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Size of the Fundraising Profession

Posted on 3 April 2008 at 3:43 pm
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  • Anonymous
    3 April 2008 at 3:43 pm #3102

    Does anyone have or know of the source of a definitive estimate of the size of the ‘fundraising’ profession’ in the UK (by which I mean staffers within charities AND good causes/nfps/arts orgs etc) whose job is wholly or partly to conduct organised fundraising (whether via DM, raffles, events, trusts etc etc)?

    The Institute often say that 50,000 out of the 198,000+ regsitered charities are ‘actively fundraising’ so my first best guess is that even if small orgs have only one F/T FR (or just a person whose JD includes abit of FR) at one end and orgs like Oxfam etc with presumably at a conservative estimate several dozens of FRs at the other end, we must be looking at minimum 150,000 – 200,000 people actively employed in FR? Any advances (or retreats) on that number?

    7 April 2008 at 6:25 pm #10419

    I’ve never found an official number for this and believe me I have looked for a long time.

    The figure of 30,000 or so paid fundraisers at UK charities and voluntary organisations (including campaigning groups etc) is one I tend to use, based on discussions with some people in the sector whom I respect, back in 2001. One of them was the MD of one of the bigger recruitment agencies so I reckon this was a reasonable estimate.

    Taking it another way, the IoF after 20 years has 4,500 (?) members. UK Fundraising, for what it’s worth, has 26,000 registered users (but that includes international users too and people like Chief Execs, journalists, fundraising agencies/consultants, finance directors etc who have an interest in fundraising, but probably don’t all undertake or manage fundraising themselves).

    So, I would love to find a reliable figure, but currently the 30,000 or so seems to me not unreasonable.

    But we should make sure we’re measuring the same thing. I would see professional fundraisers as those who are paid a salary, whether full time or part time, by their organisation to undertake/manage fundraising. If you expand it to include all those who undertake fundraising within their job then the figure will be much larger.

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