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AFP Career Tips

2012 AFP Compensation & Benefits Report

AFP's Compensation & Benefits Study provides valuable data on the characteristics of individual fundraisers – backgrounds, experience, and responsibilities – and paints a picture of the current state of the profession.

Order the AFP 2012 Compensation & Benefits Report: The complete 2012 study is available free to AFP members. Nonmembers may purchase copies of the report for $95 by contacting or printing the salary survey order form here.

Helpful Tools at AFP:

The AFP Bookstore offers several books that can assist you in your career development. Whether you are at the beginning of your fundraising career or have been a fundraiser for decades, these books should be at the top of your reading list. Click here to view books on career building for fundraisers.

The AFP Consultants and Resource Directory contains executive search and recruitment agencies that can help you find a job that is just the right fit. Click here to search the directory.

Advancing in Your Fundraising Career
Whether you are new to fundraising or you have been in the profession for years, here are some tips on moving forward in your career. Click here for more information.

AFP YIP Careers in Fundraising Toolkit
It is important for high school students to learn about this potential career path in public service before they get to college – as it may influence their choices during their collegiate years. Click here for more information.

Recent AFP articles from Advancing Philanthropy:

Are We There Yet?
By Lilya Wagner, Ed.D., CFRE, and Tyrone Freeman, Ph.D. candidate, July/August 2012
How the path of professionalism in fundraising sometimes involves taking the road less traveled

Perfect Match
By Mary Ellen Collins, July/August 2012
How finding the right fundraisers for the right jobs is not as simple as you may think

Pay Perks—And More
By Cathlene Williams, Ph.D., CAE, July/August 2012
Highlights of the AFP 2012 Compensation and Benefits Study

Next Generation Ethics
By Mary Ellen Collins, March/April 2012
How younger generations in your organization perceive ethics differently and what it may mean for fundraising

Will It Play In Peoria—And Beyond?
By Lilya Wagner, Ed.D., CFRE, March/April 2012
How fundraising ethics here, there and everywhere strengthen the profession, charitable organizations and philanthropy worldwide

Your Career
By Jill Dotts, CFRE, March/April 2012
Working From Afar

Philanthropic Planning
By Charles B. Gordy II, J.D., and Margaret M. Holman, January/February 2012
Job Fusion or Confusion: Marrying Major and Planned Gifts

Your Career
By Jill A. Pranger, ACFRE, and Erik J. Daubert, MBA, ACFRE, January/February 2012
ACFRE to Increase Ethics Requirement

Your Career
By Mary Ellen Collins, November/December 2011
Is the Grass Greener Over There?

Management Trends
By Brydon M. DeWitt, September/October 2011
The Nonprofit CEO—Your Organization’s Real Chief Development Officer

By Susan Raymond, Ph.D., Katherine Amore and Sally Schiff, July/August 2011
The Young and the Relentless: Expectations of the Next Generation of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leaders

Your Career
By Eva E. Aldrich and Tyrone M. Freeman, May/June 2011
Fundraising for Introverts

How to Negotiate Compensation - Without Appearing Greedy!
By Diane M. Carlson, January/February 2011
Do you hate having to "negotiate" your compensation, either annually in your current job or when you are pitching yourself for a new position? Here are some tips on making sure an employer is aware of all your strengths.

The Truth About Reference and Background Checking
By Pamela A. Cook, ACFRE, and Paul Gietzel, March/April 2010
If you are looking for a new position, you undoubtedly have carefully prepared your resume and have contacted people to serve as references. However, do you really understand all the nuances of reference and background checking?

Resume Myths: Fact or Fiction?
The following are some mistakes that development professionals often make in describing their experience and accomplishments to potential employers.

Ten Steps to Survive - and Love - Your Layoff!
Sometimes employees receive ample notice that they are being let go, but not always. Either way, there are steps you can take to make finding a new position easier.

Leave a Legacy
"The biggest mistake is deciding to postpone a job search because of the economy. Since it is taking longer, on average, to land a new job, start now if you want to change jobs," says Diane M. Carlson, CEO of 1-2-1 Executive Search in Henderson, Nev. Read this informative article with advice on job searches.

Be Prepared!
If you are in an active job search or just keeping your eyes open for new opportunities, remember important steps to make your career change more successful. From networking and remaining current on trends to knowledge about best practices and familiarity with new technology, you must be prepared!

The Job Interview
In addition to knowing how to answer questions during your next job interview, prepare important questions to ask about the organization, such as “Does the executive director hold regularly scheduled meetings with the top development professional?� Make sure the next job you take will lead to more successes.

Recent articles from AFP eWire

Seven Ways to Find Your Perfect Job
Employers have many ways of finding out about you as an applicant. U.S. News & World Report offers some tips on how you can “look before you leap� into a new organization.

Writing Effective Resumes and Cover Letters
An article from offers advice on how to structure and organize an effective resume and cover letter.

Preparing for a Fundraising Job Interview
An excerpt of the book Careers in Development by Lilya Wagner, Ed.D., CFRE, explains what research and preparation can be done prior to interviewing for a job in fundraising.

Invest in Yourself! Deepen Your Knowledge of Essential Techniques and Latest Trends in Fundraising
The newly enhanced AFP Bookstore offers special member pricing on a huge list of books on fundraising. Authored by expert practitioners in fundraising, our bookstore features volumes on core fundraising skills—including the popular AFP Ready Reference Series — that are great for those new to the field or changing to a new fundraising specialty. Click here to enter the bookstore.

Articles from various sources collected by AFP:

How to Profit from the Thaw in Nonprofit Jobs
By Joanne Fritz
Ellen Berry, guest blogging for The Case Foundation, has some terrific tips for people looking for a nonprofit job this year.

Career in Fundraising Offers Many Avenues
By Mel and Pearl Shaw
People in fund development and fundraising help influence service delivery, public policy, education, research, advocacy, and more. Success in fund development can bring you to the decision-making table. It's also excellent preparation for serving as an executive director.

Opinion: Looking for a Career in Development in 2011? Good Choice and Good Luck!
By Duke Haddad
A look at the pros and cons of looking for a job in the nonprofit arena.

Looking for a Job? Try a Nonprofit
By Phyllis Korkki
The New York Times
"Jobs are back," said Ami Dar, executive director of, an online clearinghouse for nonprofits. In the fall of the 2008, when the economic crisis hit, job postings on the site fell by 40 percent. Now they are nearly back to precrisis levels, he said.

Six Great Tips for Nonprofit Job Hunters
By Kerry Hannon
Before you jump-start your search and rev up your networking engine, here are five ways to prepare for nonprofit work.

Three Things You Must Include on Your Resume When Applying for a Nonprofit Job
Nonprofit Resume Tips
By Joanne Fritz Guide
Here are three ways to make your resume stand out when you go calling on the organizations that are making a difference.

Can You Come Back Successfully After Long-Term Unemployment?
By Beth Braccio Hering
Challenges face every new employee, but workers who are returning to the workplace after prolonged unemployment may have special concerns or expectations. Here are a few ways to get off on the right foot. Job Searching Guide
A blog by Alison Doyle
Learn how to use the latest technology and time-tested techniques to help you land your next great job.

Correcting the Notion of a Self-Correcting Career
Careers are not self-correcting systems so they have to be guided into a state that provides you with security and satisfaction.

Looking to Land a Nonprofit Job?
Resources from

Linking Passion and Career
Human Resource Executive Online and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
As nonprofits explore ways to attract and retain top-notch young recruits as well as lure talented executives eager to make a change in mid-career, leaders say their best chance of replenishing their management pipeline is by tapping into the desire to give something back to society.

The Job Market Version of Catch 22
An everyday event confirms it: when presented with a choice between two equally qualified candidates, one employed and the other not, the offer will almost always go to the person who already has a job. It's the job market version of Catch 22.

Things We Wish We Had Known
Here are four insights to help you chart a successful and fulfilling career in the 21st Century world of work.

Career Security
This article explores "career security," the ability to stay employed in jobs of our choosing, regardless of the economic situation in any country or the financial condition of any one employer.

Making the Leap to a Nonprofit Job
Crain's New York Business
Adjusting to the nonprofit world is challenging-learn how some have really made it work.

Recruiting and Job Hunting in Tough Economic Times
Leadership Matters
The Bridgespan Group
Wayne Luke, head of executive search, shares his advice for recruiting leaders and conducting job searches during tough economic times.

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