Download The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Nonprofit Executive Compensation Study

 Talent acquisition and retention is a priority across the nonprofit landscape. How to fairly compensate nonprofit staff leadership is a challenge that boards and executive directors wrestle with across organizations of every size, budget and mission focus.

In this report, readers will find research culled from the 990 forms of over 150 local nonprofits, insights gleaned from more than 40 participants in an in-depth survey, and commentary provided by 11 executives who agreed to one-on-one interviews. Criteria for inclusion in the study include being headquartered in Mecklenburg County and having revenue of more than $350,000. This research forms the basis of findings that are outlined throughout.


In this study you will find:

  • Dispelling the myth that nonprofit chief executives are driven primarily by passion over pay, the vast majority (92.7%) of organizations surveyed note that base compensation is important to their overall job satisfaction.
  • Other compensation, including benefits, are offered by just 60% of the organizations surveyed.
  • The Education and Environment & Animals sectors lag behind the Health and Human Services sectors.
  • The boards of nearly 30% of organizations surveyed lack a formal assessment process for the chief executive that is tied to annual compensation. And based on stakeholder feedback, those that do are relatively recently formed or are not well-designed.
  • Less than 40% of organizations surveyed offer a pay-for-performance or bonus structure to their chief executives.



About Next Stage

The current set of challenges for many business and nonprofit leaders are unprecedented and overwhelming – workforce changes, the impacts of the pandemic and social change.


For companies, Next Stage believes that the social impact efforts that already exist within their walls offer low-cost, high impact solutions to many of these challenges. We help purpose-focused business leaders build, leverage and expand social good efforts to build positive company culture, improve the bottom line and create a next generation workforce – all while making significant community impact.


Interested in how we can help? Reach out to us to learn more: [email protected]