Pay in the Fundraising Sector: How is it Changing?

Pay in the Fundraising Sector: How is it Changing?

CharityJob | 23 July 2019

With the release of the latest Charity Sector Salary Report, published by CharityJob and Harris Hill, Stephanie Dotto takes a look at how fundraisers' roles (and the pay for those roles) are changing.

In today’s digital world, everything is happening online, and fundraising is no exception. We’re driven by data and spoilt with a variety of platforms to showcase our causes. And even beyond that, we’re learning to tap deeper into the intricacies of the donor mindset, which means we can build better and more successful campaigns than ever before.

But with more technology comes more responsibility. Things like donations through voice search technology and 24/7 access to information are shaping and changing donor behaviour. Because of this, we’re having to work harder to stay on top of the latest trends and continue to build on our digital savvy.

So, does that mean salaries are reflective of the new skillsets required to run an effective fundraising campaign? With the recent launch of the 2019 Charity Sector Salary Report published by CharityJob and Harris Hill, we thought this would be a good time to examine how salaries are adapting for fundraisers specifically.

Let’s take a closer look.

What the modern fundraiser is getting paid

There’s still a significant shortage of fundraising candidates with the experience charities are looking for. They want people with a clear fundraising background, people who understand the nuances of the role and have a proven track record of success. And as a result, salaries are rising in all but the smallest organisations, and fundraising is one of the few areas where that extends even to the most junior levels.

Let’s assume you’re an experienced general fundraiser working in a small charity. Last year, the average salary for your role was £26,000. This year, that average has risen to £29,500. That’s an increase of 13.5%. And in a larger organisation, you could be making up to £35,000.

Much of this is because of the influence digital has had on the fundraising profession. And with the introduction of GDPR, the role of researching and approaching wealthy donors has become even more challenging. Ultimately, this has driven up salaries for fundraising roles dealing specifically with major donors.

In other words, charities are becoming wise to the fact that you can’t keep paying the same and expecting more from your fundraisers. The more technically-savvy you are, the more you’re worth. Add fundraising experience to the mix and you’ve got a bit of leverage when it comes to salary negotiation.

How does this compare to the wider sector?

Not surprisingly, fundraising isn’t the only role being affected by the digital revolution. In fact, with more charities investing in digital teams, marketing and PR roles placed by charity recruiters Harris Hill nearly outnumbered fundraising positions in 2018-19. That’s because charities have become wise to how fundamental an online presence is.

And the introduction of GDPR has created new roles in IT that demand a higher salary because of the level of specialised skills required to ensure processes meet the proper standards. In fact, charity IT professionals, even at the most junior levels, could be earning at least £5k more than their colleagues in other departments.

But at the end of the day, fundraisers still have the biggest edge when it comes to salary negotiation, mostly because the number of roles far surpasses the number of experienced fundraisers in the sector. And experience is a powerful bartering tool.

Learning to be more flexible

We often forget that a job offer is more than just a number, and in the charity sector benefits are an important part of the pay package. Where a lot of charities lack the funding to provide competitive salaries, they make up for it in flexible hours and remote working opportunities.

According to the latest Charity Sector Salary Report, in as little as a year flexibility has gone from a ‘nice-to-have’ to fully expected. And charities that don’t offer this as part of the package may find themselves losing talented fundraisers to better offers.

So, what does that mean for you? The good news is that you’re in the driver seat when it comes to creating a working environment that fits your lifestyle.

Fortunately, most charities are quite flexible when it comes to work-life balance, so it’s not unheard of to make this part of the job offer conversation.

So where does your salary stand in the grand scheme of things? It never hurts to brush up on a few skills and keep an eye out on what’s on offer. Find out what fundraising roles are available on the CharityJob page.

Full a full list of what different types of fundraisers are being paid, download our 2019 Charity Sector Salary Report.


Stephanie Dotto, Content and SEO Lead at CharityJob

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