Study: Nonprofit Executive Salaries At $100K

December 12, 2013       The NonProfit Times      

The median salary for an arts executive in the Philadelphia area is $100,000, according to a new survey released today by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Gallagher Benefit Services.

Salaries varied widely based on organization size, especially for senior executives, according to data in the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance 2013 Salary and Benefits Study. At smaller organizations (budgets under $250,000), the median Executive Director salary is $49,000, while at larger nonprofits (budgets over $10,000,000), the median salary for that same position is $288,000.

Nonprofit leaders also expressed cautious optimism about future outlooks in the survey. Of the 152 organizations questioned, 43 percent expressed percent believe their business outlook will improve in the next 12 months vs. only 7 percent that feel that things are likely to get worse. An additional 72 percent said they haven’t reduced staff size or hours in the last 12 months and don’t expect to do so in the immediate future. This represents the most positive response to this questions since the Alliance started asking it in 2009.

“This study reinforces how resilient and focused cultural groups must be in these challenging times,” says Michael Norris, Cultural Alliance interim executive director. “Throughout the recession and into the recovery, attendance and individual giving increased, while ticket prices remained stable. At the same time, benefits costs increased over 40 percent for our members.”

Other findings from the study include:

  • Sixty nine percent of survey participants provide healthcare coverage to staff, while 63 percent provide dental coverage and 67 percent provide a prescription plan.
  • Of the cultural organizations that provide healthcare coverage to staff, 90 percent extend coverage to domestic partners.
  • Blue Cross is the most common provider, with three out of four groups reporting the highest enrollment in BC/BS followed by Aetna at 22 percent.
  • Forty-two percent of surveyed organizations offer a retirement plan to their employees. The size of the organization is a primary factor, with 85 percent of Very Large organizations and 80 percent of Large organizations offering a plan, respectively. Twenty three percent of Medium organizations and 3 percent of Small organizations offer retirement plans.

You can read more about the report on the Alliance’s website. For a more national look at nonprofit salary and benefits, we recommend keeping an eye on our website for our upcoming 2013 Salary and Benefits Report. In the meantime, you can purchase data form last year on our online store.