Fundraisers: Salary Overview
Fundraisers raise money and donations for an organization.
They typically organize fundraising campaigns and events and may also use promotional materials to increase awareness of the company’s goal and financial needs.
Some fundraisers raise money for annual giving campaigns while others raise funds for political campaigns; some specialize in face-to-face interaction with donors who can potentially give large amounts while others receive smaller donations from a lot of people.
A fundraiser’s role depends on his or her employer and the type of organization, but their responsibilities typically include researching prospective donors, creating the fundraising message, using online platforms to reach potential donors, organizing campaigns, assessing the success of completed campaigns, and training volunteers.
Some fundraisers organize annual campaign where they solicit donations for their organizations- most nonprofits have annual giving campaigns.
Others specialize in capital campaigns and try to raise money for a specific project- such as a renovation or a construction project.
Some fundraisers specialize in planned-giving fundraising which means that they solicit donations from people who want to pledge money at a future date or in installments.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for fundraisers was $57,970 in May 2019- this means that half of all workers in this occupation earned less than this while half earned more.
Salaries vary based on a wide range of factors, including the fundraiser’s specialty, the industry of employment, and the level of experience.
Entry-level fundraisers may earn less than $34,000 while experienced fundraisers can make more than $100,000 per year.
Fundraiser Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fundraisers held about 95,400 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them being employed by religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations or in the field of educational services.
Other fundraisers work in the industry of healthcare and social assistance, in the field of arts, entertainment, and recreation, or in the administrative and support services field.
Fundraisers typically raise funds for an organization that employs them but some work for consulting firms that work for many clients.
Fundraisers who worked in the field of grantmaking and giving services- a field that employed over 14,000 fundraisers- earned a mean annual wage of $65,310 as of May 2019, while those employed by a college, university, or professional school- a field where approximately 12,000 fundraisers worked- earned, on average, $68,370 per year.
The mean annual wage was $61,560 for fundraisers who worked for social advocacy organizations and $54,830 for fundraisers who worked in the field of community food and housing, and emergency and other relief services.
According to the report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest mean salary was reported in the field of legal services- an industry that employed only 330 fundraisers who were paid, on average, with $75,500 a year.
Fundraisers employed by companies that provide rental and leasing services earned a mean annual wage of $72,500 a year while those who worked in the field of computer systems design and related services earned a mean annual salary of $71,940.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028.
This growth is explained, in part, by the fact that nonprofit organizations will continue to need donations and will hire fundraisers to help them collect funds for their operations.
Fundraisers who have experience in using social media for fundraising activities should have better job prospects as most organizations try to build an online presence and to connect with potential donors through the internet.
Completing an internship or having volunteer experience in a nonprofit or grantmaking organization will likely improve your job prospects.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Fundraisers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.