Nonprofit Development Manager Salary Range

In any organization, for profit or nonprofit, results are a direct reflection of the work done by their employees. Compensation for those employees is certainly a big factor in who they can hire in the first place and over the long run decides who they can keep on their staff. 

Salary Versus Compensation

Salary is just one aspect of an employee’s compensation. Here’s a beginning list of things that are considered part of the overall compensation package.

  • Salary—This is the big one that’s on everyone’s mind and what we’ll focus on here.
  • Benefits—This includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits. The key factors are how much the employee pays and how much the organization contributes, plus the overall level of each benefit.
  • Retirement—This is important at any stage of life. The more you save early in your career, the better off you’ll be in retirement. So look at the organization’s 401k or 403b investment plan and their employer matching policies.
  • Work Schedule—What are the working hours and what is their policy regarding working from home or in the office? Do they have flexible schedules and time off policies?
  • Vacation and Holidays—Do they offer generous vacation and holiday schedules?
  • Work Environment—Is it a casual workplace or button-down collars and ties?
  • Growth Opportunities—Are there opportunities for career growth in potential future positions but also in the training and experience to be gained?

Those are a few starting points to consider within the realm of overall compensation for your time and work. Depending on the stage of your career and your overall goals, some will be more important than others.

Salary Versus Market Value

Every position in an organization has a market value. That is, what organizations are willing to pay to find the right person with the right qualifications for that particular position. Here are the key factors at play regarding market value.

  • Nature of the Work—Typically the more specialized the position, the higher will be the pay.
  • Impact on the Organization—The higher salaries in any organization will be paid to those positions that have the greatest impact. For example, the chief operating officer will be paid more than the receptionist.
  • Organization Size and Mission—Larger organizations can typically be expected to pay more for nearly every position. Mission will also have an impact as arts organizations typically pay less than major academic and medical centers. 
  • Location—The Northeast and West coast typically have the highest cost of living and salaries are generally higher in those areas.

Salary Versus Job Description 

Nonprofit development manager is a pretty broad title. The go-to reference for job titles and job information is the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. It has just two titles that get reasonably close: fundraisers and public relations and fundraising managers. Combining PR managers and fundraising managers into the same data gathering exercise doesn’t really work in my view. 

Here’s how defines a nonprofit development manager’s job:

Manages the daily activities of a non-profit organization's development programs. Assists in the development of goals and strategies for all fundraising campaigns. Arranges and attends meetings with donors and prospective donors to create and foster relationships. Creates a balanced funding mix of donor sources and solicitation programs tailored to the needs of the organization. Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 5 years of experience in the field.  

Nonprofit Development Manager Salary Ranges

With all that background, here’s what online sources are providing regarding salary ranges:

The NonProfit Times provides a salary and benefits report for 2014. They offer average base salaries for a wide range of positions within the category of income development/fundraising. Here’s a short list of titles and salaries.

  • Capital Campaign Manager—$71,629
  • Development Director—$70,489
  • Online Giving Manager—$63,900
  • Grants Manager—$58,349
  • Membership Director/Manager—$57,528
  • Special Events Manager/Specialist—$50,485

I like how PayScale provides additional information regarding the premium that can be expected for experience level and skill sets. For example, entry level can expect 6% lower salaries, experienced mid-career 6% higher, and late-career 16% higher salaries. 

Their skills information shows +13% for project management skills, +7% for customer relationship management, and +4% for donor relations. They also provide information on differences between cities. For example, New York’s median is $53,606 and Dallas is at $50,770.

Finding More Information

As any compensation director will tell you, finding average salaries and ranges for any position can be extremely challenging. There are so many variables at play and then you need to place all that within the context of the hiring organization along with the relevant experience of the person you’re trying to find. 

But you can find more information online, particularly information that builds on your particular experience and the job location. 

I recommend the websites noted above along with O*NET OnLine and LinkedIn Salary.  O*NET builds on the data within the Occupational Outlook Handbook and allows you to customize the information you’re seeking across a wide range of variables. LinkedIn Salary offers a similar range of custom options, all based on the data they’ve collected.  

We Can Help

We've been working in nonprofit fundraising for quite a few years. We can help develop recruiting campaigns, job descriptions, salary ranges, and more. We can also take on fundraising tasks and complete programs.

Give us a call at (855) 329-4327 or

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John Connors

John Connors

John is a passionate patriot and business owner. He launched Campaign Now in 2008 to help free-market oriented, American organizations increase their reach and achieve important results. When he’s not strategizing growth plans with clients, you can find him sharpening his history chops, playing tennis in the Texas heat, or spending time with family.


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