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Pro Bono Australia Salary Survey sheds light on whether boards get paid


8 June 2022 at 4:56 pm
Wendy Williams
Now in its 10th year, the Salary Survey is the most comprehensive remuneration report for the not-for-profit sector.


Wendy Williams | 8 June 2022 at 4:56 pm


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Pro Bono Australia Salary Survey sheds light on whether boards get paid
8 June 2022 at 4:56 pm

Now in its 10th year, the Salary Survey is the most comprehensive remuneration report for the not-for-profit sector.

We all know that a good board, and good governance, is vital for any not-for-profit organisation. But some of the details about the size and composition of boards often goes unmentioned, along with whether board members are compensated for their time.

For the first time, in collaboration with PwC Australia, the 2022 Salary Survey gathered some information on non-executive directors (NED) and their work across the sector. 

A key finding was that only a small percentage (12 per cent) of organisations provide board members with fees. 

Rather, board members are more likely to receive free car parking (13 per cent) or access to events (31 per cent) in recognition of their role.

More than a third of organisations (35 per cent) said they do not provide any fees or benefits to board members.

The 2022 Salary Survey also found boards most commonly meet between six and eight times a year, with more than half of respondents saying they are on more than one board.

Writing in the report foreword Andrew Curcio, PwC Australia partner and global co-leader of reward and benefits, said: “The addition of NED insights for this year aims to complement the extensive role salary data, allowing not for profits to conduct an organisation-wide discussion when it comes to benchmarking and comparisons.”

Now in its 10th year, the Salary Survey is the most comprehensive remuneration report for the not-for-profit sector, helping those across the sector to understand the current benchmarks and how remuneration and incentives for not-for-profit employees have evolved over the past year.

This year Pro Bono Australia received the highest ever number of responses, with the report based on 2,355 case studies and covering 40 roles.

Pro Bono Australia founder and CEO, Karen Mahlab AM, said the organisation’s ability to collect this data has been built slowly, over 20 years, by virtue of having had a long and trusted relationship with those who use Pro Bono Australia’s services.

“Pro Bono Australia’s Salary Survey is the largest social sector salary survey in Australia, and as a result delivers a robust evidence base which can be trusted by boards, CEOs and managers to guide them when reviewing vital remuneration decisions,” Mahlab said.

Other findings from this year’s report, which was also sponsored by CBB, include that median base salaries are up across the board.

While the report acknowledges that ​​given the movement in and out of the survey, these changes are unlikely to reflect individual changes for incumbents in this role, the data seems to build on last year’s finding that​ NFP salaries have remained steady amid the COVID chaos.

This year’s report also shows that it pays to be a CEO in South Australia, with the state accounting for the highest average total remuneration excluding incentives for the role.

But this is not true across all positions. In fact, this year’s survey found the base salary for marketing / fundraising / communications managers was lowest in South Australia, and highest in Western Australia.

The report again reinforces that how much you get paid is also dependent on the sector you work in.

For those at the top, CEO’s earn the most working in aged/community care and the least working in the mental health sector.

If you want to dig into the findings further, the full 2022 report is available here.  


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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