How can I get some?

The shortest cut to getting a piece of the money that’s floating around the charitable sector for your own personal self is to obtain your CFRE® — the Certified Fund Raising Executive certificate, a fundraising certification program run by the industry self-regulator, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).  The test is tough, made up of a notoriously detailed multiple choice questions, and has felled many a competent, committed and altruistic soul.  (True or false:  If a volunteer offers you a bottle of wine after a successful event, do you accept it?)

Your pocket book will love you for it.

According to an AFP Compensation and Benefits Study, in 2010, “CFREs in Canada earned $28,000 more than their non-CFRE colleagues.”

Take a look at CFRE®.org to sign up and, as its benevolent tagline suggests, Get the Recognition you Deserve.  Discover the Top 10 Reasons for becoming CFRE-certified.  It’s unnerving.

Once they’ve been certified in getting recognition, the largest cohort of CFRE® certificate holders head to where the money is.  They work in middle management of the Health/Research sector, hospital foundations.   If you are a major gift manager in a hospital foundation, regardless of experience or talent, you will likely start at somewhere around $85,000 a year.  (By comparison the starting salary for a nurse is about $53,000.) If you’re interviewing to be a fundraiser for  a women’s organization, you might be offered $58,000 a year.

One resulting dynamic is that those who work for so-called grassroots or “cause” organizations are perceived as willing to work for less money because they ‘believe in the work’ and therefore not quite as professional.   Poor things.   They’re “passionate.”

The other dynamic is that the cost of fundraising has been artificially driven up based on the idea that a person with a CFRE ® is actually worth a 40% higher salary than a person without; that they are somehow more skilled and dangerously, Your Working Girl thinks, more ethical.

It is not unusual to see a Director of Development ask for, and receive, the same salary as an Executive Director.  The practice puts the person who has responsibility  of delivering help to people in war-torn areas or ensuring 35 abused women and children are safe in a shelter  — executives who have the lives of vulnerable people in their hands — on the same management level as the person who is charged with bringing in private-sector revenue.   Come on…really?   Really?

With regard to the question of who deserves what, Your Working Girl will leave it to the CEOs and Executive Directors of her acquaintance who are now posing their own question:  Is my organization is getting what it deserves?

Your Working Girl will sign off now with All the Recognition She Deserves.®

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