Pay Levels Determined by Size of Organisation in the Not-for-Profit Sector

(03 Nov 2017)

The recently published report by the Community Foundation for Ireland (CFI) ‘Coughlan, A. & Dermody, A. (2017) National Guide to Pay and Benefits in Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations 2017'. Community Foundation of Ireland, Dublin, 2017’ offers a comprehensive insight into pay and benefit levels in the not-for-profit sector.

The report highlights a clear correlation between CEOs pay levels and the size of an organisation in terms of number of staff. The graph below examines base pay level only and excludes other remuneration such as pension contributions. 

Based on reviewing the report, the number of staff employed by an organisation is a more accurate gauge for determining CEOs pay levels than the amount of income an organisation generates.

The report is the third in a series which was first published in 2008 by The Wheel sponsored by 2into3. We welcome this essential report as an aid to talent management in the not-for-profit sector.

The high demand for management level talent in the sector is demonstrated clearly through 2into3’s Quarterly Recruitment Monitor. The most recently published report, accounting for data from Q3 of this year, stated that there were 93 not-for-profit management level roles recruited for during this quarter. A full copy of the monitor can be found here.

Another key finding from the CFI report was the importance of conditions of employment in the not-for-profit sector. The average amount of paid annual leave days offered in the sector was 22.6 days, higher than the statutory requirement of 20 days for full-time employees. While 92% of not-for-profits do not offer paid overtime, a time in lieu system is operated in 85% of organisations. 80% of organisations offer flexible working arrangements and 66% operate a formal approach to sick leave.

2into3 have been recruiting management and executive level talent for the not-for-profit sector since 2006 and the recent experience of an employee’s marketplace is now starting to take effect within the sector.

While pay is still an important determining factor for candidates on whether to accept an offer of a role, non-base pay factors such as pension contributions and work-life balance are becoming a greater determining factor in a number of cases. The overriding motivation for candidates is not to maximise yield from pay as evidenced by the premium for the same skillsets in private sector organisations. When comparing salary levels in the private sector from the IBEC Pay Survey for the Manufacturing & Wholesale Distribution Sector, 2017, CEOs salary were found to be 57% higher in the private sector compared to the not-for-profit sector. The smallest difference was in senior HR roles, with private sector salaries 25% higher than roles of a similar level in the not-for-profit sector.

At all levels from graduate entry to senior management, the overriding motivation for candidates to join the sector is purpose. Candidates are seeking a way to make a meaningful contribution and this is how the sector can distinguish itself from others and attract talent.

2into3 welcomes the CFI report for providing evidence and informed insight on pay and benefits in the not-for-profit sector. A full copy of the report can be found here.

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