U.S. Foundations’ Pay Rose Slightly Last Year

Women, a majority of full staff, hit glass ceiling at upper end of food chain

Full-time staff compensation rose 2.1% last year, to a median of $72,000, according to the Council on Foundations’ 2012 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report.

Foundations in the Mid-Atlantic states reported the highest median salary ($82,200), followed by the Pacific states ($78,000).

Chief executives at U.S. foundations received a median salary of $145,000 last year, according to the report.

It noted that independent and family foundations paid higher median CEO salaries ($190,000 and $163,000, respectively), while public and community foundations had lower median salaries ($143,000 and $113,000).

Ninety-six percent of respondents offered voluntary benefits to full-time staffers, and 89% of these provided medical benefits.

Researchers based their findings on an online survey with 893 grant makers, which reported salaries for 7,614 full-time employees. The respondents represented a total of $196 billion in assets and $12 billion in giving in 2012.

Women made up 76% of the 7,465 full-time positions for which respondents reported gender, with 72% of professional staff positions filled by women. The percentage of women on staff was fairly consistent across grantmaker asset sizes, the report said.

However, female representation thinned out in the top leadership positions and became sparse at the upper asset levels.

In 2012, 82% of foundations with less than $5 million in assets had female CEOs. This figure dropped to 55% for foundation in the $100 million to $250 million asset range, and hit 25% for foundations with $750 million or more.

More than 7,300 of the respondents reported race or ethnicity of incumbents in full-time staff positions. Racial/ethnic minorities accounted for 24% of these.

A larger percentage of independent and large grant makers with assets of more than $500 million reported positions filled by ethnic or racial minorities compared with other types of organizations.

Racial/ethnic minorities comprised 8% of CEOs, the report said.

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