jobs recently? Accepted a new challenge? Received an accolade for your work and accomplishments? Let your colleagues and AFP know! Simply send your current AND new job information (including city and state/province), or information about your recognition, to Please include the phrase “member motion” in the subject line.

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AFP/APRA Summit: Organizational and Skill Evolution for Changing Times

Join AFP and APRA in a collaborative summit that will inspire professionals to come together and explore new, creative ways to retool and rethink fundraising in today's changing times. The event takes place July 28, 2009, at Boston Marriott Copley Hotel in Boston, Mass. Learn more and register today by going to the AFP website, and clicking on Education and Career Development, then Executive Institutes.

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Don't Miss Two Upcoming Great Webconferences to Better Your Fundraising!

(To register go to and click on Education and Career Development—AFP Web/Audioconferences)

Giving Circles – Presented by Angela Eikenberry and Jessica Bearman
Giving circles are emerging in popularity among groups of donors across the United States and elsewhere as community-based funding vehicles. This presentation will provide information on the giving circle landscape, based on several studies of giving circles, with special attention given to their impact on donor-members and nonprofit funding recipients. Register today for Giving Circles and Fundraising in the New Philanthropy Environment presented on Wednesday, May 20, at 1 p.m. EDT.

Evaluating Your Development Program – Presented by Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE
How does your development program measure up to accepted standards? Are you doing as well as your competition? Is your development program growing or is it stagnant? Does your organization have a philanthropic culture? What tools can help you assess your performance? How do you find the time to "take stock" of your program? These questions and more will be answered in Evaluating Your Development Program: How Do You Measure Up? presented on Wednesday, June 10 at 1 p.m. EDT.

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