News mixed on nonprofit salaries

PJ staff report

Executive salaries at U.S. nonprofits rose slightly on average last year, but many organizations are planning salary freezes for the coming year, a new report says.

The average salary for executive directors, administrative executives, top financial executives and top development professionals rose 3.9 percent between 1009 and 2010, says the 29th annual nonprofit compensation report from PRM Consulting Group.

But four in 10 survey respondents say salary freezes are anticipated for 2010, and more than a third are predicting freezes again in 2011.

Among those that are planning freezes, about one in three say those will apply only to the organization’s top executive.

And while salary increases for top executives tended to be 1 percent to 1.5 percent higher than other employees prior to 2009, increases now tend to be the same or only slightly higher than other employee groups.

During 2009, the average base salary grew 3.2 percent for top nonprofit executive officers; 4 percent for top administrative executives; 5.7 percent for top financial officers; and 2.6 percent for top development officers.

Average salary adjustments across all groups were 1.2 percent lower on average during the most recent year, the study says, and are expected to be 1.1 percent lower next year.

More than a quarter of respondents have taken steps to control medical costs within the past year, with the majority changing coverage options or increasing employees’ share of the cost.

And about 14 percent of organizations surveyed say they have approved or are considering reinstating retirement benefits that were cut.

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