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2023 Salary Survey: fundraising market trends

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Our 2023 Salary Survey is out now, and along with salaries in the charity sector as a whole, we look at many of the core functions in detail, with the latest rates and insights from our specialist teams.

In Fundraising for example, you won't just find current rates for everything from junior assistants to senior directors, but also how they compare between different revenue streams, and how they compare between different-sized organisations.

You can view or download the survey here to check out the figures:

Meanwhile here’s what our fundraising specialists had to say about what’s happening in the market.

​Fundraising market trends

Candidates have the upper hand in most of the market at the moment and nowhere is that more evident than in fundraising, where the basic rule of supply (limited) and demand (high) is pushing salaries for fundraisers steadily skywards.

We’ve seen the biggest hike in candidates’ salary expectations for many years, since they’re well aware of the demand, and with charities having to compete in something close to a bidding war, most will eventually get what they’re asking for.

That’s one reason we’ve seen a marked fall in direct applications and response to advertising: fundraisers know they can wait for jobs to come to them, and indeed most of our work on fundraising placements is now proactive, seeking out potential candidates rather than handling incoming applications, with senior fundraising professionals being the most elusive.

Why are fundraisers so scarce?

As ever, it’s down to the perennial issue of charity sector experience.

While at times during the year it seemed the barriers to those outside the sector might finally be starting to fall, we’ve yet to see any lasting increase in cross-sector hires, most of which still follow the well-trodden path from the business to charity side of a corporate partnership.

With few opportunities at entry level or alternative routes into the sector, charities are inevitably competing for an ever-smaller pool of candidates, who increasingly have multiple offers as a result, giving them plenty of power to set the terms. ​

What are candidates looking for?

Flexibility remains the number one concern after (and sometimes even ahead of) pay, among fundraisers considering a move.

Employers who can stretch no further on salary are increasingly seeking to attract new talent with extra-flexible arrangements like a four-day week for full-time pay – and whether these look like creative solutions or desperate measures probably depends very much on where you’re standing. ​

What can charities do?

The charities having most success in hiring new staff are the roughly 40% (we estimate) who recognise that the market has changed, and are realistic about what they need to offer from the outset.

But it’s a shift in perception that’s sure to take time: employers have held the balance of power in these transactions for so long that it’s widely taken as the default setting, making some slow to appreciate that the shoe is now firmly on the other foot.

However there’s no room for ‘slow’ in the race for new fundraisers: with such fierce competition, it pays to be speaking with candidates at the first opportunity, making swift decisions before somebody else snaps them up.

Indeed, we’re steadily seeing more employers making do with single-stage interviews, showing how keen they are to get what we probably can’t call bums on seats so let’s go with ‘people on board’. Much more professional.

To see the salaries, as well as those in all other major charity departments, see the full 2023 Salary Survey here, while for help with recruiting or your job search in fundraising, please contact our fundraising specialists:

Hannah Laking

020 7820 7331

Email Hannah

Dagmara Wolosiuk-de Paula

020 7820 7315

Email Dagmara

Hayley Wilson

020 7820 7306

Email Hayley

Dominic Gilchrist

020 7820 7332

Email Dominic

Lucy McBride

020 7820 7324

Email Lucy

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