How much should you be paying your fundraisers?


Does your organisation employ fundraisers?

A fundraiser or fundraising team are probably some of the most important staff in your organisation, potentially responsible for a large chunk of your revenue.

But with headlines like ‘Charities’ fund-raising costs swallow millions in donations’, how much to pay your fundraisers can be a controversial question.

So some new research from the US should make for interesting reading.

A survey of 87 small not-for-profit organisations (with budgets less than $2 million) by consultant Third Space Studio has found that for every extra dollar you add to the salary of an individual fundraiser, the average increase in donations to your organisation is a huge $4.25.

To put it another way, boosting your fundraiser’s salary by just $10,000 should yield an average increase of $42,500 in individual donations.

The survey also found that devoting more staff to fundraising from individual donors led to more donations. While that’s not necessarily a groundbreaking finding, it is confirmation that employing more fundraisers is an effective way to raise more funds.

The report found that a person working full-time on individual donor fundraising brought in an average of US$280,000 in donations. Interestingly, the results remained proportionate at any level – for example, a staff member spending 50 percent of their time on individual donor fundraising raised, on average, US$140,000.

The data from the survey only applies for organisations with a written fundraising plan. For organisations without a plan, there’s no correlation between salary and fundraising results.

Armed with this information, it’s evident that a little thoughtful investment into your fundraising team can yield big results.

Would you consider applying this research to your organisation? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this research in the comments below!

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