2014 Nonprofit Salary And Benefits: Operating Budget And CEO Pay

January 15, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

The average pay for a nonprofit president/CEO last year was $118,678 according to data from our recently released 2014 NPT Salary and Benefits Report. While many factors affect executive compensation, our studies found there was a direct link between their salaries and the organization’s operating budget.

First, some background: The median executive salary from our data was $100,000, while the maximum found was $666,266. The average tenure for a nonprofit CEO among organizations participating in our survey was almost 12 years and almost 40 percent of participants paid their CEO some type of bonus in addition to their normal salary.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the correlation between a nonprofit’s operating budget and its executive compensation:

  • Operating budget less than $499,999 — Average CEO salary: $60,206
  • Operating budget from $500,000 to 999,999 — Average CEO salary: $81,991
  • Operating budget from $1,000,000 to $2,499,999 — Average CEO salary: $103,704
  • Operating budget from $2,500,000 to $4,999,999 — Average CEO salary: $125,899
  • Operating budget from 5,000,000 to $9,999,999 — Average CEO salary: $153,858
  • Operating budget from $10,000,000 to $24,999,999 — Average CEO salary: $184,926
  • Operating budget from $25,000,000 to $49,999,999 — Average CEO salary: $226,023
  • Operating budget more than $50,000,000 — Average CEO salary: $317,024

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the higher an organization’s budget the higher the executive’s pay. What is interesting to note is the jump between the different brackets. This isn’t a difference of a few thousand dollars here and there; we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars when it comes to an organization with a budget of $40,000,000 versus one with $50,000,000.

Do you want more information like this? Purchase any one of our four 2014 NPT Salary and Benefits Reports to see where your organization stands when it comes to executive pay.