Bosses of charities earn up to one-fifth less than those in other sectors, according to research.
Pay consultancy Croner Reward found that chief executives in charities earn an average of £65,000 per year, 20% below the all-sector median of £81,160.
The annual Charity Rewards survey is based on job records provided by 348 charities representing more than 44,000 charity workers in the UK.
It found that charities participating in the survey have given average across-the-board settlements of 3% in the past 12 months.
This is slightly lower than the average settlements in the commercial sector of 3.1% over the same period.
Directors and senior managers in science, research and engineering are the highest paid charity functions.
Vivienne Copeland, client services director at Croner Reward, said: “The growing level of professionalism and commercial realisation means that charities are more willing to pay commercial rates for hard-to-recruit and important roles.
“This goes hand-in-hand with more rigorous assessments of candidates for these roles. At the same time, however, charities are still inclined to rely quite heavily on ‘making a difference’ being a key motivator to compensate for lower than average pay levels for senior posts.”