TPP Recruitment have just released their 2016 ‘Charity Fundraising Salary Survey’ and I find myself reminded that we’re still not there yet in terms of diversity within the profession.

Back in 2013, the Institute of Fundraising released a report on ‘Diversity in the fundraising profession’ and one of the main findings was that fundraising was a profession that was less diverse than the general workforce of the voluntary sector.

It’s a shame that the people who dedicate their careers to raising money for causes that seek to change the world and make it better for people (and animals), has a problem with diversity. It begs the question, what are organisations doing to ensure diversity not just organisation-wide but also within teams?

I know from my volunteer experiences that teams that reflect all parts of society are more innovative, reflective, constructive and generally more successful.

We can be pleased that the gender pay gap is narrowing with female fundraisers now earning 12% less compared to 20% in 2015. However, a profession that is heavily dominated by women, around 74% of fundraisers are women, it is striking that the gender pay gap exists. This is further accentuated as seniority increases. Nearly a fifth of males were working at Director/CEO level compared to just under a tenth for women.  So in a profession dominated by women, men are more likely to climb the ranks and secure those top level positions.


Interestingly the gender pay gap increases with seniority, with male counterparts likely to earn around £5,000 more per year.

More gender

It’s unsurprising that the Fundraising Magazine’s annual 50 Most Influential list for 2016 had 34 men listed, and if I remember correctly this number isn’t particularly changing from previous years. I’m not disparaging the work of the men on the list, but it would be nice to see a bit more diversity in future.

I couldn’t find stats anywhere regarding trans* people in the fundraising profession, I, therefore, think it’s safe to say that trans* people are massively underrepresented within the fundraising profession. I’m not sure the survey questions are even open for people who do not identify with male or female and therefore they would be unrepresented within the report.

As a profession and generally as a sector, we’re never going to be able to change the world and create meaningful change until we look inwards and see what we need to do to create change and diversity within our own workforces. The third sector needs to lead the way, not follow behind, dragging our heels, refusing to pick up the pace.

The stats released regarding ethnicity, disability and sexuality are not surprising either. It’s no surprise that people with a disability are more likely to work for charities that have disability support and rights at the heart of their cause. Similarly, for ethnicity and sexuality; it can’t be a shock that charities campaigning for change and respect in those areas find it particularly easy to attract, recruit and retain employees who identify with the cause. If you go to any charity under the umbrella of ‘women’s causes’ you will see a larger percentage of women employed and in all levels of seniority. We all deep down, as fundraisers, want to help in our day to day lives the charity that has helped us the most.

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep pushing change, to ensure that as fundraisers we are representative of ALL the beneficiaries that our collective charities help (I’m not saying we should look to hire dogs, cats and pandas anytime soon).

Stats taken from

Institute of Fundraising ‘Diversity in the Fundraising Profession’ 2013

TPP Recruitment ‘Charity Fundraising Salary Survey’ 2016


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