MYTH 8: YOU CAN’T MAKE A DECENT SALARY WORKING FOR A NONPROFIT.
Debunked: Median salary for a Nonprofit CEO in the Triangle area is $70,500. Some nonprofits offer better wages than their counterparts in the for-profit sector. (Source: NC Center for Nonprofits http://www.beaufortobserver.net/rawfiles/nonprofits.pdf )
Many believe leaders and other staff members of charitable nonprofit organizations work for free or little pay. But to attract the qualified and often specialized skills required of a leader or other staff members means that nonprofits must offer a “competitive level of compensation as dictated by the marketplace” (CharityNavigator.org – http://www.charitynavigator.org/__asset__/studies/2010_CEO_Compensation_Study_FinalRev.pdf).
Statistics vary on the average salaries to be expected of nonprofit workers, especially leaders. Payscale.com, a website that offers a “Free Salary Report based on your job title, location, education, skills and experience”, states that current Nonprofit CEO salaries fall between $63,028 – $135,624 around the nation. (Source: www.payscale.com)
Salaries will vary based upon the size, scope, and mission of the nonprofit organization. For example, CharityNavigator determined that the median salary for top leaders of some mid- to large-sized U.S. based charities (with expenses exceeding $3.5 million annually) was around $147,273 (http://www.charitynavigator.org/__asset__/studies/2010_CEO_Compensation_Study_FinalRev.pdf).
Salaries may also depend on the geographical location of the nonprofit organization. Leaders in nonprofits in the North East or Mid-Atlantic Regions of the U.S. can expect higher median salaries, for example, than leaders in the Mountain West, South, or South West regions of the nation. (http://www.charitynavigator.org/__asset__/studies/2010_CEO_Compensation_Study_FinalRev.pdf)
For a variety of articles related to nonprofit salaries, visit the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (http://philanthropy.com/search/?search_siteId=6&contextId=&action=rem&searchQueryString=top+nonprofit+salaries)
For more information on the current trends in nonprofit salaries, see this article from the Philanthropy Journal: http://www.philanthropyjournal.org/resources/managementleadership/your-questions-answered-salary-trends