The most common question I get asked after “can you help?” is “how much do you charge?”
This is a difficult question to answer, but you can get a rough Idea by looking at how much it costs to hire anyone to carry out a professional role. If someone is on a salary of £30,000 – not untypical of a basic fundraising post – then after national insurance and pension costs their employer will be paying £35,000 to employ them for a year. There are 253 working days this year plus your employees paid holiday which will be around 30 days. This leaves 223 working days. This means that your employed fundraiser is costing you £156 per day. A similar calculation for a senior fundraiser on a salary of £45,000 works out at £242 per day.
Now you need to factor in that a freelance fundraiser will not work 223 days per day. They will spend as much as a third of their time looking for work, which also has other associated costs like attending conferences and networking. This is why freelance rates of £500 per day are not uncommon. It doesn’t mean someone is earning £130,000 (52 weeks x 5 days x £500). They will probably earn £70,000 on that rate and have to pay travel, office costs, advertising, pension, insurance and accountancy fees. In other words, they earn no more than they would in a senior fundraising role.
This is why you should not be surprised to pay £300 – £500 per day for professional fundraising consultancy. To get this in perspective, according to mybuilder.com the average fee for a plumber in the UK is £55 per hour, equivalent to £412 per day. Both cost much the same.