Gabe Cohen
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
202 637 7609

New York, NY—September 24, 2019. Compensation growth slowed for nonprofit CEOs in FY 2017, the 2019 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report indicates. Released today, the report is the 19th edition in the annual series. It remains the only large-scale nonprofit compensation analysis based entirely on IRS data. The report is produced by GuideStar, which joined forces with Foundation Center in February 2019 to form a new organization, Candid.

“With one exception, median compensation increases for incumbent CEOs were lower in 2017 than in the previous two years, sometimes dramatically so,” noted Jenna Allen, data reporting analyst at Candid and author of the 2019 report. “The exception was for men at organizations with budgets of $250,000 or less. They saw no increase in 2016 and a 1.3 percent increase in 2017. In 2015, however, they saw a 4.4 percent increase. Increases by gender in 2017 also varied from previous years. In 2015, women experienced greater increases than men in six of nine budget bands. In 2016, women saw greater increases than men in seven budget bands. In 2017, men experienced greater increases in six budget bands.”

Median Increase in Incumbent CEO Compensation by Gender

Budget Size 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Females Males Females Males Females Males
$250 thousand or less 4.2% 4.4% 1.3% 0.0% 0.3% 1.3%
$250 thousand-
$500 thousand
4.3% 4.7% 2.5% 1.6% 0.7% 1.0%
$500 thousand-
$1 million
4.0% 3.8% 2.8% 2.3% 0.9% 0.9%
$1 million-$2.5 million 3.3% 3.6% 2.9% 2.5% 1.2% 1.6%
$2.5 million-$5 million 3.5% 3.2% 3.1% 2.9% 1.0% 2.0%
$5 million-$10 million 3.0% 2.8% 3.3% 3.2% 1.0% 2.1%
$10 million-$25 million 2.9% 2.4% 3.9% 3.4% 1.0% 2.0%
$25 million-$50 million 2.5% 2.0% 4.3% 4.4% 3.1% 0.1%
Greater than $50 million 1.5% 0.4% 4.0% 4.2% 0.2% 0.1%


In addition to changes in compensation, the 2019 report analyzes FY 2017 compensation by gender, mission type, state, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Other findings from the report include:

  • Median compensation of female nonprofit CEOs continued to lag behind that of their male counterparts in FY 2017, although the gap has narrowed over the years. In 2017, the gap ranged from 5 percent at organizations with budgets of $250 thousand or less to 20 percent at organizations with budgets of greater than $50 million.
  • Although the number of female CEOs has increased since 2005, we saw only slight increases in the percentage of women leading organizations in any budget category between 2016 and 2017.
  • Science and health organizations had the highest overall median salaries. Religion and animal-related organizations brought up the rear.

The 2019 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report analyzes compensation data reported to the IRS for fiscal year 2017 by 113,549 nonprofits. Organizations are instructed to supply compensation information for all officers, directors, trustees, and up to 20 key employees who earn at least $150,000. Additionally, information is required for certain other employees who earn at least $100,000. The 2019 report contains data on 162,853 individual positions. Incumbent compensation data, from which the change in compensation was calculated, was available for 106,252 positions at 79,910 nonprofits.

To learn more about the 2019 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report, visit To request a media copy of the report, contact

About Candid
Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces to become Candid, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Find out more at or @CandidDotOrg.