2016 Survey of Nonprofit Wages & Benefits in Northern New England Preparation & Instructions

The 2016 Survey of Nonprofit Wages & Benefits now available online and we estimate it will take between 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the size of your staff, once you have gathered relevant salary and benefit data.  This document identifies information you will need to have at your fingertips. We strongly encourage you to read it before proceeding to the questionnaire.

All information you provide will be held in strict confidence. Agency-specific data will not be shown to anyone, and when fewer than four responses are received in a category, the information will not be reported for that category so as to protect the confidentiality of responses.

If you represent an all-volunteer organization or you have no employees matching any of the 30 job categories (see listing starting on page 3), you may complete the first section of the survey to receive your participation credit.

The 2016 edition of the Report on Nonprofit Wages and Benefits in Northern New England will be published this fall. Vermont nonprofit participants will also receive the report for FREE! Otherwise, the report will be available for purchase ($99 for Vermont nonprofits, $250 for all others).

Resources for the Survey:


If you have any questions while completing this survey, we are providing the following technical assistance options:

On the web, frequently asked questions:

Via the phone: Mon. – Fri.  ~  802.862.1645 x21  ~  9am-5pm

Via e-mail:  coordinator@commongoodvt.org [Please Use Subject Line: Salary Survey]

2014 Key Findings:

  • Over 90% of Vermont respondents to this year’s survey expected employment levels to stay the same(62%) or increase (29%) in 2014 and early 2015. New Hampshire and Maine organizations report the same confidence in employment levels.
  • The annual gross wages reported by 198 of the 210 participating Vermont organizations in the 2104 report total $203.4 million. This represents an average payroll of $1,027,349. If you draw a line through the middle of the results, the median gross wages of reporting organizations are $251,076. These wages represent 5,521 Full-time and 3,844 Part-time employees.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor/ Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that Vermont’s nonprofit sector included 44,131 employees in 2012, with an average annual wage of $44,882 or $22.00/ hour. The 2014 Wage & Benefit Survey of Northern New England reports a average benchmark wage of $21.62.
  • The average Executive Director wage is estimated to be $73,112/year or $35.83/hour.  The highest average Executive Director wages are reported in Chittenden ($41.51) and Windsor ($41.01) counties.
  • More than 70% of Vermont’s Executive Directors are female.  In most budget categories, women ED’s earn less than their male counterparts. The difference is negligible in the lower budget tiers ($250K – $1 Million). As budget size increases, the pay gap widens. As a benchmark, it is customary to aggregate the wages reported in each budget category, demonstrating, in the 2014 survey, that women earn 75% of the wages ($31.96) of their male counterparts ($42.48).
  • In 2013, the cost of health benefits increased (41%) or stayed the same (39%) for 80% of Vermont organizations. In response to higher costs, 45% of organizations increased their employer contribution, 34% increased employee contribution, 11% switched vendors and only 7% decreased coverage. The balance of respondents were likely to offer “cafeteria” benefit plans to their employees.

To learn how to use Salary Surveys effectively, read on.

*Additional Resources

Special Thanks to Our Lead Underwriters!

A.D. Henderson Foundation | Ben & Jerry’s Foundation | Davis & Hodgdon Associates | UST – Unemployment Services Trust | United Ways of Vermont | Vermont Business for Social Responsibility | The Vermont Community Foundation

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