publication date: Oct 24, 2011
author/source: Janet Gadeski
Have you ever suspected that everyone else doing your kind
of job in other charities is paid better than you are? That the salary grass
might be greener on the other side of the country? That the nonprofit you lead
pays more than they need to, or less than they must to compete for good staff?
Or maybe you're asking for a raise, or about to negotiate
the terms of a new job. How do you know what you're worth? Do you have the
facts to convince your employer? Would you do better in another city? Or would
that idyllic small town in which you'd like to raise your kids shrink your
reveals the facts
You can find answers to questions like those in a new survey
report - one of the farthest-reaching, most carefully analyzed,
highly-responded-to surveys I've seen. There's the usual disclaimer language
about respondents' accuracy and limitations of the sample. You'd expect nothing
less from an intellectually honest report. But the number of respondents and
the care with which the authors approached the data speak for themselves.
I'm talking about the 2011
Canadian Nonprofit Sector Compensation and Benefits Study
, prepared by the Association Resource Centre Inc.
for Charity Village
. Nearly 1,200
organizations participated, sharing data about 5,100 positions representing
You won't be surprised to hear that sector salaries are
modest on the whole, with the average chief executive earning roughly $45 per hour.
And those humble salaries haven't kept up with increases in inflation. But you
may be surprised to hear where the raises are most likely to happen - at the
mid-level positions, not the senior executives or support staff.
Predictably, average nonprofit salaries are highest in
Toronto or Ottawa - unless you're at the chief executive level, when you're
better off in Alberta. No one region reported the highest or lowest average
cash compensation for all levels of staff.
Somehow, women still
don't get the big jobs
Women, though they're the majority in the nonprofit sector,
earn less than men doing comparable work. However, the study notes that "men
are less likely than women to occupy positions in smaller organizations where
the wages tend to be lower." Oddly, the trend reverses at the support staff
level, where women earn 4% more than men.
It's encouraging to see that 79% of organizations offer
health care benefits to at least one level of employee, and retirement benefits
to roughly three-quarters of staff, though that only applies above the support
level. While education benefits exist, the amounts generally cover at most one
conference with economy travel and lodging - between $443 and $1,000 depending
on the level of employee.
The study is packed with tables that slice and dice the data
through every possible variable - organizational characteristics, location,
benefits, demographics and more. The data and conclusions are most robust in
Ontario, Alberta and BC, where most of the respondents live.
I hope that Charity Village is able to continue this
extensive survey in the future. It offers benchmarks to the sector and powerful
evidence that staff of legitimate charities are not riding the gravy train
sometimes portrayed in sensationalist media reports.
The full study
is available through Charity Village, www.charityvillage.com.Contact Janet or follow her on Twitter.