New Report Provides Comprehensive Operations and Demographic Data on Foundations

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Arlington, VA

The Council on Foundations today announced the release of the 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, the most comprehensive information available on staff composition and compensation for U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs. Salary information is provided for 35 executive, professional and administrative positions, and the report allows grantmakers to compare compensation to that of their peers by foundation type, asset size, and region.

Key findings:

  • Overall, staffing demographics did not shift significantly from 2013 reported levels.
  • More than one third of full-time staff were 50 to 64 years old, and six percent were at or above retirement age. When looking solely at CEO/CGOs the proportion of employees at or above retirement age increases to 17 percent.
  • In 2014, women represented three-quarters of reported grantmaker staff, but just over half of CEOs. Among grantmakers with $1 billion or more in assets, women accounted for just over a quarter of CEOs (28 percent).
  • Racial/ethnic minorities accounted for 24 percent of reported full-time staff in 2014. Grantmakers with assets greater than $2 billion have a greater reported percentage of positions filled by racial and ethnic minorities compared to other asset groups.
  • Only five percent of respondents indicated they employed at least one staff member with a disability.
  • The median reported salary for all full-time positions was $73,747 in 2014. The median reported salary for full-time CEO/CGOs was $160,000 in 2014, while for program officers it was $80,553.
  • Almost nine tenths of grantmakers increased salaries in 2013 and just over three quarters planned salary increases for 2014. The median salary increase for both 2013 and 2014 was 3 percent.
  • Over nine tenths of responding grantmakers offered voluntary benefits to staff. Over two fifths of respondents extended benefits to domestic partners.

The Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report is an annually generated research product of the Council on Foundations. This year’s survey and report has improved on past editions in several ways:

  • Increased participation from philanthropic leaders
  • Additional data on General Counsels
  • More detailed data gathered on age
  • A streamlined survey interface.

“This report not only provides foundation leaders with a vital tool they can use in making informed decisions about organizational operations, it also contributes valuable data to a field-wide conversation about diversity within philanthropy. The Council embraces both of these goals as part of its mission,” said Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “The field has made important progress in many areas, but there is still work to be done in creating a more diverse and inclusive sector, and the Council will continue to support those ongoing efforts”

Spruill went on to say, “The Council is proud to publish this annual report for grantmakers of all types. We also want to thank those organizations who participated in the survey, as well as our partners at the Foundation Center, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and individual regional associations for their support.”

The findings in the report are based on responses to an online survey of 1,028 grantmakers (an increase of almost 10% in participants from 2013), which reported salaries for a total of 9,476 full-time employees. The respondents included a diverse array of philanthropic organizations representing a total of $260 billion in assets and $13 billion in giving in 2013.

The report is available free of charge to Council members and survey participants. Others can purchase the report for $349.

The report is available to media by contacting Calvin Harris, 703-879-0612,