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Nonprofit Wage Comparison Studies

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West Coast Data Conference 2009

West Coast Data Conference 2009

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  • 1. Nonprofit Wage Data Comparison Studies Heather Carpenter Melanie Hitchcock Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research University of San Diego April 2009
  • 2. Practitioner Response to Nonprofit Wages Nonprofit Leadership Blog Confusing because: “You can't always call the nonprofit sector one sector when it comes to wages - there are all sorts of different parts of the sector.” “You can find quot;aquot; survey to support any pre-formed conclusion.” “I would like to know more about how they compared quot;sectors.quot; And, of course, their bias feeds into what numbers they chose.” “A more fair comparison would be between like-sized organizations.”
  • 3. Overview Nonprofit leaders and the general public need clear in-sector and across-sector wage data. These data are important as they IMPACT:
  • 4. 1.  Policy decisions about hiring and succession planning Commongood Careers. (2008). The voice of nonprofit talent: improving recruitment and retention by responding to the needs of nonprofit employees and jobseekers Boston: Commongood Careers. Opportunity Knocks. (2008). Nonprofit retention and vacancy report. Atlanta: Opportunity Knocks.
  • 5. 2. People’s decisions to enter the nonprofit sector workforce Carpenter, H. (2008). Nonprofit careers month focus group research. Working paper. University of San Diego. Altman, S., Carpenter, H., Deitrick, L., Strom, S. A. & Van Horn, T. (2008). Professional Education for the Nonprofit Sector: Alumni Speak Out. Submitted for Publication
  • 6. 3. People’s perceptions of nonprofit executive salaries McDougle, L. M., Deitrick, L., Libby, P., Donmoyer, B. (2008). The appreciated sector: Public confidence in san diego county nonprofit organizations. San Diego: University of San Diego. Spector, M., Banjo, S. (2009). Pay at nonprofits gets a closer look. Wall Street Journal. Willhelm, I, Williams, G. (2009). Salary under scrutiny. Chronicle of Philanthropy. 9:12.
  • 7. Problem & Purpose Accurate wage data are needed, however… Research on the relationship between nonprofit wages and wages in other sectors has produced what appears to be contradictory findings. Examine data across three studies to find out why they generated possibly antithetical conclusions.
  • 8. The Studies 1.  Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector (Ruhm & Borkoski, 2003) Nonprofit workers earn MORE than for-profit workers. 2.  Employment in America’s Charities: A Profile (Salamon & Sokolowski, 2006) Nonprofit workers earn MORE than for-profit workers. 3. Wages in the Nonprofit Sector: (three reports) (Butler, 2008, 2008a, 2009) Nonprofit workers earn LESS than private and government workers.
  • 9. Possible Explanations •  Different data sources •  Different foci of each study
  • 10. Different Data Sources Ruhm & Borkoski: 1. Current Population Survey (CPS)1994-98 Salamon & Sokolowski: 1.  Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) 2.  U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey. Butler: 1.  National Compensation Survey (NCS) 2.  NCS: Occupational Earnings in the United States, 2007
  • 11. Data Sources: Different Units of Analysis Individuals: Ruhm & Borkoski, Butler Organizations: Salamon & Sokolowski
  • 12. Data Sources: Temporal Differences Ruhm & Borkoski data set from 1994-1998 Salamon & Sokolowski data sets from 2002, 2004 Butler data sets from 2007
  • 13. Data Sources: Different ways of Disaggregating Data By Industry: Salamon & Sokolowski By Occupation: Butler By Industry and Occupation: Ruhm & Borkoski
  • 14. Different Foci Market Wage or Donative Hypothesis: Ruhm & Borkoski Regional growth and variations of NP industries: Salamon & Sokolowski Wage differences between certain NP, Government and FP: Butler
  • 15. Comparison of the Findings NP wage relationship to FP R/B S/S B Social Services + + - Hospitals + + none Industry/occupation Education + + - Nursing/Personal Care Facilities + + none
  • 16. Possible Strategies for Dealing with the Differences Clarification Translation
  • 17. What do you think?