Report Provides Key Metrics for Philanthropic Sector

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Arlington, VA

The Council on Foundations today announced the release of the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, the most comprehensive information available on staff composition and compensation for U.S. foundations. This year’s report benefited from an increased response rate and will now provide more detailed information and data for the largest foundations. Salary information is provided for 34 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.

“The Council on Foundations remains committed to ensuring our members and the field have access to the tools and information necessary to effectively operate in a rapidly changing landscape,” said Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “One of those tools that the field has come to know and trust is the annual Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report, now more than 20 years old. We greatly appreciate all those who took part in the survey, as well as our partners at the Foundation Center and Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, for their support.”

The findings in the report are based on responses to an online survey of 936 grantmakers (an increase of almost 5% in participants from 2012), which reported salaries for a total of 8,404 full-time employees. The respondents included a diverse array of philanthropic organizations representing a total of $249 billion in assets and $15.1 billion in giving in 2012.

Key findings and trends include:

  • The median reported salary for all full-time positions was $74,061 in 2013.  Compared with the data from last year, 2013 generally saw a slight increase in salaries, though the median salary for all reported staff rose slightly ahead of the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation over the last five years. 
  • More than four-fifths of grantmakers increased salaries in 2012 and almost nine in ten grantmakers planned salary increases for 2013. 
  • Over two-fifths of respondents (41 percent) granted bonuses in 2012, a slight increase from 2011.
  • Women continue to comprise the majority of staff at grantmakers, filling 75 percent of the full-time positions.  Despite accounting for 54 percent of CEOs overall, women are less represented in the top leadership position of the very largest grantmakers, accounting for only a quarter of CEOs at organizations with $1 billion or more in assets. 
  • Racial/ethnic minorities accounted for 24 percent of reported full-time staff in 2013.  In addition, minorities represented 8 percent of foundation CEOs overall, but they held 21 percent of those positions among foundations with $1 billion or more in assets.
  • More than two-fifths of staff were 50 or older.  The vast majority (80 percent) of foundation chief executive officers (CEOs) were aged 50 and over.
  • Ninety-nine percent of respondents offered voluntary benefits to full-time staff.  Nearly two fifths of respondents extended benefits to domestic partners, up from thirty two percent in 2012. 

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 John Cochrane (