CEO pay rates in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector have risen over the past year, particularly in the healthcare area, a new survey shows.

    The survey by Pro Bono Australia and its partners Beveridge Consulting, BT Private Portfolio and Westpac found mental health is now the sector with the highest average total remuneration across all executive jobs, from the CEO ($201,992) to general managers and financial officers. Arts and culture ($94,349) and human rights ($96,644) have the lowest pay rates across all senior jobs.

    Previously, the highest average pay rates for all executive jobs were in the health care or medical research sector ($155,951) followed by foundations or philanthropic organisations ($150,792).

    The survey, which polled 2,000 individuals across 13 employment positions, reveals that top pay rates for NFP CEOs are offered in Western Australia ($141,628) while Tasmania ($111,333) has the lowest average pay for CEOs.

    For general managers, Western Australia was again the highest paying state or territory ($140,151) with Queensland the lowest paying ($119,519) on average.

    While most sectors are very similar in the average pay rates for finance managers ($112,063 to $126,960), environment or conservation organisations ($90,735) and peak body or professional associations ($91,634) pay less than others.

    Finance managers in education ($126,823) and healthcare ($126,960) organisations receive the highest remuneration.

    According to Pro Bono, marketing, fundraising and communications managers in the areas of research or medical research ($134,224) and multidisciplinary ($130,018) are the highest  earners. Arts and culture/heritage bodies are among the lowest paying with an average salary of $74,891.

    The survey also found that many NFPs do not review their staff salaries and pay rates regularly. The greatest proportion of people not receiving regular pay reviews were in social enterprise (53 per cent), sport and recreation (53 per cent), volunteering (52 per cent) and Aboriginal/Indigenous (51 per cent).

    “Even the better performing sectors in terms of regular pay reviews still had around a quarter of people not receiving a regular review,” says Beveridge Consulting founder Andrew Beveridge.

    “In the absence of regular reviews on an annual or biannual basis, there is a risk that individual pay levels do not keep pace with industry and cost-of-living increases.

    “While pay is rarely the key motivator for those employed in the NFP sector, the lack of regular pay reviews is likely to be a potential source of frustration for many.”

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