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Gender, Geography, and Nonprofit Compensation


Gender, organization type, and location all affected nonprofit pay in FY 2002, the newly released 2004 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report shows.

GuideStar's fourth annual analysis of nonprofit compensation draws exclusively on fiscal year 2002 Form 990 data from more than 83,000 public charities. Here are some highlights of the 2004 report:

Gender

  • The gender gap persisted.
    As has been the finding since the first report, women generally earned significantly less than men in FY 2002. In all job categories, median compensation of males exceeded that of females. Overall, males had median compensation of $75,922, or 28.0 percent more than the median for females ($59,332).

  • Women were more likely to head smaller organizations; men were more likely to head larger ones.
    As in years before, the higher concentration of females in smaller organizations caused a large part of the disparity in compensation. Of the 45,740 women in this year's report, 46.1 percent worked at organizations with budgets of $1 million or smaller, whereas only 33.0 percent of men did. At the other extreme, 25.7 percent of the 54,512 males in the study worked at organizations with budgets of $10 million or larger, whereas only 13.7 percent of the women did.

  • Even when controlling for organization size, women earned less.
    As the table below shows, male CEOs at every budget level had higher median compensation than their female counterparts in FY 2002.

  • FY 2002 CEO Compensation by Gender and Budget Size

      Female Male  
    Budget Size No. Median Salary No. Median Salary Gender Gap
    $250,000 or less 7,928 $34,556 6,649 $35,573 2.9%
    $250,000 - $500,000 5,189 $43,600 4,377 $50,140 15.0%
    $500,000 - $1 million 4,906 $55,287 4,810 $61,890 11.9%
    $1 million - $2.5 million 5,049 $67,468 6,155 $75,000 11.2%
    $2.5 million - $5 million 2,482 $79,339 3,896 $90,369 13.9%
    $5 million - $10 million 1,669 $90,786 3,127 $105,379 16.1%
    $10 million - $25 million 1,114 $104,779 2,606 $138,038 31.7%
    $25 million - $50 million 289 $128,209 1,037 $185,513 44.7%
    Greater than $50 million 283 $184,212 1,487 $283,392 53.8%


  • The gender gap appeared to narrow in smaller organizations.
    In organizations with budgets of $2.5 million or less, the gender gap decreased in 2002 compared to 2000. The most dramatic difference occurred in organizations with budgets of $250,000 or less, where the gap decreased by more than 80 percent from 2000 to 2002. Incumbent female CEOs in this group showed a median increase in compensation of 4.1 percent, versus 2.7 percent for males. In fact, incumbent female CEOs had higher median increases in compensation than males in all budget groups of $5 million and under.

  • The gender gap appeared to widen in larger nonprofits.
    In organizations with budgets of $5 million or more, the gender gap increased in 2002 over 2000. In these organizations, median increases for incumbent male CEOs were larger than for female CEOs in every budget category except the $10 million to $25 million group, where the median increase was 5.6 percent for females and 5.1 percent for males.

Organization Type

  • Health-care and education organizations continued to lead the pack.
    As has been the case in the past, health-care and education nonprofits tended to have median compensation at or near the top in every budget group. Large arts organizations also ranked high in median compensation.

  • Human-service and animal-related nonprofits remained at the rear.
    Median compensation was comparatively low in most human-service and animal-related nonprofits, ranking at or near the bottom in each budget category with a sufficient number of observations to be included. Housing and shelter organizations also ranked low, as did food, agriculture, and nutrition organizations.

Geography

  • CEOs in the Mideast and New England earned the most in every budget size; CEOS in the Plains, Southwest, and Rocky Mountains typically earned the least.
    For example, the median compensation of CEOs at Mideast organizations was 24.9 percent higher than that of CEOs in the Plains region, 27.5 percent higher than that of CEOs in the Southwest region, and 33.6 percent higher than that of CEOs in the Rocky Mountains region.

  • When cost of living is taken into account, the geographic picture changes dramatically.
    Some of the most expensive places to live in the United States are in the Mideast and New England regions. For example, 51.5 percent of the 10,001 CEOs in the Mideast work in New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C., each of which has a cost of living well above the national average. In contrast, 45.5 percent of the 1,657 CEOs in the Rocky Mountains region work in Denver, Colorado Springs, or Salt Lake City, where the cost of living is closer to the national average.

    Mideast and New England CEOs usually didn't fare as well as those in less expensive areas when salaries were adjusted to take cost of living into account. CEOs in the New York City metropolitan statistical area, whose raw median compensation exceeds all areas in the nation, have the lowest median compensation when adjusted for cost of living.

    Conversely, CEOs in some areas with lower raw median compensation do comparatively well when cost-of-living factors are considered. These differences can be quite dramatic. For example, the median compensation for CEOs of Indianapolis nonprofits with budgets between $10 million and $25 million was 53.5 percent less than the median for like organizations in Washington, D.C. When adjusted for cost of living, however, the median compensation in Indianapolis was 51.1 percent higher.

About the 2004 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report

GuideStar's fourth annual analysis of nonprofit compensation draws exclusively on fiscal year 2002 Form 990 data from more than 83,000 public charities. It examines compensation by gender, 14 job categories, 9 budget categories, 435 program categories, state, and 260 metropolitan statistical areas.

The report is available in national, regional, state, and local editions.

Chuck McLean, October 2004
© 2004, Philanthropic Research, Inc. (GuideStar)
Topics: GuideStar Compensation Report