Is Not Being a College Graduate All that Bad?

by Steve Johnson 09/05/2018 0 comments

You’re told over and over again that you need to go to college if you want to be a success in life. The numbers seem to back that claim up, too. A report from Georgetown University found that “a Bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a life time,” and “Bachelor’s degree holders earn 31 percent more than those with an Associate’s degree and 84 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.”

But what if you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life, and you feel like you need a short break from studying? College is super expensive. How can you pay for it if you don’t want to take out massive loans that you’ll be beholden to pay back over several years of your life after graduation? If you don’t think you need a college education to do the work that you want to do, are you necessarily wrong?

The answer to the latter question is no. Rana Foroohar and Edward Luce of the Financial Times report that “with business and labour working together to create new sorts of training and widely-accepted credentials that allow younger workers without a 4-year degree a leg up,” changes are happening in the society that constantly shoves college down young people’s throats. They cite the Credential Engine that tries to bring employers and skilled workers together, not employers and institutions of higher learning. Another is the program Year Up, which is a nonprofit that puts those without college degrees in high level positions by getting companies to offer one-year training internships.

What about all of the technical apprenticeship programs out there that prepare an individual to work in some high-paying positions, positions that pay more in many cases than the run-of-the-mill job someone with a liberal arts Bachelor’s degree might get? Apprenticeships take more than just a couple of months. They are very in-depth and require a commitment to learning and training on the job. Apprentices earn money while they work and train, and they come out with a credential like a job title or certification that demonstrates that they have the necessary skills to do a certain job.

College graduates aren’t just handed a great job with great pay right away. In fact, they are often stuck with an education that does not prepare them to work in their field in that they don’t have the technical and practical skills they need to do their work. Also, Accenture, a consulting firm, found that 84 percent of graduates of the class of 2014 expected to find a job in their chosen field. However, the previous two years of graduates experienced things differently than how they expected their futures to turn out because just 67 percent of them found jobs in their chosen fields, according to Michael Price of HuffPost.

So if you’re worried about whether you’re making the right decision in going to college or not, take a step back, and consider the facts. You can be a success and be happy without a college degree if that is what you feel is right for you. Don’t let societal expectations make you make a decision that you won’t feel comfortable with later on. In a world where there are more college graduates than there are often jobs for them, you might consider becoming an entrepreneur and creating your own job.

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Teacher Unemployment and Job Projections

by Steve Johnson 08/29/2018 0 comments

If you’re currently an educator or you’re considering becoming one, it’s important to understand the current unemployment rate of teachers in the country. You need to know your chances of actually finding a job if you want to become a teacher or you want to find another teaching job. The good news is that, in general, teachers are needed, so you’re likely to be able to find a teaching position.

U.S. News Money reports that elementary teachers have a 2.8 percent unemployment rate with a median salary of $55,800 per year, and there are about 104,100 jobs will be available between 2016 and 2026 because of an expected up in the number of children going to school. Job growth stands at 7 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Middle school teachers have an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent as well, and they earn a median salary of $56,720 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2016 and 2026, the number of new positions for middle school teachers will be 47,300. The position is expected to grow at a rate of 8 percent.

High school teachers also have a low 2.8 percent unemployment rate, and the BLS projects that the number of new jobs for high school teachers between 2016 and 2026 will be 76,800. The median salary of a high school teacher is $53,030. This position is expected to grow by 8 percent in this period.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the estimated job growth for all teachers between 2014 and 2024 is between 0 and 7 percent. The 0 percent job growth belongs to the category of secondary career and technical education teachers, where the projected new job openings between 2014 and 2024 is 19,200. Middle school career and technical education teachers will likely see a 6 percent increase in job growth, or 3,900 job openings.

This older data shows that there is an increase in the demand for both elementary and high school teachers, 1 percent for elementary and 2 percent for high school teachers. For middle school teachers, the projection increased by 2 percent as well between the 2014-2024 and the 2016-2026 projections.

It’s important to note that growth will vary by the area you live in. Increased school enrollment in different areas of the country is fueled, in part, by the state of the local and state economies, which have an effect on jobs. The amount that state and local governments set aside for new teaching jobs also varies throughout the country.

For the 2017 to 2018 school year, teacher shortages were reported across the country. This also included substitute teachers. Teachers are giving up planning periods and more to cover their colleagues’ classes when they are absent. A 2016 report from the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute found that students are not choosing teacher education as much as in the past, with a 35 percent drop between 2009 and 2014, and the attrition rate for teachers is almost 8 percent, with most leaving before they are of retirement age, according to the Washington Post.

Additionally, some states are changing the laws on certification requirements, making it easier for those without a license to become teachers if they have the required education in a specific area and/or work experience.

You can find a list of areas of shortages in a report here.

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Non-Profit Bookkeeper Salary

by Steve Johnson 08/22/2018 0 comments

Non-profit organizations rely on their bookkeepers to help them stay within their budgets, which is critical to their being able to serve their clients. If you’re considering working at a non-profit organization as a bookkeeper, you will want to know what kind of salary you can expect to help you make your decision.

There is mixed evidence about whether non-profits pay more or less than for-profits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in January 2016. The BLS reports that management, professional, and related workers earn less than service workers in non-profits, and that there is wage parity between the two industries for sales and office workers. Total compensation as a pay measure shows that there is parity between non-profits and for-profits for management, professional, and related workers and for sales and office workers, but nonprofit service workers have the upper hand in total compensation.

If you categorize bookkeepers as office workers, you can expect that you will earn a wage that is about the same in the non-profit industry versus the for-profit world. Total compensation would also be about the same.

Nonprofit employer compensation costs per employee hour for sales and office workers, as of March 2014, was $16.57 hourly for sales and office workers, and $24.71 for total compensation. For for-profits, sales and office worker employer compensation costs per employee hour was $16.25 hourly and $22.64 for total compensation. The availability of health and retirement benefits, as of March 2014, for sales and office workers stood at 81 percent in the non-profit industry, but this was just 68 percent for for-profit employers.

According to, the average salary of a bookkeeper is $16.92 per hour. This salary is based on nearly 18,100 salaries submitted to Indeed by users and employees, as well as past and current job advertisements over the previous three years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for bookkeepers was $39,240 annually, or $18.87 per hour, as of May 2017. The lowest 10 percent earned an hourly wage of $11.83, while the 90th percentile earned an average of $29.17 per hour, or $60,670 per year. The average annual salary was $41,110 per year, or $19.76 per hour.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not offer information on the salary of a bookkeeper in the non-profit industry, non-profit employers in the Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals industry, had an hourly mean wage of $20.05, or $41,000 per year. Those in the for-profit Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services industry earned an average of $19.84 per hour, or $41,290 per hour.

Those in the federal government Postal Office Industry earned $65,100 per year, on average, or $31.30 per hour. This was the highest-paying industry recorded by the BLS, and the fifth highest-paying industry was Scientific Research and Development Services at $23.69 per hour, on average, or $49,270.

While the size of the non-profit, its budget, location, your education and experience level, and other factors will impact your salary as a nonprofit, you can generally expect a salary that is close to that of a for-profit employer.

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Best Way to Leave Your Job without Burning Bridges

by Steve Johnson 08/15/2018 0 comments

Whatever your reason for leaving your current position, leaving with dignity is critical to leaving a good impression when you walk out the door of the office for the last time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2016 that the median number of years that people stay in one position is 4.2 years, so you’re not alone in wanting to leave your job. The question is how to do it well. How you leave can determine whether you will be able to get a recommendation from a colleague or supervisor for a future position if you need it. Leave with grace so that your professional future is not in jeopardy. These tips can make your transition smooth and easy on you and your colleagues.

1.) Two Weeks is King.

The old rule of giving your employers at least two weeks’ notice before you leave is important, no matter how cliché it might sound. Your supervisor will appreciate that you are thinking of the greater needs of the organization by letting them know at least two weeks ahead of time that you’re leaving. This gives your employer time to find someone to replace you and to train a new hire and to prepare the staff for your leaving by potentially delegating your responsibilities among them, if necessary. Don’t tell your employer too far ahead of your leaving, though, because you will be excluded from team meetings, company social gatherings, etc. Give your employer more than two weeks’ notice if you can, but probably not more than three months’ notice, according to Rebecca Knight of the Harvard Business Review.

2.) Keep Things Quiet on Social Media.

Avoid blasting your employer on social media or giving public thanks online that you are finally able to leave your current job. Doing so could even affect how any future clients or employers view you and might even lead to a rescinding of a job offer. You can tell friends and family that you’re excited about your new job, but share your excitement without being negative about your former employer, according to Dominique Rodgers of Monster. Even outside of social media, avoid talking negatively or too much about your leaving to avoid the building of negative feelings from colleagues when word gets back to them.

3.) Don’t Mix Work and Making Future Plans.

Avoid using company resources to look for or prepare for your next position, says Deborah L. Jacobs of Forbes, such as printing your resume on the company’s printer or making copies of it on the office copier. Answer phone calls for interviews on your personal cell. Write your resume on your lunch hour with your personal, not company, laptop. Get a personal email account to apply for jobs. Avoid using your business account.

Whatever the circumstances of your leaving, whether it’s because you’re unhappy or you are leaving for new opportunities, be as professional and graceful about leaving as possible. Prepare the person taking your position through training and organizing your files. Do whatever you can to make the transition as easy for everyone as possible.

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Director of Operations / Facilities

by Steve Johnson 08/08/2018 0 comments

A typical job advertisement for a Director of Operations / Facilities includes tasks like planning, scheduling, delegating, and overseeing the work of general maintenance and grounds personnel. They provide training and instruction in safety measures and procedures, and help ensure that projects are completed safely, in a high-quality manner, and on-schedule. They also are in charge of their maintenance team and perform human resources functions.

They head up preventative maintenance, inspections, heating/air conditioning, security, and fire alarm systems, among other tasks related to the upkeep and daily operation of a building. This also includes outside grounds-keeping work, such as mowing grass, trimming, weeding, etc.

In the nonprofit world, the operation of the organization’s building is critical to their being able to provide services to their clients. This could be a homeless shelter, a kids’ after-school program, a food distribution center, a university, a hospital or clinic, or perhaps an office that provides services to newly-arrived refugees who have come to resettle in a new country. No matter the organization’s mission, having a safe, clean space in which to work and provide services to clients is critical.

According to, the median annual salary for a Facilities Director is $117,082, as of June 2018. The range varies between $99,287 and $136,414. This range could be larger, depending on factors, such as level of education, particular areas of expertise, experience, region of the country, and type of nonprofit organization. reports that the average salary of a Director of Facilities is $86,302 per year. This information is based on 2,213 salaries submitted to the site for this position, salaries from past and present job advertisements within the last three years and was last updated in July 2018. puts the median salary at $87,714 annually for a Director of Operations with facilities management skills. The range is between $54,867 and $126,709 with a bonus range of between $0 and $39,732 (which may or may not apply in a nonprofit workplace). These data are based on 37 individuals reporting their salaries to the site and was updated in July 2018.

It’s important to note that the budget of the nonprofit you work for will likely greatly affect the salary that you can earn there. Nonprofits generally don’t have the money to pay as much as corporate employers, so you can expect to earn on the lower side of this salary scale in general.

However, according to the Center for Nonprofit Management, you may well be able to earn a salary equal to or even more than a what a for-profit employer could provide you as a Director of Operations / Facilities. These include hospitals, nursing/personal care facilities, and social services. CNM reports that “[t]he reason for this could be because nonprofit jobs are heavily concentrated in the healthcare and social assistance sector, which make up 68 percent of total nonprofit employment in 2012.”

Consider the size of the organization, its benefits package, the cost of living where you’d be working, the work/life balance, and other factors as you consider any offer for a Director of Operations/Facilities position with a nonprofit organization.


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Director of Institutional Advancement

by Steve Johnson 08/01/2018 0 comments

Nonprofit organizations need major donors to secure their futures, and that is where the Director of Institutional Advancement comes in. This position helps cultivate and manage large donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations to ensure that the work of their nonprofit continues making an impact.

If you’re in the middle of your career, this could be a good position for you. reports that people in this position usually have fewer than 20 years of experience. It can also be a good step to a higher position as it often reports to others within an organization’s development department.

The salary of a Director of Institutional Advancement is going to vary based on a variety of factors. For example, educational level, years of relevant experience, and geographic location can play important roles in determining the salary of someone in this role. Additionally, the size of the nonprofit and its budget for salaries will in large part determine a salary of a Director of Institutional Advancement.

Different data sources point to a range of average salaries for this position. For instance, PayScale reports that the median salary for someone in this position is $74,737, and the average is $75,004 per year. Those in the 10th percentile earn about $46,000 annually, while those in the 90th percentile can earn around $120,000. The salary range in PayScale’s database as of July 2018 was between $46,059 and $124,238. Bonuses could be between $0 and $23,839 (which may or may not apply in a nonprofit workplace). This is based on 146 individuals reporting their salary for this position.

Updated in May 2014, Glassdoor reported salaries for five positions for Director of Institutional Advancement. They ranged from $45,720 per year to $129,877 annually. These data are in keeping with the range reported on PayScale.

While the pay range is large, you can typically expect to earn around $75,000 if you have the required experience and education the employer wants. Of course, if the organization’s budget is small, then you should expect to earn at the lower end of the pay range. Nonprofit organizations typically don’t have the ability to pay what you might earn in a similar position in the corporate world, and it is important to keep this in mind as you search for a position.

You may find a position as a Director of Institutional Advancement at a university where the need to keep the institution funded over the long term is vital to the mission of the organization. Religious organizations may also hire Directors of Institutional Advancement to help them continue their work. Large think tanks, and humanitarian assistance organizations are some other employers of Directors of Institutional Advancement.

When you look for a position with a nonprofit organization, consider your priorities regarding the mission of the organization you work for, your desire for work/life balance, the benefits the organization offers, local cost of living, the opportunity for advancement within the organization, and other factors that will impact your life. Salary may not be the most important factor in determining which organization to work for.

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Public vs. Charter Teacher Salaries

by Steve Johnson 07/25/2018 0 comments

As a teacher, you have many choices for where you want to work these days. You can work for a traditional public school, an online public or charter school, a private school, run your own business as a tutor, or perhaps you offer homeschooling classes. These are just a few areas where teachers instruct students, but, if you’re like most teachers, you’re in the field of public education. (Just 3.4 percent work in charter schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Schools and Staffing Survey.)

If you’re in public education, you know that charter schools are one option for continuing to work in public education. Charter schools are public schools that don’t have to abide by many of the regulations that traditional public schools do. However, they do have to keep their promises in their charters about stability, achievement of students, and financial management. Another difference is that public schools are under the supervision of a school district and school board. Charters are sometimes run by for-profit companies.

While there are pros and cons to working for a charter, one area of difference you need to be aware of if you’re considering working for a charter is salary. In general, the salary you’d earn in a charter school is significantly lower than what you’d earn in a traditional public school. However, it is important to note that some charters do offer somewhat better pay than the public schools in their areas. Even so, charter school teachers typically have to work around 210 days per year, while public school teachers work about 180.

The 2013 U.S. Department of Education’s Schools and Staffing Survey found that the average salary of a traditional public school teacher was $53,400, but charter school teachers earned an average of $44,500. This could be because charter school teachers have worked for fewer years at the school where they currently work. There is no information available from this survey about seniority level, though. Overall, charter school teachers earn about 10 to 15 percent less than they would at a traditional public school, no matter what their experience level is. For example, in 2013, Michigan charter school teachers earned an average of $42,864, but traditional public school teachers earned $63,094.

Additionally, many charter schools have restrictions on unions for teachers. This can make it difficult to get raises for teachers. Many states allow teachers who work in certain public schools to get part of their loans paid off from college. However, some states don’t allow teachers working in a for-profit charter to be eligible for this type of program. This should figure into your consideration of any salary and benefits package at a charter school if student loans are a concern.

As far as benefits go, many charter schools don’t have the money to offer a strong benefits package. They may not participate in a retirement program for teachers or only offer health insurance for teachers and not their whole families. This is not the case with every school, however. Ask for a complete listing of benefits when you search for jobs in charter schools because they can be different in their offerings.

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Tech Trends in Philanthropy

by Michael Pomposello 07/19/2018 0 comments

Technology is changing the way that nonprofits and potential donors interact. Although there are many new ways technology is making its mark on fundraising, here are a few of the latest trends.

Transparency Reigns.

Today’s donors want the nonprofits they donate to be transparent with their finances, according to The Giving Institute. If your organization does not have its records and organization information up-to-date on GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and BBB Wise Giving, it needs to do so ASAP as these are where donors today are going to find out whether the organizations they’re donating to are using their funds wisely. Also, publish your financial reports on your website, and send them out to your donors and potential donors via email and social media.

Data is In.

Every organization has tons of data to sift through, and the smart ones are using all kinds of data to help them plan for their futures, including donations, feedback forms, and volunteer sign-up forms. Brenda B. Asare, President & CEO of The Alford Group suggests that organizations use services like Target Analytics to help you understand all the data that you have. Wealth screening and prospect research help you gain even deeper understanding of your data. All this data, if prioritized and segmented correctly, can help you better understand your donors and those with whom you engage. It can all support your effort to raise funds for your organization’s work and to further its work well into the future.


Artificial intelligence is one way that you can use technology to better understand your data and get predictive analytics that can help your organization prosper. Maureen Wallbeoff of NonProfitPRO says you should “[i]magine a custom moves management process that uses all publicly available data for your unique mix of supporters, allowing your team to focus their efforts on the right segment of your file.”

You can also use chatbots to encourage donations on your website. Chatbots are a form of AI that can make the donation process personal and friendly. Overall, AI can help your supporters to feel like they’re understood and that the organization is grateful for them and their support.


The Internet of Things is everywhere. Siri on your phone, and Alexa to help you play whatever song you want to hear or to buy some household item you need are examples of the millions of devices that are connected to the internet. Wallbeoff suggests that your organization “[u]se geotargeting to find new pockets of potential donors in areas where you may not yet have a strong presence.” She goes on to point out that you can show program outcomes interactively by adding in sensors that track data and show it to donors, such the number of people who were given food on a given day at the food pantry. This can contribute to data-driven fundraising.

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Nonprofits in the News: Donation Trends

by superadmin 07/12/2018 0 comments

Understanding the latest trends in donations can help you stay relevant and current to your current and potential donors. Keeping up with their behavior patterns, new tools to help increase donations, etc. can help your organization stay afloat and thrive.

1.) Donors Want to be Investors.

Donor-advised funds (DAF) increased in popularity in 2017, and they grew 18 percent between 2014 and 2016, says Scot Chisolm, CEO and cofounder of Classy, an online and mobile giving platform, in an article by Will Schmidt. These are like savings accounts for donors in that they can give as often as they like to a DAF and then “recommend grants to their favorite charity which pulls from the account,” explains Schmidt. Donors are beginning to like thinking about their giving as investments, which are based on a portfolio and facilitated by an advisor.

2.) Donors Want to See Impact.

There is no doubt your work is important, but if your donors and potential givers don’t see that as clearly as you do, there’s a good chance they won’t give. It’s become even more important that organizations showcase how they solve problems in the world. Measuring and demonstrating impact is what helps nonprofits create lasting and powerful relationships with their supporters. The “renewed focus on social impact transparency,” as Schmidt says, is critical for organizations to recognize and act on.

3.) New Donors Have Different Ideas.

Most of the biggest U.S. foundations (based on annual giving) are headed by living donors, which is a shift from the past. This change is forecast to become even bigger in 2018, projects David Callahan of “The newer foundations, more nimble and with deeper pockets, will increasingly influence the sector,” Callahan points out. These newcomers and more established legacy foundations can help each other out in that newbies have new money and a different perspective, and institutional grantmakers have a lot of experience in the social sector.

4.) Donors Keep On Giving, Especially Online.

Despite an unsure future for philanthropic giving, a 2018 report from the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact, found that digital and mobile giving is growing. Additionally, in 2017 (the year data was collected), overall giving increased by a little over 4 percent (compared to stagnant growth in 2016), and online giving rose by just over 12 percent. Additionally, online donations constituted over 7 and a half percent of fundraising in 2017. Over a fifth of online donations were completed on a mobile device as well.

5.) Donors Want Video.

If “[s]ocial video generates 1200% more shares than text and imaged combined,” as states, then utilizing video to reach and engage your audience is critical. DonorBox suggests putting a video on your homepage so that new people can quickly see what you do, follow the organization on social media, connect with you via your newsletter, and maybe donate. You can also use graphics and a narrator to show people how you’re using their money. (See #2.)

Additionally, video is a great way to thank donors and to find new and keep old donors. Your organization might also livestream a Q&A session to get feedback and engage. Instagram Stories and Snapchat are ways to share temporary videos of your organization’s daily operations. Finally, video embedded in emails mean more opens and click rates than simple text.

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Salary Forecast: Nonprofit Director of Development

by Steve Johnson 06/15/2018 0 comments

The salary of a nonprofit Director of Development can vary significantly. The salary depends on several factors, such as region, experience, education, mission/focus of the nonprofit, size of the organization, and more. Narrowing down a precise salary for this position isn’t completely possible, but you can definitely get a good idea of the potential salary you could earn as a Director of Development by comparing figures from various sources.

A Salary Boost: the CFRE

Before you delve into some of the more concrete numbers associated with a Director of Development position, it’s important to note that many positions will require or find preferable your having a Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. This certification requires you to complete an application and an exam, and to promise to abide by a particular code of ethics and accountability standards. Having this designation can boost your salary in some cases significantly, according to


The NonProfit Times published the “2014 Nonprofit Organizations Salary and Benefit Survey,” which provides a significant amount of helpful data on the salaries for Directors of Development. Within the job family of “Executive,” for example, a Chief Development Officer salary was $108,793. reports the average salary of Development Directors to be $90,087 per year, based on 6,118 salaries reported in the previous 36 months, although this job title is not limited to just nonprofits (last updated 10 June 2018)., on the other hand, reports that the average base pay for a Director of Development is $85,270 per year. Additional cash compensation averages $12,686, although the range for this is between $1,816 and $38,764.

One factor that can affect salary, as mentioned previously, is the particular focus of a nonprofit. In general, you can expect to earn less with an arts organization than you can if you work with a large academic and medical center. Social and human service agency salaries fall in between these two extremes, according to CareerTrend.

In a March 2010 article on, the nonprofit pay for a Director of Development in Washington, D.C. in the arts, educational, and social –service category earned between $90,000 and $100,000 in an organization with between a $2.1 and $5 million budget, but it was just $80,000 to $90,000 for an organization of the same size in the associations, health-care, and international organizations category.

Size can affect salary, too. A small organization in the “nonprofit” industry is reported on Glassdoor to have an average base pay of just $53,451 each year. An organization in the same “industry” with between 1,001 and 5,000 employees has an average base pay of $69,835 per year. The article stated that the salary was between $80,000 and $90,000 in the associations, health-care, and international organizations categorizations with a budget of between $2.1 and 5 million. If the budget was over $50 million, that salary increased to between $130,000 and $150,000.

If you’re new to the fundraising scene, you can expect to earn a lower salary than more experienced development professionals. You may earn an average salary of about $43,023 per year with between zero and one year of experience. When you’re in the game between four and six years, that increases to an average of $50,318. After 10 to 14 years, you can expect to earn an average salary of $60,229 per year.

Geography is another important factor in the determination of a Director of Development salary. You may find that you earn less in one region than in another. In 2012, the median salary in South-Central states was just $72,073, but it was as high as $87,586 in the Northeast, according to CareerTrend, citing survey by the Association of Nonprofit Professionals.

Gender affects salary as well. In 2011, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on the median pay for top development officers in general. Females tended to earn less than their male counterparts. For example, in organizations with a budget of between $5 and $9.9 million, the median female salary was $113,812, and males had a median salary of $118,846.

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