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How Not to Pay a Professional Fundraiser

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Let me disband the myth now. Professional fundraisers are not allowed to be paid on commission (or a percentage) of the funds they helped raised.

This question comes up a lot. In fact, I am probably contacted by 2-3 new clients each month telling me they want to hire me and pay me based off what I raise for them. Sorry, that is not how I work. Truthfully, that is not how any professional fundraiser should work.

I could bore you with the details (and I will a little bit). I will, however, provide you with a reference that the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) provides in their code of ethics. From the AFP website itself, it states, “AFP holds that percentage based compensation can encourage abuses, imperils the integrity of the voluntary sector, and undermines the very philanthropic values on which the voluntary sector is based.  AFP stands firm with its Standards which prohibits members from working for percentage-based compensation or accepting finder’s fees.” Read more here.

There are still individuals that will agree to this payment method. It’s a sad world we live in. There are always people willing to do anything – and I mean ANYTHING! I am not one of them and neither is my company, The Rayvan Group.

So, how do we get paid? We get paid like most working individuals that put the time and effort into the work. Allow me to give you this example. At the gym, when you hire a personal trainer, you don’t pay them by the amount of weight you lose (or gain if your goal is to add bulk). No, of course you don’t! You pay them based off the amount of time they train you. You pay them by the visit or the hour.

Fundraisers are also paid by the hour or project. Much like attorneys, we have billable hours and each minute is meticulously accounted for and charged to the appropriate client and/or project.

Lucky for me and my company, we love working with the grassroot organizations, the passion person looking to make a significant impact in their community. We provide a sliding scale fee and will work with you to create a cost that can work with your budget and your commitment level.

Let’s do business the right way, the smart way. Contact us here and get a quote from us today.


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