If you have spent much time on our blog – hey, you’re here now, right? – you know that we like to talk broadly about challenges to and best practices for nonprofits. We don’t like to limit ourselves to just fundraising matters. We always get good traction with our blog posts, but two of last year’s posts really seemed to strike a chord with all of you.

  1. What is the Right Amount to Pay a Fundraiser?
  2. Why Can’t I Retain Good Fundraisers?

These were two of the most popular blogs we’ve ever written. So, we’ve decided to revisit them this year. We’d like your help. Thought leadership is an important part of what we do. Our clients pay us as much for our expertise as for our time. So, we’ve always tried to leverage our summer months to build that expertise by talking to experts, and there is no better expert on you than you.

Many of you have participated in our surveys in the past. Those surveys have tended to focus on specific topics, strategies, or sectors. We’re going broader this summer. Our Nonprofit Salary & Satisfaction Survey is intended to give us comprehensive insights into how nonprofit professionals are compensated, but also, how they feel about their jobs and employers. This survey is totally anonymous. At just 17 questions, it should only take you about 4 minutes to complete.

Our goal is to give nonprofit executives and boards insights into what it takes to recruit and, perhaps more importantly, retain talent. As such, we not only encourage you to take it, but ask that you please forward it on to everyone in your organization. We want broad and deep representation in our data.

You may notice we ask really detailed information about demographics. While there is always an option not to answer, we hope you will. The terminology and scope is pretty comprehensive, much more comprehensive than most employment surveys. And, candidly, we wondered if we should even ask about demographics. We elected to for a couple of reasons.

First, we know that, in the United States, the fundraising profession is predominantly white and female because race, ethnicity and gender have been measured by AFP. There is not a lot of broader employment demographic data out there for nonprofits, especially about gender identity and sexual orientation. The primary reason for this is because, until 2020, it was unclear whether those employees could be protected under the Civil Rights Act in labor law, so it was not often measured.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (S. Ct. June 15, 2020), the Supreme Court held that firing individuals because of their sexual orientation or transgender status violates Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex. The Court reached its holding by focusing on the plain text of Title VII.

While we suspect asking about gender identity and sexual orientation will raise eyebrows with some nonprofits, we think it is important to get a snapshot of how big the representation is in the industry. Our instincts are that representation is significantly higher than 10% in nonprofit.

We have always felt that nonprofits are – or should be – in the vanguard when it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion and access. It is one of our core strengths. It is also inconsistently tracked, so we are trying to be as inclusive as possible with our categories. We hope you will accept that in the spirit it is intended.

We will present our results both here in our blog as well as in an online zoom meeting this autumn. We hope you’ll join us.

We look forward to hearing what you have to say.


  • D.M. Paule

    Dave Paule is an experienced chief executive officer, fundraiser, marketer, writer and educator. He specializes in jumpstarting stagnant operations, global business turn-arounds, and building green-field organizations. Dave is Principal & Managing Director at Our Fundraising Search and is a member of the faculty of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson School of Business.