Pam Fulk thought the human services field didn’t pay well — until she ran an animal nonprofit. “I’ve been trying to pull up these salaries since Day 1,” said the executive director of Carolina Tiger Rescue (CTR) in Pittsboro. N.C.
The 16 employees at the tiger sanctuary averaged about a 3-percent salary increase for 2014, in line with the average increase reported in the 2015 Salary and Benefits Report by The NonProfit Times with Roswell, Ga.-based Bluewater Nonprofit Solutions. The 2015 report covers survey results that were completed by Sept. 15, 2014 by nearly 900 organizations nationwide covering 309 job titles.
Nonprofit managers reported awarding average salary increases of 3.13 percent for all staff during 2014, up ever so slightly from 3.11 percent the previous year. Executives saw an average hike of 3.44 percent. Total cash compensation costs as a percentage of the operating budget has typically averaged about 38 percent during the past several years of the study.
The average pay hike for respondents during the past five years of salary surveys is just less than 3 percent. The largest organizations ($50 million or more operating budgets) had the highest average of that time, 3.61 percent, pulled up by a high of 8.27 percent last year. The average increase among other nonprofits of varying sized operating budgets — from less than $500,000 to less than $50 million — ranged from 2.39 percent to 3.84 percent.
The average total cash compensation for chief executive officers has fluctuated during the past five years, ranging from $110,599 (2011) to $122,286 (2013). The average for 2014 was $113,562, slightly less than the five-year average of $114,544. The five-year average tenure for a CEO was 11.3 years with an organization.