Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It really isn’t easy giving away money

Despite claims that giving money away is easy, Dennis McIlnay, in his book Foundations and Higher Education offers certain findings indicating that giving away money can be complicated and difficult.

These findings come from a gathering of information from philosophers, philanthropists and foundation officers.

Among the findings:

•Grantmaking is more subjective than objective and is based on the assumption that judicious funding decisions are possible. There is no precise measuring stick to select a successful grant project.
•Foundations rerely publicly articulate the tenets they apply in grantmaking. Their grantmaking criteria are rarely described and too rarely discussed.
•Grantmaking may be inherently difficult because of the danger of doing more harm than good.
•Some foundations overreact to the subjectivity of grantmaking by attempting to quantify all aspects of the process. Others adopt an attitude of detachment that borders on arrogance.
•Foundation staffs are often the targets of animosity from rejected applicants, and the tenuous relationship with grantseekers may cause fear, anxiety, isolation, aggression and narcissism.
•The power of money may corrupt foundation officers no less than other professionals. Foundation officers have been known to succumb to the “God complex.”
•A “genius for charity” is often cited as a necessary quality for foundation officers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

NonProfit Salaries Inch Up This Year Despite Poor Economy

Nonprofits across the board saw salary increases move up on average 2.1 percent for executive and administrative staff this year, according to the results of the new The NonProfit Times/BlueWater “2010 Nonprofit Organizations Salary & Benefits Report” just issued. This survey is among the most extensive compensation survey ever conducted, covering 259 titles and 34 benefit offerings.

“This study represents several firsts for data of this kind,” said John McIlquham, president and CEO of The NonProfit Times. In addition to the salary and benefit findings grouped by budget, employees and field of work, the study also provides operating unit compensation costs and practices that provide a snapshot of what organizations spend on salaries as a percentage of their budget, he pointed out.

Another first is a new report in the study on executive job families. No other study provides a report on what percentage of the operating budget accounts for the top 15 executive posts at nonprofits.

The study also offers not just salary but an in-depth look at benefits, often a big percentage of compensation costs that get little attention, according to McIlquham. The benefits portion of the study examines executive bonus and benefits, including participation and eligibility rates for retirement plans. Another interesting finding is employee turnover, he noted, that appears to be higher among larger organizations than smaller ones.

Overall, turnover at all organizations averaged 9 percent, with employees staying at an organization, on average, 6.2 years.

Eighty-five percent of all organizations surveyed offer some type of medical plan for employees, with two thirds of respondents indicating they offer a PPO plan. Employee participation in any medical plan was more than 53 percent, with the highest rates for EPO plans.

Almost 37 percent of nonprofit operating budgets are spent on total cash compensation costs. The average salary for a nonprofit chief executive officer/president last year was $111,838. The median salary was $90,000 while the maximum was $650,000. The average tenure for a nonprofit CEO is 9 years.

More than 36 percent of nonprofits pay their CEO a bonus of some kind. Twenty percent of nonprofits offer their executives some form of executive benefit, with the most common benefit a car or car allowance. Additional vacation days ranked second in popularity.

New to this year’s report is a table in each section that displays, at a glance, the changes in data from 2009 to 2010.

The data was collected using a state of the art on line questionnaire and information gathered was for US-based organizations only. Survey participants were asked to provide information as of March 1, 2010.

Robert Bruder-Matson, president of BlueWater NonProfit Solutions, said the survey data offered in these reports is more comparable and relevant to understanding how nonprofits engage their executives and their employees in an extremely tough economy. For example, Bruder-Matson emphasized, the executive job family, on average, accounts for 13 percent of an organization’s operating budget, with an average cost per employee of $85,296.

The study’s benchmarks provide executives, human resource directors and anyone looking at a position in nonprofits with the most timely and up to date information by geographic region as well as operating budget and type of organization.

The study can be purchased either for just salary data or compensation data or the 700-page combined report.

Click here to view a sample and order the full 2010 NonProfit Organizations Salary and Benefits Report.