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How Many Fundraisers Does It Take to Raise a Million Dollars?

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Nonprofit leaders and their boards always want to know: “How many fundraisers does it take to raise the funds we need”?

Whether your organization is evaluating annual fund progress or preparing for a larger campaign, taking time to analyze your fundraising staff capability is critical to your success.

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) offers its members an annual compensation report with some valuable insight. Click HERE for their report.

The AFP report indicates most organizations have two to three fundraising professionals for each $1 million raised. Arts, culture and humanities groups, and environmental groups generally have slightly higher staffing patterns with up to 4.5 full-time employees per$ 1 million raised.

Industry Research

You can imagine, just by reading these numbers, that the life of a major gifts officer is quite stressful.

More Stress

A typical Development Director will also have a portfolio as well as manage a team. They are responsible for all appeals, special events, grant submissions, direct mail, and maybe even marketing. Is there any wonder why there is such high turnover?

Solution: Get Real

The bottom line is having realistic expectations. Do you have enough people to do the work, to raise the funds needed to sustain your organization? Remember, knowing you’ll need two to three professionals to raise $1 million. Maintaining sustainable growth is counterbalanced by the growth (capacity) of your development team.

In addition to hiring more staff, another solution may be to outsource some of the work that does not rely on personal interactions such as direct mail, grant writing, and special events project management.

Having the right team, whether it’s all staff or a combination of staff and contractors, makes all the difference to your success.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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