Nonprofit CEO Compensation Climbs While Gender Pay Gap Persists


Candid’s 2022 Nonprofit Compensation Report — the most comprehensive study on nonprofit compensation — draws exclusively from data reported on IRS Forms 990 and 990-EZ. The latest report, the 22nd edition, reviews key employee compensation from close to 88,000 tax-exempt organizations for fiscal year 2020.

The study found that, though median compensation for nonprofit CEOs increased by 4.7% overall, it dropped by 5.2% for organizations with budgets greater than $50 million. About 30% of incumbent CEOs at those organizations saw either a compensation cut or no change. The biggest increase was 7.3% in nonprofits with budgets between $250,000 and $500,000.

The pay gap between male and female CEOs is slowly declining, but female CEOs still are paid only $0.73 on average for each dollar paid male CEOs. Median compensation for female CEOs trails the median compensation for male CEOs in all budget groups, with the disparity increasing as the size of the budget grows. The difference is nearly $100,000 in pay in organizations where the budget is $50 million or more.

Key Takeaways from the Report
  • The pay gap is slowly declining, but median compensation for female CEOs still trailed the median compensation for male CEOs in all budget groups.
  • The percentage of female CEOs grew in all budget groups, but female representation declined as organization budget size increased.
  • Science and technology research and health-related program areas had the highest median compensation, whereas religion and animal-related organizations had the lowest median compensations.
  • The District of Columbia had the highest median executive compensation, followed by New York and Massachusetts.

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