According to our friends at GuideStar, nonprofit CEO compensation increased for the second consecutive year in 2016. This means executive pay in the sector continues to heal from the Great Recession. The 2018 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report is the 18th edition in GuideStar’s annual series. It remains the only large-scale nonprofit compensation analysis based entirely on IRS data.
“The median increase in compensation of incumbent CEOs was lower in 2016 for the lower budget bands and higher in the upper budget bands compared to 2015,” noted Holly C.S. Ivel, GuideStar’s director of data services and author of the 2018 report. “Nevertheless, 2016 was only the second year since the recession in which we saw increases of 4 percent or more.”
These increases in pay have also managed to correct some of the gender pay gap in the sector. According to the GudieStar data, female executives received slightly higher compensation increases than their male counterparts between 2015 and 2016. However, that trend in gender pay is not seen at the largest national nonprofits. Organizations with budgets over $25 million have increased the compensation of male executives slightly faster than their female counterparts.
Median Increase in Incumbent CEO Compensation by Gender 2014-2016
|$250 thousand or less||4.2%||4.4%||1.3%||0.0%|
|Between $250 thousand and $500 thousand||4.3%||4.7%||2.5%||1.6%|
|Between $500 thousand and $1 million||4.0%||3.8%||2.8%||2.3%|
|Between $1 million and $2.5 million||3.3%||3.6%||2.9%||2.5%|
|Between $2.5 million and $5 million||3.5%||3.2%||3.1%||2.9%|
|Between $5 million and $10 million||3.0%||2.8%||3.3%||3.2%|
|Between $10 million and $25 million||2.9%||2.4%||3.9%||3.4%|
|Between $25 million and $50 million||2.5%||2.0%||4.3%||4.4%|
|Greater than $50 million||1.5%||0.4%||4.0%||4.2%|
In addition to changes in compensation, the 2018 report analyzes 2016 compensation mission type, state, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Other findings from the report include:
- Science and health organizations had the highest overall median salaries. Religion and animal-related organizations brought up the rear.
- Dedicated human resources and information technology positions appear to emerge as organizations get larger.
The 2018 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report analyzes compensation data reported to the IRS for fiscal year 2016 by 112,609 nonprofits. Organizations are instructed to supply compensation information for all officers, directors, trustees, and up to 20 key employees who earn at least $150,000. Additionally, information is required for certain other employees who earn at least $100,000. The 2018 report contains data on 159,114 individual positions. Incumbent compensation data, from which the change in compensation was calculated, was available for 91,337 positions at 69,520 nonprofits.