Arts groups boost staff

Nonprofit arts and cultural groups in the Philadelphia area and Southern New Jersey are borrowing a page from businesses and using incentives to compensate and retain employees, a new survey says.

Of 89 groups surveyed for the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia office of Mercer Human Resource Consulting, for example, more than six in 10 base pay raises on individual performance, a common practice in the for-profit sector.

Among groups with annual operating budgets of $4 million or more than 50 employees, or both, more than 8 in 10 base pay raises on individual performance the survey says.

Roughly one in three of those surveyed, however, base increases on cost-of-living or a flat across-the-board percentage.

Nearly 20 percent of groups surveyed offer bonuses ranging from 1 percent to 9 percent of salary, also a common business practice that is not traditionally used by nonprofits, the survey says.

In addition to salary and bonuses, most arts groups responding to the survey also offer more “perks” than in the past, such as comp time, flex-time, non-monetary recognition awards, tuition reimbursement and health-club subsidies.

Most arts groups surveyed offer competitive health-care benefits, with 86 percent of employers providing benefits to management and 46 percent offering them to hourly employees.

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