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2018 Compensation & Benefits for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations

Publication date: 
September, 2018

United Philanthropy Forum’s 2018 Compensation & Benefits for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations report provides comprehensive benchmarking data and analyses on regional and national PSOs’ employment practices, based on the responses of 55 PSOs.

Key Findings  

PSO Staff Diversity

  • PSOs Are as Diverse as the Country and More Diverse than Foundations. Three-fifths (60 percent) of PSO staff are white of non-Hispanic/Latinx origin, consistent with the 61 percent share of the U.S. population overall. By comparison, 74 percent of foundation staff are white, making PSOs more diverse than the field they serve. Among CEOs, 76 percent of CEOs at regional PSOs and 70 percent of CEOs at national PSOs are white—well below the 90 percent shares reported for the CEOs of both U.S. foundations and U.S. nonprofits. Nonetheless, there is a need for greater diversity at the CEO level.
  • PSOs Are Predominately Female. Nearly four out of five PSO staff positions at regional and national PSOs are held by women. Among the CEOs of regional PSOs, women accounted for a similar share of these positions (80 percent), but a notably smaller share (60 percent) among national PSOs.

PSO Staff Retention & Recruitment

  • PSOs Are Continuing to Grow. In the past 12 months, 31 PSOs reported creating a total of 77 new staff positions. Moreover, two-fifths of PSOs (42 percent) plan to add at least one staff position in their next fiscal year. Although, this share was lower than the 50 percent of all U.S. nonprofits that expected to create new staff positions in 2017.
  • Many PSO Staff Are Relatively New to Their Roles. About half of PSO staff members have been in their positions two years or less. Over one-quarter of PSO staff have been in their roles for less than one year.
  • PSOs View Staff Turnover Remaining Fairly Steady. Two-thirds (67 percent) of PSOs experienced at least one staff transition in the latest year, with one-third of these PSOs reporting more than one transition. Nonetheless, a majority of respondents (59 percent) consider their rate of turnover to be at about the same level as two years ago; and well over one-third of respondents (37 percent) perceive the rate to be lower.   

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 Mishka Parkins, Member Engagement Manager, at (202) 457-8784.

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