Recession changing the structure of the fundraising profession

The recession has had a profound effect on employment within the fundraising sector, according to the findings of TPP Not for Profit’s Fundraising Recruitment Survey 2010. Measures introduced over the past year, as not for profit organisations have been forced to cut costs, could also lead to increased staff turnover and shortages of experienced and qualified employees in the future.
The survey was compiled with the support of the Institute of Fundraising using responses from almost 400 fundraising professionals, together with data from over 600 fundraising vacancies in more than 200 not for profit organisations placed with TPP Not for Profit in 2010.
Key findings from the survey results are:
Entry-level Roles Disappearing
The number of paid entry-level roles is decreasing as more of the Assistant/Coordinator duties are taken on by unpaid interns and volunteers, as many non profit organisations attempt to cut costs. This, in turn, means that Officer and Executive positions are now more commonly the entry points to a paid fundraising career and this seems to have had a negative effect on salaries for these jobs.
Lack of Training in the Profession
Staff training and development is one of the most commonly mentioned requirements for our candidates. Our survey shows that there is an apparent lack of training in the sector, particularly for management, as non-profits often struggle to justify training costs when budgets are tight. Could this be costing non-profit organisations in the long run by demoralising fundraising staff and increasing turnover? And what about the impact on the sector in the future?
Overall, most fundraising salaries are reported to have remained static over the past year. However, as charities have been forced to shift strategy as levels of individual donations fall, there has been an increasing demand for highly skilled fundraisers in streams such as major donor and corporate fundraising and at Director level, with the result that salaries in these specific areas are increasing.
Our survey suggests that there is a discrepancy between the benefits that staff would like and those benefits that employers are providing. There appears to be general apathy towards pensions (which may well reflect a societal issue) and continues to be great interest in flexible working policies.
Alex Brooks-Johnson is an ex-Director of Fundraising and has recently joined TPP’s Senior Appointments Team after 12 years in the voluntary sector. He says:
“The results of this survey show how important it is for not for profit organisations to start investing in personal development plans for their staff. Apart from the fact that they are a very effective motivational tool, they also have a positive impact on staff retention, making your fundraisers feel valued. Investing time, effort and money into the careers of your fundraisers now will help decrease staff turnover and bring down future recruitment costs, and ensure that the most talented people stay in the sector, and most importantly increase income.”
Paul Marvell, Director of Learning for the Institute of Fundraising says:
“The conclusions from the TPP survey reinforce the need for formalized training and development of fundraisers throughout their career advocated by the Institute of Fundraising. The IoF Academy offers qualifications and training for all fundraisers of all levels. For further information call our Academy Team on 0207 840 1020 or email us on”
Full results of the survey plus a salary calculator are available at:
TPP Not for Profit has over 14 years of experience of providing a wide range of specialist recruitment services to organisations in the third and not for profit sectors.
TPP has eight distinct divisions: Fundraising & Development; HR, Learning & Development; Senior Appointments; Marketing & Communications; Office & Specialist Support; Finance, & Accountancy; Medical & Social Care and Education & Training – covering a wide range of roles at all levels – both temporary and permanent.
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