May 30, 2019; Quartz
Quartz reports (a little belatedly) that the average compensation for workers at nonprofits was—as of 2014, the last year for which the numbers were available—$7.86 per hour higher than at for-profits.
The figures were drawn from US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2014. Compensation includes not just salary but benefits.
This information is not new; it was published in a 2016 report. Still, it bears repeating. In even better news, the pay landscape shows greater parity between positions in the nonprofit sector than in the for-profit sector.
Sign up for our free newsletter
Subscribe to the NPQ newsletter to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
Detailed analyses…show a more nuanced picture: using wages as the pay measure indicates a slight wage disadvantage for management, professional, and related workers, and a wage advantage for service workers, at nonprofits and wage parity between nonprofit and for-profit sales and office workers; using total compensation as the pay measure indicates compensation parity between nonprofit and for-profit businesses for management, professional, and related workers and for sales and office workers and a compensation premium for nonprofit service workers.
And that is as it should be.
Just in case you care about the stats in your neck of the woods, the National Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides two interactive maps that allow you to see the percentage of overall jobs in your state that are nonprofit-based and the salary comparisons between nonprofit and for-profit jobs in your state as of 2017. Here’s a sneak peek: DC’s nonprofit sector accounted for 25.6 percent of jobs—the national high—and South Dakota boasts the highest positive differential, with nonprofit salaries averaging 124 percent of for-profit salaries. There are 28 states, in fact, where there is parity or higher
None of this should be a major surprise. In April, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits reported that, according to the most recent available state data, nonprofit salaries were slightly higher on average—$52,765, compared to the public sector average of $52,724 in 2017. However, nonprofit sector wages are still about $4,000 shy of private sector wages in the state, which average $56,669. This is a reduction of that gap of around $1000 since 2008. When the wage analysis of the Minnesota nonprofit sector included salaries at eds and meds, the nonprofit sector’s average wage of $56,759 was slightly higher than for-profit average wages in 2017.
Of course, there’s no reason to stop here. The burnished image of nonprofit jobs could be even better…if we made sure our workplaces were reflective of racial equity at all levels and that we never paid less than a living wage. In this way, we could make ourselves the sector of employment justice and clear leaders in modeling the workplaces of the future.—Ruth McCambridge