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Jul 21, 2017 | News

TSNE Releases 2017 Nonprofit Workforce Compensation and Benefits Report

Boston, Mass. July 21, 2017 — TSNE today released data from its 2017 Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce: Compensation and Benefits Survey of Nonprofits in Southern New England and Westchester County, NY. The survey is a multi-state survey based on data reported by a range of nonprofits and with job descriptions specific to the region’s nonprofit sector.

The survey found that there continue to be gender equity gaps in nonprofit compensation structures. It also confirmed an on-going lack of diversity in the sector’s senior leadership and in mid-level managerial roles that often provide pipelines to identify and develop staff to move into leadership positions.

The survey data shows that the average compensation for female Executive Director/CEOs lags behind that of male CEOs. The average pay for all CEOs is $134,834 per year: $158,649 for men and $119,622 for women. Sixty-one percent (61%) of the CEOs represented in the survey are women. However, women hold most of those positions in the smallest organizations, which are also the ones that pay the lowest salaries. Eighty-five percent (85%) of the organizations with annual operating expenses under $250,000 have female Executive Directors, while 68% of the largest groups — those with annual operating expenses over $25,000,000 — employ male Directors.

Seven-hundred ten (710) individuals in the survey work in the 10 highest paying positions. Of those, 55% are women and 45% are men; 89% are white. On the other hand, of the 4,985 individuals working in the 10 lowest paying positions, 69% are women and 31% are men; (56%) are white. That means that people of color hold 11% of the highest paying jobs and 44% of the lowest.

“Gender and racial equity are often top priorities in nonprofits especially those whose missions are focused on creating positive social change,” says Lyn Freundlich, TSNE’s Human Resources Consulting Practice Leader. “And, while progress has been made through state laws that will soon mandate gender pay equity, our sector should continue to focus on building pipelines of new leaders from racially diverse backgrounds. With so many long-time, mostly white leaders, beginning to retire or leave the nonprofit sector, now is the time to create and invest in these opportunities for professional development. TSNE will continue its analysis of the report findings in the coming months as they relate to and are affected by social and economic factors.”

The survey compensation findings, which are available in a searchable salary database (http://tsne.org/valuing-our-nonprofit-workforce) as well as in the full downloadable compensation and benefits report, is compiled from information reported by 342 nonprofit organizations that completed the survey, contributing data on more than 35,000 individual salaries that were categorized into 171 job descriptions, ranging from Executive Director/CEO, to Program Manager, to Case Worker, and Volunteer Coordinator.

“This is the third compensation study (2010, 2014, 2017) that TSNE has published in the last seven years. Each time we gain more information and insight on an often-overlooked portion of our nonprofit sector, small to midsized organizations — those with budgets under $2 million in revenue, and those with few staff,” says Freundlich. “Individually, these groups are small, but collectively, they make up a significant portion of our nonprofit workforce. The survey findings and reports are a much-needed, free resource allowing these nonprofits, and others, to assess their compensation and benefits levels compared with similar groups in their region.” The report and database are available for everyone to access for free thanks to the contributions of our survey funding partners identified in the survey report and database.


General Findings

  • Executive/CEOs in 61% of the organizations are female, while 39% are male.
  • Involuntary turnover rates reported in the 2017 report were 5% for both full-time and part-time employees.

Some Salary Findings

  • Seventy percent (70%) of participating organizations have salary increases budgeted for their current fiscal year. This is very close to the results reported in 2014 when 71% reported budgets for salary increases.
  • Thirty-three percent (33%) of employees in the 2017 survey earn less than $28,000 annually. In comparison, 43% earned less than $28,000 annually in 2014, while 51% earned less than $28,000 annually in 2010.
  • 710 individuals in the survey hold the 10 highest paying jobs. Of those, 55% are women and 45% are men; 89% are white. On the other hand, of the 4,985 individuals in the survey holding the 10 lowest paying positions, 69% are women and 31% are men; (56%) are white. That means that people of color hold 11% of the highest paying jobs and 44% of the lowest.

Some Benefits Findings

  • Eighty-nine percent (89%) of responding nonprofits offer some type of medical insurance to full-time employees. In general, more than 50% of these organizations pay 80% or more of the individual employee premium. Of the organizations reporting employing part-time employees, 48% indicate that only full-time employees are eligible for health insurance benefits.
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of the organizations provide some type of retirement benefits to their full-time employees. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of those offering retirement benefits have plans in which both the employer and the employee contribute to their retirement accounts.
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of the organizations provide full-time employees with a specified number of paid days off each year for vacation, holiday and sick leave. Nineteen percent (19%) offer a PTO (Paid Time Off) program instead, giving employees a set number of days off to be used for any purpose. Another 6% offer some other form of time off benefits. Most of these are small organizations, which tend to have less formal benefits policies or practices.

Full Report and Searchable Database of Salary Information

The full compensation and benefits survey report is available for free to download (PDF) or to access as the online searchable salary database. Please visit www.tsne.org/valuing-our-nonprofit-workforce

About TSNE

TSNE (formerly Third Sector New England) (www.tsne.org) is a nonprofit management support and capacity building organization that works with hundreds of nonprofits across the country. TSNE assists a wide range of people, nonprofits and philanthropists in the social sector with expertise in consulting, financial and grants management, human resources, compensation, and benefits administration, professional development training, and research about nonprofit fields of practice. TSNE has published several groundbreaking original research projects have been widely reviewed and shared across the sector including: Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce compensation (and benefits) studies (2017, 2014 and 2010), Opportunity in Change (2017, with The Boston Foundation), Leadership New England study (2015), Funding Learning Networks for Community Impact (2013), Inclusion Initiative report (2013), Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving Diversity in the Workplace (2010), Creative Disruption a sabbatical study (2009), and the Executive Directors Guide (2002, 2010, new edition coming in 2018).