What Do Nonprofit Jobs Pay and Where Are They?

by Linda M. Lampkin, Senior Nonprofit Compensation Specialist 26. April 2011 09:25

Sometimes a nonprofit job looks good.  Maybe you have made enough money to accept a lowersalary to work for a mission you are passionate about, or maybe any job looks good when you are not working. But what do nonprofit jobs pay and where exactly are they?

ERI’s compensation research shows that a CFO in a human services charity with $10 million in revenue in New York State would typically earn about $112,000 annually, while a similar CFO in a NYS for-profit company with $10 million in revenue averages nearly twice as much -- almost $209,000 including the cash bonus! But health care sector salary differences tend to be minimized, as nonprofit hospitals must typically pay closer to for-profit rates to attract qualified candidates.  So the nonprofit versus for-profit salary differential varies with the type of nonprofit.  Get more salary information on nonprofit and for-profit salaries at www.erieri.com.

If you are not discouraged yet, the newly released national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey (http://www.nonprofithr.com/clientuploads/2011EmploymentTrendsSurvey_WebReady.pdf) has some ideas about where to look for that nonprofit job. Analysis of the responses from over 450 nonprofits revealed the following trends:

  • Nearly 25% decreased the number of staff in 2010, but 60% said they intend to hire or are considering hiring this year.
  • Where new hires come from depends on the position level:
    • Entry-level:  50% from outside the nonprofit sector.
    • Experienced: 40% from within, 40% from other nonprofits, and 20% from outside the sector.
    • Senior/executive level: 25% from within, 50% from other nonprofits, and 20% from outside the sector.

The largest job growth will be at mid-sized and large organizations and in direct services, such as counseling, tutoring and mentoring programs (35%), along with program management/support (18%) and fundraising/development (15%).

To find candidates, nonprofits first use informal networking with colleagues and friends and formal networking with other nonprofits. Next, most used are online editions of local newspapers and Craigslist, followed by Idealist.orgCareerBuilder.com, and Monster.com.

So if you want that nonprofit job, try to maximize your networking opportunities:

  • Take a locally offered course in nonprofit management and finance.  Learn what you need to know and also meet others.
  • Sign up as a volunteer to help nonprofits with marketing, accounting and other areas and pick up some training, field experience, and networking opportunities.
  • Volunteer at a local charity whose mission you believe in. You never know where it will lead and whether you will meet a person there who could help in your job quest.