Conducting a non-profit salary review is essential to maintaining an organization's finances and keeping employees happy. These reviews provide information about the current earnings for all employees and whether an organization's operating expenses consume a reasonable percentage of its income and budget.
The Importance of a Salary Review
A review provides you with the information about the average salaries for every employee position in the organization. If you are a manager, in charge of hiring or are responsible for the organization's finances, a review tells you how much money to offer a new employee, whether you should raise current employee salaries and also if your operating expenses are reasonable. Because the last piece of information is often important to donors, the review may be an essential factor in how much money the organization receives.
A review may also be important to your personal income. Just because you work for a non-profit organization does not necessarily mean that you should expect to make far less than workers in similar non-profit positions. Although non-profit employees generally earn less than those that work in for-profit companies, you still must earn what you are worth. After all, it is your income that you use to support yourself and your family. A salary review tells you what others in your field earn in a year, which you can then use to determine if your salary is too low.
If you are considering switching employers a salary review assists you in determining the level of compensation you can expect and should ask for during interviews. When searching for a new job you don't want to expect too much and not be invited to interview, or ask for too little and be underpaid.
How to Perform a Salary Review
Unless you seek general information about the organization's entire operating budget, asking your employer, human resources representative or coworkers about average office salaries can cause discomfort in your workplace. Not only may it be improper to ask about, but privacy rules may prevent revealing these figures.
Alternatively, Salary.com and Charity Navigator can give you the information you seek. To use Salary.com, you need to provide a job title and your employer's zip code, meaning the zip code of the location in which you work. The site will then generate the average salary for that position in the area and you are shown a bell curve to demonstrate where the salary lands in comparison to other professionals in the same field in your geographic location.
Charity Navigator provides general information about charities throughout the nation, including their names, major focus, income and operating budget. It also provides the top executive's salary. While it does not give specific salary information for other positions in the organization, you can gauge where a salary falls on the scale of acceptability using the available data.
You can also search for average salaries in your field through government websites. Federal government agencies are required to post the salaries of the majority of individuals they employ. Determine which agency correlates with your non-profit organization's focus and visit their website. You may have to search a little for the salary list, but it should be available to the public.
Relying on Donor Information
You can also use information given to potential donors or specific donor requests for information to perform a review. Often, non-profit organizations publish their operating budgets or provide them to donors upon request. This information tells donors how much of their donation is dedicated to the cause and how much goes to the organization's operations. Sometimes, your organization will include employee salaries in their publication, but other times you will need to separate the general budget into operating costs and salaries to determine how much of the organization's budget goes towards salaries.
If your agency does not provide this information or it is not easily accessible, you may be able to find the information on the American Institute of Philanthropy website. This site provides information about operating budgets and expenses for established charities.
Conducting A Review
A salary review might help if you fear you are underpaid, want to check on the organization's financial health or seek information about how much to offer a new employee. A review informs you about how much you can earn and allows you to determine whether your earning potential accords with your income.