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2022 Compensation & Benefits for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations

Publication date: 
November, 2022

United Philanthropy Forum’s 2022 Compensation & Benefits 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 based on the responses of 51 PSOs. This is a resource for Forum members only. Nonmembers, funders, and other organizations may access the Key Findings and Executive Summary.


PSO Staff Diversity

  • PSOs Are More Diverse than the Field They Serve. According to the 2022 Forum survey, close to half (47 percent) of permanent PSO staff positions are being held by people of color. While this share was down from the 54 percent share recorded in the 2021 survey, it was up from roughly one-third (34 percent) of PSO staff in 2017. This figure is also higher than the 42 percent of the U.S. population and 31 percent of foundation staff who identify as people of color.

PSO Staff Retention & Recruitment

  • A Majority of PSOs Anticipate Growth in 2022. Three out of five PSOs (61 percent) anticipate adding staff positions this year, matching the share reported in 2021. By comparison, only 6 percent of PSOs responding to the 2020 survey anticipated adding staff. At the same time, two PSOs anticipate eliminating staff positions in the coming year. By comparison, no PSOs anticipated eliminating staff positions in the 2021 survey, while three PSOs responding to the 2020 survey and five responding to the 2019 survey anticipated eliminating a least one staff position. This suggests that PSOs may be beginning to return to more typical staffing patterns as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

PSO Staff Working Location

  • A Majority of PSO Staff Work Remotely. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of PSO staff worked onsite exclusively. Based on the 2022 survey, the share of PSO staff working just onsite continued to decline to 7 percent for the 382 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 to a majority (51 percent) of PSO staff in 2022. 

PSO Board Diversity

  • PSO Boards Are Growing More Diverse. Almost half (49 percent) of PSO board members reported in the 2022 survey identify as people of color—down slightly from 2021 but far exceeding the 33 percent shares reported for both the 2018 and 2017 surveys. PSO boards are also much more racially and ethnically diverse than nonprofit boards overall. According to the most recent BoardSource survey, 22 percent of nonprofit board members across the country identify as people of color.

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 or (202) 869-4327.

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Download the Report