Overview of Using this Database

Overview Of Using This Database

This database provides information from Third Sector New England’s Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce survey. You will find salary information for 134 positions in nonprofits across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and adjoining communities that were reported on in the survey. You can see a snapshot of the demographics (budget, employee population, location, field of service) of organizations that hold these positions. For information about the demographics (race, gender, years of experience for instance) of the individuals who hold these positions, use the full report.

The Survey Report

Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce 2014: A Compensation Survey of and for Nonprofits in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Adjoining Communities

Third Sector New England provides information and services to build the knowledge, power and effectiveness of individuals and groups that engage people in community and public life.

In 2010, we produced our first compensation report which provided a look at nonprofit compensation practices across the Massachusetts and its adjoining communities. The resulting free report has been used by executive directors, board members, human resources staff and consultants over the past four years, to help establish pay rates across entire organizations as well as for individual positions. We have heard from our constituents that the data we have provided is valuable for a number of reasons:

  • The data is locally relevant
  • It includes positions that are common to our nonprofit world but are difficult to find and make comparisons to positions in other compensation studies, and
  • The information is relevant for distinct segments of social justice-oriented organizations.

Now, in 2014, our economy is improving. Organizations are seeing more job turnover as employees have been able to find new positions, vacant positions are being filled, fringe benefits and raises have begun to creep back into the compensation equations and more funding is available to expand programming and create new positions.

And new for this year’s report, we offer a snapshot of some of the results of the survey in this interactive database, which augments the free downloadable PDF report. Using this database, you can search positions that we surveyed and view data for them position by position. This is a condensed database – not every factor surveyed is reported on here (See Positions Reported in the Survey and Confidentiality of the Data below). For more information about the workforce demographics reported for a given position, along with analysis of compensation and benefits information received, you will find the full survey document helpful.

Reviewing the Results and Data

Please keep the following considerations in mind when reviewing the data presented:

All nonprofits are different, and all jobs are unique. We urge you not to view this data as your "final answer" in deciding what to pay your staff. Rather, use this survey as one tool or resource, along with many others, to decide what is right for your organization.

Positions Reported in the Survey and Confidentiality of the Data

The survey instrument requested information for 189 job titles. This report presents compensation levels for each of the 134 jobs for which data was collected from at least five unique organizations.

Why You May Not See Any Data Reported

  • A minimum of responses from five (5) organizations is required to report compensation in any data subset
  • There must be at least five (5) incumbents (employees) in a data subset in order to report the “average by employee” and “average by organization” pay, and
  • There must be five (5) incumbents in a data subset to report the median pay
  • Meaningful percentiles require a larger sample of data, so the where the data for any position provided data for less than least twelve (12) incumbents, pay at  the 10th, 25th, 75th and 90th percentiles is not included
  •  In cases where 50% or more of the responses come from a single organization, only the “average by organization” pay rate is reported

These thresholds ensure the confidentiality of data for all participating organizations. Therefore, a number of positions presented in the survey questionnaire are not reported on here, and different positions may present differing data sets that do not report on all factors.

  • This survey database has information on the compensation practices in effect on October 1, 2013, as reported by the 250 responding nonprofit organizations. The survey data, therefore, is not a scientifically selected sample from which conclusions can be drawn about all nonprofits in the survey area and/or beyond. Also, the results are not intended to represent an ideal of what compensation and benefits should be.
  • This is not a scientific comparison of nonprofits located in different regions that we surveyed or in one field versus another. The mix of sizes and types of nonprofits and the jobs associated with each organization means there are multiple variables for you to compare and consider.

Matching Our Surveyed Jobs to Your Jobs

When seeking salary data for a particular job, it is important to carefully match your organization’s job duties and responsibilities with those indicated for the survey positions.

  • Each job title is defined by an accompanying job description. Different organizations may use the same or similar job title to designate very different jobs.
  • To find compensation data for a specific job within your organization, first match the position to the job description that is found at the top of each position report. You can then review several job descriptions within a job function to determine the best match for your job.
  • You can build your report by selecting and adding your desired criteria (e.g., budget, employee population, location, field of service) from the drop down menus that are provided.
  • To ensure that the job description you choose is as similar as possible to the actual job in your organization, at least 80 percent of the job responsibilities and requirements should be the same or comparable.

Determining and Comparing Compensation Points

  • When developing compensation programs, a nonprofit organization should consider its compensation philosophy and the internal value of its jobs, in addition to the reported survey data.
  • Review all the Criteria data subsets (e.g., Budget, Field of Service) to locate those most relevant to your organization. Note that the pay for senior level nonprofit positions is most often influenced by the size of an organization, with larger organizations tending to pay higher salaries. However, organizational size typically has less effect on less-senior, and supervisory, professional and support jobs.
  • It may also be helpful to consider the variable information provided within a subset of data. For example, if your organization’s budget is $9 million, it may be appropriate to compare third quartile salary data in the budget group ranging from $2.5 to $9.9 million, against your Executive Director’s salary. Or, if you are planning substantial growth in the immediate future and your budget for the next year is expected to be more than $10 million, then consider using the compensation information from the Budget data subsets showing pay levels for larger organizations.
  • Keep in mind that pay is a moving target and that it can be difficult to gauge how salaries in nonprofit organizations are changing over time. The data in this database was reported as of October 1, 2013. To age compensation data from this point, making an increase to a reported salary of 0.02% to 0.25% per month (2.4% to 3.0% per year) appears to be a conservative, but reasonable adjustment.