July 19, 2018
Women Nonprofit Leaders Still Paid Less than Their Male Peers

July 22, 2017 — Nonprofits in southern New England, including those in Massachusetts, continue to experience gender equity gaps in compensation structures and lack of diversity in senior leadership and mid-level management positions, according to a newly completed survey conducted by TSNE MissionWorks, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides management resources to other nonprofits.

The survey of nonprofits across southern New England and Westchester County, New York, found that women executive director/CEOs receive 75% of the average annual pay that men receive, $119,622 vs. $158,649.

Average pay for executive director/CEOs is $134,834 per year across the region, and 61% of those leaders were women, according to survey results published in a report, Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce, released yesterday by TSNE MissionWorks (TSNE).

Findings were based on input from 342 organizations with annual operating expenses ranging from less than $100,000, to over $100,000,000, with average annual operating expenses of those nonprofits being $9,654,781.

Average annual pay for executive director/CEOs in Massachusetts was reported to be $130,535, but was not broken out by gender. However, a similar TSNE report released three years ago found that female nonprofit leaders in Massachusetts received 76% of the average annual pay earned by their male counterparts – $106,627 vs. $139,506 per year.

Average annual pay for executive director/CEOs in Massachusetts lags behind that earned by their peers in Rhode Island ($138,103) and Connecticut ($133,343).

The gender pay gap for nonprofit leaders is worse than it is for the Greater Boston working population as a whole. According to the Boston Women's Workforce Council, women in Greater Boston earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The new TSNE study found that average annual pay for executive director/CEOs in Boston and Cambridge is $142,029. That compares to $127,625 for the rest of eastern Massachusetts; and $103,989 for the Cape and Islands. Data for other regions of Massachusetts were not available.

“Gender and racial equity are often top priorities in nonprofits especially those whose missions are focused on creating positive social change,” said Lyn Freundlich, TSNE's human resources consulting practice leader.

She noted that "while progress has been made through state laws that will soon mandate gender pay equity, our sector should continue to focus on building pipelines of new leaders from racially diverse backgrounds. With so many long-time, mostly white leaders, beginning to retire or leave the nonprofit sector, now is the time to create and invest in these opportunities for professional development."

Annual pay for executive director/CEOs correlates with organization size. Across southern New England and Westchester County, average executive director/CEOs annual pay was as follows:
For organizations with up to 5 full-time equivalent employees: $77,270
6 – 10 full-time equivalent employees: $112,716
11 – 25 full-time equivalent employees: $119,470
26 – 50 full-time equivalent employees: $135,734
51 – 100 full-time equivalent employees: $161,047
101 – 250 full-time equivalent employees: $163,375
More than 250 full-time equivalent employees: $233,401
The survey also found that:
  • 70% of participating organizations have salary increases budgeted for their current fiscal year, nearly identical to 71% reported in 2014.

  • 33% of employees in the 2017 survey earn less than $28,000 annually. In comparison, 43% earned less than $28,000 annually in 2014, while 51% earned less than $28,000 annually in 2010.

  • 710 individuals in the survey hold the 10 highest paying jobs. Of those, 55% are women and 45% are men; 89% are white.

  • Of 4,985 individuals in the survey holding the 10 lowest paying positions, 69% are women and 31% are men; 56% are white. That means that people of color hold 11% of the highest paying jobs and 44% of the lowest.
The survey, which also studied benefits, found that:
  • 89% of responding nonprofits offer some type of medical insurance to full-time employees. In general, more than 50% of these organizations pay 80% or more of the individual employee premium. Of the organizations reporting employing part-time employees, 48% indicate that only full-time employees are eligible for health insurance benefits.

  • 75% of the organizations provide some type of retirement benefits to their full-time employees; 77% of those offering retirement benefits have plans in which both the employer and the employee contribute to their retirement accounts.

  • 75% of the organizations provide full-time employees with a specified numbers of paid days off each year for vacation, holiday and sick leave; 19% offer a PTO (Paid Time Off) program instead, giving employees a set number of days off to be used for any purpose, and another 6% offer some other form of time off benefits. Most of these are small organizations, which tend to have less formal benefits policies or practices.

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