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AFP-GPC Survey Results: Part 1


By Marge King

In late-June through mid-July AFP-GPC gathered information from our community through a survey.  The survey was open to both members and non-members. We asked about various things ranging from demographics, to COVID response, to racism/inequity in the workplace. We learned many things from this survey, and we will present some of our findings over the next few weeks.

In this post, we are going to focus on demographics and the impact COVID has had on employment. Some of what traditionally falls under the demographic label—race, gender, compensation, etc.—were not part of this survey because AFP Global surveys our members for this information in its annual Compensation and Benefits Survey.

Our survey respondents were from a healthy cross-section of arts, culture and humanities; education (pre-K through 12); health; human services and social justice; and service providers/consultants with each section representing more than 10% of the respondents. A full 63% of the respondents are still employed but working from home. We are seeing evidence that some nonprofits are weighing the risks and beginning to open back up and fundraisers are gradually going back into the office.

We were somewhat pleased to learn that most of our community members are still employed. But a full 14% of the respondents either were furloughed, lost their job, had a pay cut, or hours were reduced along with their compensation.  Our findings are similar to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s report in a July 21st article on nonprofits shedding jobs. The Chronicle article rightly noted that there is no right way or easy way to make decisions about layoffs and losing one’s job is emotionally painful. The Chronicle article also suggests that having transparency with staff about the financial realities of the organization can ease the pain of a furlough or layoff.

We also learned that 80% of our members’ employers pay their AFP membership dues.

If our sampling of respondents is representative of our community—the Philadelphia fundraising community—and we have no reason to believe it is not, the results show that our community is aging.  With more than two-thirds being over the age of 41, not surprisingly, a full two-thirds have 10 or more years’ experience.  With all that experience, though, only a quarter of the respondents held a VP or executive level position.  

The question that begs to be asked is: why are so few experienced fundraisers not at the executive level?  How do fundraisers gain appropriate experience to lead their organizations? Does AFP-GPC need to provide more education programming to support the skills necessary to be a nonprofit executive?  If so, what topics would you suggest?

We hope that you will continue the discussion in the comments section.  Stay tuned for the next survey post which will focus on the impact of COVID on nonprofit programmatic and fundraising activities.

About the author:

Marge King is a member of the AFP-GPC Board and is the Treasurer.  She also serves as the chair of AFP-GPC’s COVID Task Group which commissioned the survey.  She is the president and founder of InfoRich Group, Inc.

 

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