Despite Challenging Economy For
U.S. Educational Institutions, Annual Giving Fundraising Salaries Increase For Most
CHICAGO, IL (January 10, 2010) -- Average salaries of U.S. annual giving directors and those in other
annual giving fundraising leadership positions in education have increased more
than 7% since 2008, according to the results of a new annual giving salary
survey released by Robert Burdenski Annual Giving.
The report, which examined salary information from surveys
conducted in January, 2008 and January, 2010, received responses each year from more than 700 annual giving
annualized 3.5% salary increase might be considered modest in other years. With public and private institutions
continuing to face budget cuts, however, the growth is more noteworthy. While reflective of the increased urgency at
educational institutions for budget-relieving, current use operating funds
(typically the gifts attracted by annual giving programs), it’s an open question
whether fundraising staffing levels and salaries will be sustained as the U.S.
economy continues to lag.
average salary for a director of annual giving
(and including other annual giving management titles, including associate or
assistant vice president for annual giving, director of development for annual
giving, and others) rose 7.1%, to $67,028 in 2010.
supporting annual giving staff positions, including associate
and assistant directors of annual giving, saw more modest salary gains of 4.3%,
to an average of $46,148 in 2010.
Average salaries varied considerably according to a
number of factors. Some of the survey observations:
“chief annual giving officer” at some institutions is now a six-figure salary
position, with associate vice presidents, assistant vice
presidents, and outright vice presidents for annual giving earning an average
in excess of $100,300 per year.
amount of an institution’s yearly annual giving income directly correlates with
salaries. The director of a
$400,000 annual giving program averages $59,000 in salary, while the director
of a $10 million annual fund averages $84,000 (-- and seems a bit undervalued, as
“single-person-shop” annual giving director makes little more than half ($55,460)
the salary of a director with eight or more staff ($101,652). At the same time, a director with 8 or more
staff reports saw the smallest salary increase (2.0%) of any staff reporting size
between 2008 and 2010. An annual giving
director with 3-4 reports saw the largest average increase – 9.2% -- over the
same time period.
giving directors in the U.S. Southwest and Rocky Mountain region saw salaries
fall 6.4% from 2008 to 2010 – the only region of the U.S. that saw
a decline in the survey. Annual giving directors in New England, Great Lakes,
and Plains regions all saw increases in excess of 10%. California and rest of the West Coast saw
gains of 4.7%
annual giving director in a “large city” made, on average, 27% more in salary
($74,520) than an annual giving director in a “rural area” ($58,692). Both saw less-than-average changes in salary
in the survey: “Large city” director
salaries increased just 1.2%, while “rural area” salaries decreased 1.2%.
tenure in one’s annual giving career appears more rewarding than tenure at
one’s own institution or in one’s current position. Annual giving directors with a career of 15
years or more average $82,000 in salary, more than those with 15 years at their
institution ($74,452) or 15 years in their current position ($75,000).
annual giving assistants and associates, salary changes reflect an increased
role and emphasis on personal solicitation. A phonathon manager’s average salary($35,077) declined 4.9% over the past
two years, and is a little more than half the salary of a dedicated leadership
annual giving officer ($68,429). Additionally,
the number of assistants and associates who “manage my own portfolio of gift
prospects” for personal solicitation increased from 32% in 2008 to 40% in 2010.
5% of annual giving directors are eligible to receive a bonus in
addition to their salary. While the idea
of outcome-based compensation is often discussed in advancement (along with
related concerns about outright commission-based fundraising), few annual
giving professionals currently work under any such compensation
number of respondents identified as “director of alumni relations and annual
giving” increased from 22 in 2008 (6% of participating directors), to 84 in
2010 (18% of participating directors). The trend may be evidence of closer
integration and consolidation between alumni relations and development programs
in recent years –driven by leveraged program goals, budget constraints, or both.
of annual giving directors say they “manage volunteers” and the same number say
they “manage a leadership annual gifts program.” Nearly three-quarters (72%) say they
“personally solicit gifts face-to-face.”
The involvement of volunteers is enjoying new life in annual giving
fundraising, as online social networking sites provide new opportunities for
involving volunteers as fundraising advocates.
of annual giving directors manage the annual giving program by themselves with no
other annual giving staff. 58% also
say they“have other job
responsibilities in addition to my annual giving work.”
of annual giving directors say they “don’t travel at all for work,” and
another 37% say they travel “1-2 days per month.” Just 3% of directors said they traveled 6 or
more days per month.
giving directors demonstrated less mobility, and were more likely to remain at
their current institution, and in their current position, between 2008 and
2010. In 2008, 23% of respondents had spent one year
or less in their current institution. By
2010 the percentage had declined to 12%.
Likewise, 36% of annual giving directors were in their first year in
their position in 2008. By 2010, the
percentage had declined to 23%. The
trend suggests less mobility on the part of annual giving professionals, and may
reflect reduced hiring on the part of institutions as well.