Survey looks at nonprofit workers’ pay

Of 250 small and medium-sized nonprofits surveyed by Third Sector New England, 43 percent of their staff members earn less than $28,000 a year. More

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Survey looks at nonprofit workers’ pay

Posted 6/20/14

BOSTON – Of 250 small and medium-sized nonprofits surveyed by Third Sector New England, 43 percent of their staff members earn less than $28,000 a year.

That’s one of several findings in the report, “Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce 2014: A Compensation and Benefits Survey of and for Nonprofits in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Adjoining Communities.”

Third Sector New England is an organization that provides “management and leadership resources to help nonprofits support healthy, just communities,” according to its website. With a database free to nonprofits, the report offers searchable salary and benefits information for small to midsized nonprofits.

More than 31,000 people are employed by the 250 nonprofits that completed the survey. Data collected was compiled on more than 23,000 individual salaries and categorized into 134 job titles.

Other findings for participating nonprofits include:

  • 71 percent have salary increases budgeted in their current fiscal year, an apparent improvement compared with a 2010 survey, when 58 percent reported salary increase budgets.

  • 90 percent provide some type of health insurance to employees at an average cost to the organization of $628 per month.

  • 52 percent offer long-term disability coverage.

  • 71 percent provide some sort of retirement plan for employees, and 66 percent contribute to it.

    “This data represents an often overlooked portion of our nonprofit sector, small to midsized social justice organizations,” said Jonathan Spack, executive director for Third Sector New England. “There are thousands of small nonprofits in our area with [less than] $2 million in revenue and sometimes with fewer than five staff members. These groups individually are small, but collectively make up a significant portion of our nonprofit workforce.”

    Third Sector New England commissioned the survey in response to frequent requests from nonprofit leaders and consultants for compensation data relevant to smaller nonprofits.

    “We have a very diverse sampling of data that helps to create a picture of nonprofit compensation practices. With this report we hope to encourage not just our nonprofit colleagues, but all employers to model appropriate compensation practices by providing livable wages and benefits for employees,” said Lyn Freundlich, director of administration and human resources for Third Sector New England.

    The report is available at

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