The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

7 Key Findings from GuideStar’s 2015 Nonprofit Compensation Report

7 Key Findings from GuideStar’s 2015 Nonprofit Compensation Report

Today, GuideStar published the 15th addition of our annual Nonprofit Compensation Report, the only large-scale analysis of its kind based entirely on data reported to the IRS, and the most comprehensive nonprofit compensation study available.

I created the first report in 2001 and have authored all 15 editions. This report is a resource to ensure that nonprofit organizations are compliant with IRS regulations on executive compensation. It can also help organizations demonstrate to their supporters that their compensation practices are reasonable and in line with similar organizations.

For more information on the report, click here. Read below for 7 key findings from this year’s report:

7. The percentage of female nonprofit CEOs is down over the last decade

Although women made gains at larger organizations, this was offset by declines at smaller organizations.

7 Key Findings from GuideStar’s 2015 Nonprofit Compensation Report

6. Female CEOs earned 6 to 23 percent less than their male counterparts in 2013

These figures represent an improvement over the last 15 years. When GuideStar first reported on the gender pay gap in 2001 (covering fiscal years 1998-1999) we found that female CEOs earned 21 to 47 percent less than their male counterparts, depending on organization size.

5. Only 18 percent of the largest nonprofits have female CEOs

More women headed nonprofits with budgets greater than $10 million in 2013 compared to 2003. But only 18 percent of nonprofits with budgets of more than $50 million had female CEOs in 2013.

4. Incumbent CEO compensation increases lagged behind their rates before the Great Recession

In 2008, median increases in incumbent CEO compensation were generally 4 percent or higher. In 2013, increases were below this level for the fifth straight year.

3. Health and science organizations had the highest overall median salaries

Once again, arts, religion, and animal-related organizations were among the lowest overall median salaries while that of health and science remained on top

2. For the 10th consecutive year, the Washington, DC, area had the highest overall median salary

1. Median compensation of CEOs was lowest in the Atlanta, GA, area

CEOs in the Oakland, CA, MSA, however, had the lowest purchasing power when adjusted for cost of living.

 Biew sample pages or purchase the 2015 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report.

To learn more about nonprofit compensation and the 2015 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report, register for our upcoming webinar, “Decoding the Nonprofit Compensation Mystery: Using the GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report.” (ETA: Listen to the full webinar recording or view the slide deck from our Webinar Archives for free.) 

7 Key Findings from GuideStar’s 2015 Nonprofit Compensation Report

The preceding post is by Chuck McLean, Vice President of Research. A founding employee of GuideStar, Chuck is responsible for conducting research for GuideStar and for customers interested in nonprofit sector data. He also works to identify new data sources and ways to present data effectively to GuideStar users. Chuck produces the annual GuideStar Compensation Report, which analyzes the salary and benefits of thousands of nonprofits throughout the country. He has 15 years of experience as a teacher and researcher at various institutions of higher education. Chuck has been a member of numerous sector-wide committees and study groups, including the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, and currently serves on the Research Council of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Aspen Institute Nonprofit Research Data group. A graduate of Christopher Newport University, Chuck also received an MS degree in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary.

Topics: Products and Services GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report