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2021 Compensation & Roles for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations

Publication date: 
October, 2021

United Philanthropy Forum’s 2021 Compensation & Roles for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations report provides comprehensive benchmarking data and analyses on the compensation practices of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) and other employment practice information.

Highlights

2021 Compensation & Roles for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations

United Philanthropy Forum’s 2021 Compensation & Benefits for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations report provides comprehensive benchmarking data and analyses on the employment practices of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs), based on the responses of 55 PSOs. The 2021 edition of the report also includes updated key metrics on PSO board demographics and PSO revenue and expenses. Key findings include:

PSO Staff Diversity

  • People of Color Hold a Majority of PSO Staff Positions. For the first time, according to the 2021 Forum survey, a majority (54 percent) of permanent PSO staff positions are being held by people of color. This share is up from roughly one-third of PSO staff (34 percent) in 2017. This figure is also higher than the 42 percent of the U.S. population and 27 percent of foundation staffers who identify as people of color. National PSO staff are close to twice as likely to identify as people of color—i.e., not exclusively white—compared to regional PSO staff (65 percent versus 36 percent).
  • The Racial and Ethnic Diversity of CEOs Continues to Grow at PSOs. For the chief executives of PSOs, 47 percent are people of color, which is up from 39 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2017. The 2021 figure far surpasses the 10 percent share reported for the CEOs of U.S. foundations and 13 percent for CEOs of U.S. nonprofits overall.

PSO Staff Retention & Recruitment

  • A Majority of PSOs Anticipate Growth in 2021. Three out of five PSOs (61 percent) anticipate adding staff positions this year, surpassing the shares reported by PSOs going back to 2017. By comparison, only 6 percent of PSOs responding to the 2020 survey anticipated adding staff.
  • Over Half of PSO Staff Are Relatively New to Their Roles. Of the permanent PSO staff positions reported in the 2021 survey, more than half (52 percent) of these staff members have been in their positions for two years or less.

PSO Staff Working Location

  • Few PSO Staff Work Exclusively Onsite. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of PSO staff worked onsite exclusively. Based on the 2021 survey, the share of PSO staff working only onsite is now down to 10 percent for the 476 permanent staff positions for which respondents indicated a working location. Conversely, the share of PSO staff working exclusively from a remote location jumped from 19 percent in 2020 to 39 percent in 2021.

Customized Benchmarking Reports

Our members who do not find the specific information they need in this report can request customized benchmarking reports based on information included in the survey. Please contact Ivana Bikombe at (202) 869-4327.

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Download the Report