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Highlights of the 2010 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report

2010-nonprofit-compensation-report-highlights.jpgThe 10th annual edition of the GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report was released September 23, 2010. Derived from information on 149,608 individual positions at 99,590 tax-exempt organizations for fiscal year 2008, it remains the most comprehensive nonprofit compensation report available and the only large-scale analysis 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 continued to lag behind that of males when considering comparable positions at similar organizations.
  • Females held 57 percent of CEO positions at organizations with expenses of $1 million or less but only 38 percent at organizations with expenses of greater than $1 million. These numbers were both slight increases over 2007. Overall, women held 48 percent of the positions reported upon (an increase of 1 percentage point over 2007) and but received only 29 percent of the total compensation, down from 35 percent in 2007.
  • A trend of the last few years toward larger median compensation increases for incumbent female CEOs continued to hold for 2008. This, taken with the bullet point above, suggests that women in positions other than CEO are not making the steady gains seen among female CEOs.
  • 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 3.8 percent from 2007 to 2008, whereas those at organizations with budgets of greater than $50 million had a median increase of 5.1 percent. Percent increases at all sizes of organizations were generally higher in 2008 than they were in 2007.
  • Not surprisingly, health and science organizations had the highest overall median salaries. Food, religion, and youth development organizations brought up the rear.
  • For the fifth 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 again had the lowest median buying power, while those in Detroit had the highest.

Learn more about the 2010 report

View sample pages
Read the methodology statement

Chuck McLean and Suzanne E. Coffman
© 2010, GuideStar USA, Inc.

Chuck McLean is GuideStar's vice president for research and the creator of the GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report. He has analyzed the data for and written all 10 volumes of the report. Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's editorial director and editor of the GuideStar Newsletter.

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice