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2008 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report Now Available

The eighth annual edition of the GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report was released September 25, 2008. Derived from information on more than 84,421 individual positions at more than 58,400 tax-exempt organizations for fiscal year 2006, it remains the most comprehensive nonprofit compensation analysis available and the only one based entirely on IRS data.

The report includes data on non-charitable organizations as well as public charities and private foundations; an executive summary based not only on this report but also on data for previous years; and information on incumbent compensation. Findings reported in the executive summary include:

  • Median compensation of females lagged behind that of males when considering comparable positions at similar organizations.

  • Females held 55 percent of CEO positions at organizations with expenses of $1 million or less but only 36 percent at organizations with expenses of greater than $1 million. These figures, however, were both slight increases over 2005. Overall, women held 46 percent of the positions reported upon (an increase of 5 percentage points over 2005) but received only 35 percent of the total compensation.

  • As has been the case in the past few years, in 2006 female CEOs at larger organizations made slow but steady progress at closing the gender gap when it comes to compensation. Incumbent female CEOs at organizations of most sizes had a slightly higher median compensation increase from 2005 to 2006 than males.

  • The larger the organization, the larger the increases in compensation. For example, CEOs at organizations with budgets between $500 thousand and $1 million saw a median increase of 4.5 percent from 2005 to 2006, whereas those at organizations with budgets of greater than $50 million had a median increase of 7.6 percent.

  • Not surprisingly, health and science organizations had the highest overall median salaries. Food, religion, and housing organizations brought up the rear.

  • For the third straight year, Washington, D.C., had the highest overall median salaries of the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas, and Riverside-San Bernardino, California, had the lowest. Adjusted for cost of living, San Francisco nonprofit executives had the lowest buying power, and those in Houston had the highest.

More Information

Chuck McLean and Suzanne E. Coffman, October 2008
© 2008, GuideStar USA, Inc.

Chuck McLean is GuideStar's vice president for research and data quality. Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter.
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