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Nonprofit pay highest in Triangle

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Jane Kendall

Jane Kendall

North Carolina nonprofits pay $60,000 in median salary to their chief executives and $40,673 in median cash compensation to all their employees, and lose staff at half the rate of U.S. industries, a new study says.

Nonprofits in the Triangle pay $70,500 in median compensation to their chief executives and $45,619 in median cash compensation to all their employees, both the highest in the state, says the study, which reflects results from 466 employers and was prepared for the N.C. Center for Nonprofits by Bluewater Nonprofit Solutions in Roswell, Ga.

It also says nearly 74 percent of nonprofits in the state provide medical coverage for their employees and on average pay 92.5 percent of the employee’s premium, while nearly 67 percent offer their employees some type of retirement plan.

“This means a third of nonprofits offer no retirement options,” says Jane Kendall, president of the N.C. Center. “While this gap also is common for business employers, this is not how we should treat the talented staff at our nonprofits whose work is essential to North Carolinians every day.”

Salaries typically reflect the size of a nonprofit’s annual budget, the study says, with chief executives at the smallest organizations receiving the lowest pay.

At nonprofits with budgets below $300,000, the median compensation for chief executives totals $40,453, for example, compared to $151,197 for nonprofits with budgets of $10 million or more.

Median compensation for nonprofit chief executives totals $65,000 in the Triad, $61,100 in the southern Piedmont, $56,500 in the Charlotte area, $51,950 in southeastern North Carolina, $50,900 in central-eastern North Carolina, $50,000 in southwestern North Carolina and $49,800 in northwestern North Carolina.

Median cash compensation for all nonprofit employees totals $42,509 in central-eastern North Carolina, $41,516 in the Triad, $40,232 in the Charlotte area, $38,606 in the southern Piedmont, $37,054 in southwestern North Carolina, $37,000 in southeastern North Carolina, $34,823 in northeastern North Carolina, and $31,449 in northwestern North Carolina.

Average cash compensation is lowest for human-services nonprofits, which pay $36,767, followed by $36,834 for arts, culture and humanities; $37,500 for international and foreign affairs; and $43,881 for health.

The annual turnover rate at North Carolina nonprofits totals 9.6 percent, compared to 18.7 percent in 2008 for all industries in the U.S., the N.C. Center says, citing Compdata.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports the cost of replacing a worker is one-third the annual salary for the position, the Center says, so the lower turnover rate for North Carolina nonprofits helps avoid that cost.

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