By Pilar Oberwetter
I want to offer another perspective of wage issues within the nonprofit sector—not in level, but in distribution. Unlike the authors of the previous two postings, I feel that nonprofit salaries have increased in recent years. Not to amounts traditionally seen in the private sector, to be sure, but certainly higher than they used to be.
However, these salary increases have not been evenly distributed.
Almost universally, increased revenue and the related increase in salaries for nonprofit organizations and staff have been applied to back-office functions—not front line programs and staff. In other words, staff responsible for implementing programs, providing services and interfacing with clients do not see the same financial windfalls that the executive teams experience.
If dialogue and discussion on nonprofit salaries happens in a productive and proactive manner, equal distribution of salary increases needs to top that agenda. For me, the gradual eroding of mission priority throughout the sector— as indicated by the widening gap between executives and lay-staff within the sector—is the most distressing of all.