President's Perspective Blog

Mike’s Monday Message: AFP's Compensation and Benefits Report Has Been Released

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Today, AFP releases our latest Compensation and Benefits Report covering both salaries and benefits in the fundraising position for 2019, along with new data on the demographics of fundraisers, job satisfaction and other issues. I’m going to talk about the U.S. data today, and here is the Canada data.

You’ll see the headline is that 77% of fundraisers overall saw increases in their income—that’s good news. Most of those increases were small, however, with 43% reporting increases of between 1%-3% of their salary, and 34% seeing increases of 4% or more. In addition, 17% saw no change in salary, and 6% saw their compensation drop.

These relatively smaller increases led to average fundraising salaries rising by only 1.5% overall in the U.S.—from $83,826 in 2018 to $85,060 in 2019. The median salary—that is, the most middle salary—was $74,000 in 2019, an increase of 2% from the 2018 median of $72,500.

These numbers are to be expected. Last year, we saw average salaries increase by almost 8%, a rate of growth that simply is not sustainable. We can expect that salaries in 2020 will likely be the same—a flat rate of growth, if there’s any at all given the impact of the pandemic.

One statistic that really stands out for me is this: The U.S. median household income in 2019 was $63,688. Remember the median salary for fundraisers this year? $74,000! That’s $10,000 more than the typical median household income. That’s the kind of data we need to show young people and others just entering the profession that you can make a good income as a fundraiser while working to change the world. The fundraising profession is strong, vibrant and competitive, and that means many opportunities.

There’s a lot of great data in the report, including a new section on the attitudes and challenges of young professionals, and this won’t be my last message on some of the other findings. I hope you’ll get your copy and use it to help advance your career. No matter your position—or the position you want to achieve—every member should have a copy.

But it’s also something we need to use as a profession. To point to and say to the public and people considering entering the profession: This is who we are. You can make a great living—and a great life—in fundraising. The report illuminates our challenges and where we can improve, but also shows us opportunities for growth. AFP Global will use the results to examine how we can better provide programs and services to our members, and I encourage chapters to do the same as they think about planning for 2021.

I hope you enjoy the report! It’s one of the most important benefits we offer that can help you navigate through the profession. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. As always, you can email me at or find me on Twitter at @AFPMikeGeiger.

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Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA

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22 Sep 2021 AFP News
22 Sep 2021 AFP News
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