In order to attract and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive market, nonprofit organizations, historically, have offered generous benefits to create an attractive total compensation package. The thirteenth annual Benefits in Nonprofit Organizations Survey, released July 1, 2013 by ERI Salary Surveys, reports that nonprofit employers are finding it more difficult to fund rich health care benefits programs.

As a result, nonprofits are paying approximately 70% of the total premium cost of medical coverage, down from 87% in 2012, according to the survey findings. Similar to employers in the private industry, nonprofit organizations appear to be implementing cost saving strategies by shifting more expenses on to the employees.

In addition to a strong focus on medical, prescription, and dental costs, the survey also reports data on life and disability insurance, retirement plan practices, paid leave, and other benefits. Some highlights include the following:

  • Of the responding nonprofits, 93% offer basic life insurance and 80% offer long-term disability.
  • The most common type of retirement plan provided by 96% of the organizations indicating some form of offering is the 403(b).
  • The average number of fixed holidays among respondents with traditional leave plans is 9.4 days per year.
  • Forty-five percent of respondents offer Pooled Leave Plans, or Paid Time Off (PTO), with an average of 25.2 days granted in 2013 at one year of service.

Questionnaires for the Benefits in Nonprofit Organization Survey were designed and distributed in October 2012. Submissions were collected until March 2013, with an effective date of benefits as of January 1, 2013. Data for 90 medical plans covering over 11,000 employees were reported in the 2013 sample. Sixty-seven dental plans were also reported. Data cuts are provided by type of nonprofit organization, organization size (by number of employees), organizational scope, and geographic region. Results may be purchased for $489 via

A companion benefit report, the 2013 Health Care Benefits Benchmarking Survey, which includes nonprofit organizations, government entities, privately owned for-profit organizations, and publicly owned for-profit organizations, published in April 2013, is also available online through ERI Salary Surveys.

Participation in ERI’s 2014 salary surveys, including more than 125 industry-specific and job function compensation surveys, opens October 1, 2013. Organizations that contribute information receive a discount on the purchase of the survey and a complimentary copy of the Executive Summary. Participation is not required to purchase survey results. For more information and a full list of available surveys, visit