After accumulating 10 years of data about wages and benefits in local nonprofits, Peggy Outon would like to know “why in the social-justice sector we are seeing larger pay gaps than the one that prompted President Obama to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Act.”
The Bayer Center is now working with Eden Hall Foundation and Bayer USA Foundation to do deeper research on hundreds of IRS nonprofit forms, checking on the pay gap in all such local organizations, since participation in the survey is voluntary and doesn’t cover all groups. Following this research, she reports, “the wage and benefits survey results have been validated.”
Their big project is called 74 percent, because women make up nearly 74 percent of the nonprofit workforce. Thus, of 300,000 nonprofit employees, 225,000 are women. “Very few are being paid excessively, so we have concern for men’s lives in this as well,” Outon says. Organizations must ask themselves, “‘Are people being treated fairly in your organization? How do you know you are paying the right salary?’ All too often, salary-setting at nonprofits has appeared out of the air.”
Other findings of the survey include: Sixty-four percent of nonprofit leaders are women and 36 percent are men. Among total employees, 73 percent are women and 27 percent are men. And the amount of health-care premiums paid by organizations has dropped from 59 percent in 2002 to 37 percent today.
The survey, Outon adds, will also let nonprofits benchmark their leaders’ salaries against other groups, as the IRS has been requiring for the past several years.
“I am under no illusion that there is a pot of money out there waiting to rain down on the people who work in the nonprofit sector,” she says. However, she concludes, “more equity” is needed among the organizations that most often push for equity in other areas of life.
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Peggy Outon, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management