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In order for Arizona’s nonprofit community to retain strong talent, successfully advance our individual missions, and elevate philanthropic causes across the state, it’s important for the nonprofit sector to understand itself thoroughly. The Nonprofit Compensation and Benefits Report is a highly valuable tool that enables nonprofits to join together to paint one picture of our overall impact, as well as our successes and challenges. Through this report, we can understand where our industry stands and more accurately predict where it’s headed, based on important compensation and benefits numbers.
The nonprofit industry has been plagued for decades with myths about over- and under-compensation of employees. The results of this survey, if widely completed, gathers the hard numbers about how nonprofit employees are actually compensated. The results of this survey are hugely important for retaining talent for both the nonprofit I founded, Local First Arizona, as well as the entire sector across the state. Comparing what similarly sized nonprofits offer in terms of compensation and benefits enables both new and old organizations to offer consistent and competitive analysis for the nonprofit workforce.
One key finding from a previous survey discovered that “sixty-one percent of reporting organizations are headed by female CEOs (137 organizations), compared with 39 percent headed by male CEOs (89 organizations). This trend shifts, however, with an increase in budget size. Very large organizations (above $10 million) are significantly more likely to have a male CEO, while organizations with budgets under $5 million are significantly more likely to have a female CEO.” In order to continue presenting critically useful data such as this, the nonprofit sector needs to fully participate in the data gathering process.
The results of this survey offer hard facts rather than anecdotal evidence, which can inform the day to day decisions we make to steer our organizations and to keep our compensation competitive. I know at Local First Arizona, we use the results of this survey to keep our board informed of our overall rankings in compensation and benefits packages, and to note any movement or trends that we need to be aware of overall. Obviously, reducing talent drain is a key motivator for us, and certainly should be for the entire nonprofit sector.
Last year’s survey also found that “CEOs of responding organizations reported an average 18 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector and over two-thirds of CEOs were recruited from outside their organizations (69 percent). This indicates a need for professional development across our sector for retaining talent and growing leadership here in Arizona.
The best way we can gather truly comprehensive data is to have as many nonprofit organizations as possible participate in the survey. With more organizations participating, the data will be a more accurate representation of the industry as a whole. I hope that you will join me in completing this year’s Nonprofit Compensation and Benefits survey, which will help Arizona’s nonprofit sector have a comprehensive assessment for the betterment of all of our combined work.
Kimber Lanning is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona. Lanning’s passions, which are seen throughout her work, include fostering cultural diversity and inclusion, economic resilience and responsible growth for Arizona’s urban areas.
At A New Leaf, we find the advantages of the Nonprofit Compensation & Benefits survey enumerable. The use of this quantitative information allows us to engage in strategic, data-based, high-level planning for a more effective business model, create targeted marketing strategies, improve employee satisfaction and enhance customer service.
This survey is extremely useful in describing the characteristics of a large population. The research method can provide a diverse sample and gather targeted results upon which to draw conclusions and make important decisions, but its success is largely dependent upon the number of data sources from which it draws.
I encourage you to both complete and utilize this comprehensive survey. You’ll find the results extremely helpful in your agency’s growth and setting priorities for your agency’s strategic planning.
Michael Hughes has been the CEO of A New Leaf for the last 38 years and is widely recognized as a leader in the nonprofit sector. A New Leaf has been helping families and changing lives Valleywide for over 44 years by providing homeless and domestic violence shelters, supportive housing, foster care and behavioral health programs.
Native American Connections (NAC) considers the recruitment and retention of qualified employees of highest priority. We compete for employees in a highly qualified and robust for profit and nonprofit behavioral health community, for housing professionals, and administrative and leadership positions. In addition, we have specialty needs in attracting and retaining qualified Native American applicants while competing with Tribes and Indian Health Services who offer federal government wages and employee benefits. NAC considers the ASU Lodestar Center’s Compensation & Benefits Report a key resource for the market data needed to build competitive pay structures. The report also helps NAC ensure that agency recruitment and retention plans are internally equitable and externally competitive.
Diana "Dede" Yazzie Devine, Native American Connections President/CEO has been working with Native American urban and tribal entities since 1972 and has been employed as the CEO of Native American Connections (NAC) since 1979 - for over 30 years. NAC is a 501 (c) 3 Native American operated nonprofit corporation that provides comprehensive behavioral health services, affordable housing, and community based economic development opportunities. NAC serves all populations with a targeted mission to serve Native Americans living both in the Phoenix urban area and from tribal communities. NAC offers innovative research-based behavioral health counseling and substance abuse treatment that is integrated with Native cultural and traditional healing practices. With an operating budget of over $9 million, NAC develops, owns, and operates 18 service sites with over 350 units of affordable housing to fulfill the mission of promoting family stabilization and community wellness serving over 5,000 individuals and families annually.
Ms. Devine has an MBA from Arizona State University and holds International and State licenses in substance abuse counseling. She dedicates her time to local, state and national boards/committees including: Founding board member Native Home Capital and People of Color Network; (Current advisory boards) St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center; Maricopa Integrated Health System Audit and Compliance; City of Mesa Housing; Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation; (Past) Federal Home Loan Bank - Affordable Housing Advisory Board; St. Mary's High School Board President; and Robert Wood Johnson National Mentor for Developing Leadership. Ms. Devine's leadership and dedication have been recognized within the community with the following honors: Valley Leadership's Woman of the Year (2003), ONE (Organization for Nonprofit Executives) Executive Director of the Year (2006), YWCA's Tribute to Women - Business Leader Award (2008); Foothills Magazine's Women Who Move the Valley (2010); Arizona's Centennial Legacy Project - Arizona's 48 Most Intriguing Women (2012); and the Phoenix Business Journal's 25 Most Admired CEOs (2012).