Is there a general percentage payable to professional fund raisers? - Paris Smith Skip to content

4th October 2013

Is there a general percentage payable to professional fund raisers?


4th October 2013

Is there a general percentage payable to professional fund raisers?

Raised by Forum Member in March 2013

7 Replies from Members were received as follows:-

1.  It is not good practice to pay a fundraiser a percentage of funds raised and is frowned upon by the Institute of Fundraising.  It is all to do with people’s donations and clarity of what funds are used for.  A percentage of what is raised may not be viable. The cost in time and effort may be considerable but 10{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} of zero is still zero. Most fundraisers prefer a more realistic remuneration package

2.  Take a look at publications/advice provided by the Institute of Fundraising ( or the Fundraising Standards Board ( , both of whom I think produce guidance on this.

3.  Whilst I have experienced charities applying a percentage of a fundraising target to ascertain a permanent fundraiser’s salary (and in addition, calculate an informed ROI), it is not something that transfers easily to freelancers. This is a question I am often asked as an independent Fundraising Consultant, especially by small voluntary organisations, and hence I have found the following explanation useful.

Payment of Fundraising Consultants
Some fundraising consultants will charge an hourly rate or day rate whilst others will charge to complete a specified task. Most reputable fundraising consultants will not be prepared to work on commission as this payment structure is deemed unprofessional and highly unethical by both the Institute of Fundraising and the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals.)
In summary they oppose percentage based fundraising for the following reasons;
•               The charitable mission becomes secondary to personal gain.
•               Donor trust can be unalterably damaged.
•               There is incentive for self-dealing to prevail other donors’ best interests.
•               The very philanthropic values on which the voluntary sector is based are undermined.
•               It can produce reward without merit (where several individuals collaborate on funding applications.)
In addition to this and perhaps most importantly, the work is varied but often doesn’t actually involve hands-on fundraising (eliminating the possibility of commission.) Fundraising is a investment, not an overhead.

4.  Generally fundraisers who work for charities are on a fixed salary and do not get a percentage of what they raise, although it is not unheard of for some to be on performance related pay

5.  No fixed {ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48}, depends what they do, some have a retainer plus 5{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48}, some a straight 15{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} but it depends what you want, what they have to do to achieve it

6.  At Simon Says we would not, do not pay any percentage for any fund raising.  We either have our volunteers involved or our part time paid staff who are our professionals

7.  No,  every fundraiser is different and, therefore, has their own style and rates.   The two recent quotes we have had are 1. £450 per day plus expenses  2. £1,000 per day plus expenses.   But they are like comparing apples and pears, they have a different modus operandi and are likely to be involved for different projects

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