Blog: Amplify

2016 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report: Salary Tables

We are pleased to announce the release of the Council’s 2016 Salary Tables. This year’s tables include salary data from nearly 10,000 full-time positions in foundations and corporate giving programs (representing over $1 billion in total salaries). The 1,010 grantmakers that participated in this year’s Grantmaker Salary and Benefits survey held a total of $285 billion in assets and gave $15 billion last year, all of which make this the largest and most comprehensive data set of compensation in the field of philanthropy.

Why is this important to you?

The Council’s Salary Tables are used by a wide variety of people working in and serving the field: board members, foundation executives, human resources staff, and professional advisors, including recruiters, compensation consultants, attorneys, and financial advisors. The report will be a valuable resource to organizations that are doing everything from creating 2017 staffing budgets, to setting competitive salary ranges for open positions, to determining suitable increases for newly promoted members of their team. One of the most important uses of the tables is to provide data that foundations can use to set reasonable compensation for their executive staff, as is required by the Internal Revenue Service. As many of you know, in order to avoid excise tax penalties for unreasonable or excessive compensation, grantmakers need to use appropriate data, including studies like the Council’s, on compensation levels paid by similar organizations. (See the Council’s recommended best practices in determining reasonable executive compensation.)

Detailed breakdowns to get you the data you need

We collect and share data on 35 unique positions in the field and have designed the tables to help you benchmark salaries against your peers in multiple ways: by asset size of your organization, by geography (we use U.S. Census Bureau regions and divisions), and by foundation type. You can also compare your salaries to the minimum, 25th and 75th percentiles, median, mean, and maximum salaries reported in any given category. This means, for example, you can see the median salary for a program officer at family foundations with assets between $100 to $249.9 million; or the range of CEO salaries in East North Central Census division.

How to access the data

The salary tables are free to Council members and to survey participants. (Nonmember respondents can download the tables from the Benchmark Central website). Participants can also use the online benchmarking tool to run custom reports, which allow you to gather even more specific information.

To learn more or to participate in next year’s survey, contact research@cof.org.

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