Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nonprofit Workers Paid More Despite Recession

A survey conducted by Robert Morris University and the United Way of Allegheny County reveals employees of local nonprofits recently received the smallest two-year increase in salaries since the survey began in 2002.

However, analysts say the 2008-2010 average salary increase of 2.5% is positive because the economic recession could have kept wages from increasing at all.

Executive Director Peggy Outon of Robert Morris' Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management says the study also shows more women than men in local nonprofit leadership roles. But Outon says these women are getting paid almost 25% less than their male counterparts, who average more than $118,000 per year.

"We are going to be doing three years of detailed research on the lives of women in nonprofits, to try to see that they can become more adept at asking for raises, become more adept at showing their leadership and demonstrating the value of their leadership," says Outon.

The 25 % gender wage gap is slimmer than in the past, though; in 2002, women in local nonprofits earned just 62% of men's wages. However, Outon says more progress must be made: the national rate for women is 80%.

Outon does not anticipate the raise rate increasing over the next couple of years, and neither does United Way President Bob Nelkin.

"I think the greatest challenges are ahead," Nelkin says. "The word out of Harrisburg, although early in the administration, is fiscal discipline and less spending on human services and the safety net."

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