Nonprofit GPS

Your Personal Navigation System Through Not-for-Profit Accounting Issues

Executive Director Compensation

Recently, the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation released the 2010 Nonprofit Compensation & Benefits Report.  This report is compiled by the Center every three years and helps nonprofits make informed decisions by providing information on salaries and benefits for nonprofit organizations based on budget size and organization type.

The abridged version is available on line at no charge.  This abridged version features the portion of the report regarding nonprofit executive director salary.  The full report is available to nonprofit organizations for $150 and contains information on dozens of position titles.  This information includes salaries and benefits and is organized by budget size and organization type.

In viewing the abridged version recently, I found that the Winter 2010-11 report shows an average salary of $103,928 for executive directors in Maricopa and Pima County.  There were 243 nonprofit organizations that participated in the survey.  These participants did not include hospitals, private foundations or higher education institutions.  Organizations of budgets less than $100,000 report paying an average executive director salary of $25,000 and organizations with budgets of more than $10 million paying an average executive director salary of $156,000.  Quite a range!

Another interesting statistic in the study: 64 percent of the organizations that participated are headed by a female executive director. 

Looking back at the 2007 report, the average executive director salary was $86,355.  Maricopa County salaries increased an average of over 10 percent from the 2004 survey of executive directors.  Nonprofits offered an average of 10 paid holidays a year and 62 percent offered a retirement plan.  Female executive directors comprised 58 percent of the sample.

Take a look at the report and other interesting information that the Center offers at

Kathy E. Hostetler, CPA