Charity bosses’ pay trails private sector ones by a quarter

Pay rates for charity staff bosses trail those of private sector chief executives by 21% nationally and 24% in London.

The average 2009 salary for charity sector chief executives is £70,706 according to the recently published Croner Reward survey, compared with £68,372 in 2008, a rise of 3.4%. This compares with the average – as given in the report – private sector chief executive officer salary of £90,000 in 2009 and £88,400 in 2008.

The top 10% – by salary – of charity CEOs will earn £113,266 in 2009 compared with £109,999 in 2008.

Other charity directors, said Croner, are earning an average of £61,886 this year, 18% less than their private sector equivalents – last year the gap was 15%. The average 2009 salary for a policy director, typically the rank immediately below that of CEO, is £61,972, though those at the top end of the earnings scale earn £94,669.

The survey said that the average 2009 salary for senior administrators at charities is £32,000, with those in the upper tenth averaging £41,693. Secretaries are earning an average of £17,940, with those in the top 10% averaging £22,966.

The overall salary gap between charity and private sector staff is 10%, down from 10.3% in 2008.

Croner head of reward, Andrew Walker, said: “Although charities have always been excellent at balancing the need for prudence with fairness in setting and managing pay, our survey shows the size of the shortfall against other sectors is slowly decreasing.

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“What is worrying is the shortfall in pay for those at director and CEO level, where the gap is particularly large and appears to be increasing. If organisations want to recruit and retain the best leaders then they need to find creative ways of showing that they are able to compete for talent.”

The survey also found that 11 of charities polled implemented a pay freeze in the past 12 months compared with 4% of private sector employers.

Croner said it polled more than 300 charities nationwide, employing more than 50,000 staff, in compiling the report, Charity Rewards.

For the 2007 figures click here.

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