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AFP Teams Up with AAUW to Train Fundraisers in Negotiation Skills

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Efforts Aimed at Providing Critical Skills for All Members and Closing the 10% Gender Wage Gap in Fundraising

Washington, D.C. — The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has announced a new partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and its Work Smart Online program to offer a free negotiation course to all members of AFP.

AFP released a study, The Impact of Gender on Fundraising Salaries 2014-2018, earlier this year that found women fundraisers make about 10 percent less than their male counterparts. This is particularly noteworthy since a large majority (almost 75 percent) of fundraising professionals are female.

“When there’s gender pay equity, we all benefit,” said Mike Geiger, president and CEO of AFP. “Part of AFP’s role is to ensure, as much as possible, that our members will have economic security when they decide to enter the fundraising profession. AAUW is a great leader and pioneer in this area, and their incredible Work Smart program is an important step towards that goal. The Work Smart online course will give our members the essential tools they need to empower themselves in the workplace.”

The negotiation training program is critical to the fundraising profession for several reasons. The gender pay gap begins from the moment women enter the workforce and widens exponentially as they get older, so it’s imperative that women, and especially younger members and those new to the profession, receive the training as soon as possible. In addition, the training skills learned through the program are helpful not only for salary negotiations, but also for the kinds of conversations that fundraisers have daily with donors, volunteers, colleagues and bosses.

“We applaud the Association of Fundraising Professionals for being so proactive in working to narrow the gender wage gap,” said Kim Churches, the chief executive officer of AAUW. “Achieving pay equity benefits everyone: women, their families and communities, business—our economy as a whole. There’s no quick fix to closing the pay gap, but AAUW is committed to a multi-pronged approach providing negotiation workshops along with advocacy to change laws and work with employers to improve pay practices. Working together, we can eliminate the pay gap in the fundraising profession and ensure fundraisers earn what they are worth.”

AFP members will have access to AAUW Work Smart Online, a free one-hour digital course, which provides strategies and skills to help individuals learn to better negotiate wages and benefits. The course was created with the support of the Coca-Cola Foundation, LUNA bar and the Mooneen Leccee Giving Circle. In-person AAUW Work Smart workshops will also be made available during a number of upcoming AFP conferences and events.

“AFP’s vision is that every fundraiser, whoever they are, has the same opportunities to advance as far as they want in the profession,” added Geiger. “We are so excited to work with AAUW to make that vision a reality.”

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard bearer for professionalism in fundraising. The association works to advance effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s 31,000 members in more than 240 chapters raise more than $100 billion annually for a wide variety of charitable organizations and causes across the globe. For more information, go to

AAUWThe American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university partners. Learn more and join us at

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01 Jun 2020 President's Perspective Blog
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