We work for the cause and not for the money, but even in the nonprofit sector we want a fair wage.
But how do you figure that out? How do you make sure you aren’t underpaying your employees just because their focus is on making a difference, not making a paycheck?
The Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Compensation and Benefits Survey is our tool. It gives us rich data on wages, broken down by geographic region, budget size, and organization type. It helps us understand the market for talent in the nonprofit sector and provides honest benchmarks for us to measure our wages against. It gives us the confidence that we’re asking for the right personnel support in grant proposals and that we’re treating our employees with the care and dignity they earn every day.
But it doesn’t work unless you and I participate.
There are thousands of nonprofits in Michigan, but only a fraction provide this salary data every other year. To make the survey a truly valuable tool, we need all of us to weigh in. It does take a little bit of time to fill out — I spent about 30 minutes on ours — but you get access to the data in return. And you help ensure that the whole nonprofit community has a valuable tool to use in setting salaries.
Please, take the time to fill out the Compensation and Benefits Survey this week. A fair wage is everyone’s business, and together we can help ensure Michigan nonprofits are giving their employees the right return for an almost immeasurable investment.
Your appropriate HR person may complete the survey at http://compensationandbenefits.johnsoncenter.org. Deadline extended to 9/26/2014.
Conan Smith is the Executive Director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance and a Washtenaw County Commissioner representing Ann Arbor. He chairs the board of Michigan Saves and is a member of the Michigan Utility Consumer Protection Board and the Michigan Works Association board.