By Kathryn Petrillo-Smith, ASF
Today ASF releases its 2012 Foundation Salary and Benefits Report. Every year, this is one of our most popular reports. Why? For a couple reasons: some obvious and some, perhaps, not so obvious.
First, the obvious. For foundations with few or no staff and/or $200 million or less in assets, it is the best source of readily available benchmarking data. With comparisons by asset size of <$1 million, $1-4.9 million, 5-9.9 million, 10-24.9 million, 25-49.4 million, and 50 million and up, the data is tailored for smaller foundations. Add in geographic breakouts and data at a range of percentiles, and a foundation leader can develop a compensation benchmark that is powerful and relevant.
Second, the not so obvious. The real power behind the data is the conversations the data can prompt between trustees and staff. Use this as an opportunity to discuss not just what benchmarks you have selected but how you came to select them. For example:
- What are your foundation’s executive director’s responsibilities and priorities over the coming year?
- Are they changing or continuing on a steady course?
- Is he or she being asked to take on a new project or initiative?
- Is your foundation’s grantmaking more complicated than the average foundation?
Using the data as a starting point can be an effective way to begin what can be difficult and often very personal conversations. But, these conversations can also be incredibly powerful – helping everyone to align their expectations for the coming year and creating a shared understanding of desired outcomes.
How does your foundation use salary and benefits data? What conversations has data helped you to start?
ASF’s Foundation Salary and Benefits Report is released each year in late spring. ASF members can download the report for free. Non-members can purchase the report as a supplement to the 2011 Foundation Operations and Management Report. The 2012 Foundation Salary and Benefits report was made possible, in part, by the support of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.
Kathryn Petrillo-Smith is ASF’s Managing Director. In this role, Kathryn is a member of ASF’s senior leadership team and works to align ASF’s operations with its strategy. Kathryn oversees ASF’s Member Services, Membership, Marketing & Communications, and Operations teams and its financial management.