Non-Profit Pay Not That High
Your article “Non-Profit Woes Not Hurting Pay” (Sept. 16 issue) provided a distorted picture of compensation among leaders of non-profits in Los Angeles by focusing on large organizations with highly compensated executives.
According to the Center for Non-Profit Management’s 2002 Compensation & Benefits Survey, the median annual base salary of the executive director of a Southern California non-profit was $82,638.
Median base salaries varied by the annual budget size, from $50,003 for a director of an organization with a budget under $500,000 to $149,989 for those with a budget of $15 million or more. (Only 4 percent of non-profit organizations in Los Angeles County, excluding hospitals, churches and schools, even have budgets over $10 million). The median base salary for a director of an arts or cultural organization or a museum, the type of organization most often described in the article, was $60,008.
These salaries seem reasonable and even modest for the level of responsibility entailed in jobs that involve working with sensitive populations on tight budgets and high-pressure fundraising while maintaining unwavering attention to the organization’s mission.
Non-profits, as the article noted, are struggling with economic uncertainty that leads to increased demands for services just as the declining stock market reduces charitable giving. Given the challenges that these organizations already face, we hope the business community and the public will make their decisions about which organizations to support based on accurate information about compensation in Southern California non-profits.
Center for Non-Profit Management
California Association of Non-Profits