If you were to tell someone you knew that you were thinking of working in the nonprofit sector, one of the most common responses would probably go something like this: “Really? Don’t you want to make money?”
The truth of the matter is that, despite popular belief, nonprofits can actually provide you with more than respectable salaries — and there’s no better example of this than fundraising jobs. The NonProfit Times recently reported that the majority of fundraisers saw major pay hikes, according to a recently released report by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The study showed that the average salary for U.S. fundraisers was $75,595 in 2011.
This is not to say you should expect this kind of pay at every nonprofit. Indeed, salaries vary depending on a number of factors. According to NPT’s 2011 Salary and Benefits Report, the salary paid to development positions increased as the operating budget of the organization grew. Nonprofits that had a budget of $0 to $499,999 paid fundraisers an average of $34,012, while those with a budget of $50,000,000+ paid an average of $69,394. So if you’re looking for a big pay day, it stands to reason that you should apply to larger nonprofits.
Another variant that determines salary is the field in which the organization works. Here are some of the industries that pay the most:
- International, Foreign Affairs: $56,916
- Education: $56,745
- Health: $54,574
- Public, Societal Benefit: $51,169