Nonprofit CEO Compensation Up, but Still Lags for Women, Study Finds

Nonprofit CEO Compensation Up, but Still Lags for Women, Study Finds

Although increases in nonprofit CEO compensation have nearly recovered to pre-recession levels, female nonprofit executives' compensation still lags that of men in comparable positions, a report from GuideStar finds.

Based on fiscal year 2015 data reported to the Internal Revenue Service by 96,669 nonprofits with annual revenues of at least $200,000, the 2017 Nonprofit Compensation Report found that median increases in nonprofit executive compensation ranged from 0.4 percent for male CEOs and 1.5 percent for female CEOs at nonprofits with budgets of $250,000 or less, to 4.7 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, at organizations with budgets between $25 million and $50 million. As it has every year since 2005, however, median compensation for female CEOs lagged that of their male counterparts, with the gap in 2015 ranging from 7 percent at nonprofits with budgets of $250,000 or less to 21 percent at those with budgets of more than $50 million.

According to the report, the share of women among nonprofit CEOs continued to increase in 2015, with the share among nonprofits with budgets between $25 million and $50 million jumping ten percentage points, from 20 percent to 30 percent. The study also found that median salaries were highest at health and science organizations, and lowest at arts, animal welfare, and religious organizations.

"In seven out of eight budget categories, nonprofit CEO compensation grew more in 2015 than in 2014," said GuideStar senior research fellow and report author Chuck McLean. "Although median increases are still lower than observed before the recession, 2015 was the first year since 2008 in which we saw increases of 4 percent or more."