About the Survey

Nonprofit Salary

Attracting and Retaining Qualified and High-Performing Employees to Do Your Organization's Important Work

Like nonprofits everywhere, Northern California nonprofit organizations need the information reported by a comprehensive compensation and benefits survey. A tight labor market, high costs, and pandemic-related impacts to the workplace present challenges for nonprofit employers who manage their organizations’ compensation and benefits policies. The survey report provides a "snapshot" of Northern California's nonprofit sector, including compensation, employee benefits, salary increases, personnel policies, as well as data that larger nonprofits can use to justify to the IRS the compensation they pay their executive employees.

The "best survey of its kind" helps nonprofits in Northern California:

  • Set fair salaries and benefits to attract and retain the best qualified employees
  • Evaluate industry standards for compensation for a range of positions
  • Budget and plan for the cost of adding new staff members
  • Analyze their own jobs and compensation
  • Stand up to the scrutiny of a possibly skeptical public
  • Compare their salaries and benefits with others in their community, not with organizations totally out of their local economic market.

Regional vs. National Surveys

A high percentage of jobs that nonprofits fill are best compared with others in their own economic community, with benefits being compared similarly. National surveys, especially when broken down into large regions (e.g., "the eastern seaboard", "the southeast"), have limited value, because they do not take local differences into account.

Regional compensation and benefits surveys provide the best information possible to their nonprofit participants because the comparisons are not with organizations hundreds of miles away, but agencies in their own community. Great examples include surveys in Southern California, Metro Seattle, Metro Chicago, New York City, Metro Kansas City, Metro Washington D.C., Southwest Pennsylvania, Central Florida, Northeast Florida and Southern New England.

What Does the Survey Analyze?

Nearly 300 positions are reported for the entire sample, with details by:

  • Organization's annual expenses
  • Organization's location
  • Organization's field of service
  • Number of employees in the organization
  • Number of employees managed by person in position.

Specific data regarding incentive pay is also reported for each position, including eligibility for incentive pay and actual incentive pay given.

Benefits and other policies are reported as well:

  • Paid time off (vacation, sick time, holidays, other)
  • Insurance benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Policies regarding compensation and employment practices
  • Executive Director/CEO perquisites.

History of the Survey

The survey was initiated in 1978 by our late colleague, Barbara Schilling, at The Management Center (TMC) in San Francisco. TMC published it annually until they went out of business in 2004. From 2004 to 2009, it was compiled by Rita Haronian under contract with the Center for Nonprofit Management in Southern California. 2010 was the first year it was produced by Nonprofit Compensation Associates.