REPORT: Key Findings from New Profit’s Nonprofit Compensation Study

Over forty current and former New Profit grantees shared data about compensation practices used within their organizations to advance transparency and field learning

May 23, 2022

New Profit is pleased to share a selection of findings* from our Compensation Study Report, which compiles data from 43 current and alumni organizations that received either Build (mid-stage) or Catalyze (early-stage) investments from New Profit. The study aimed to shed light on frequently asked questions from other social entrepreneurs such as: 

  • What is a competitive salary if we are recruiting for a new senior team member?
  • How should we measure pay equity if we want to operationalize equity in our compensation philosophy?
  • What are promising practices in compensation equity?

The contents of this free report offer increased visibility across the sector to help organizations allocate their resources equitably and effectively. While other industry compensation reports exist, many focus on a limited scope (a particular state, organization size, etc.) and/or may cost hundreds of dollars per copy.

“One of the ways New Profit can best serve our social entrepreneurs is to elevate their collective knowledge to benefit the entire community—at New Profit and beyond.”

— Molly O’Donnell, Lead Partner, Portfolio Investing

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations of every kind—for-profit, nonprofit, large, and small— have experienced significant shifts in their current and potential workforce. As a part of “The Great Reassessment,” employers and employees are thinking differently about work, and the social entrepreneurs and the organizations within New Profit’s portfolio are no exception. New Profit selects organizations with an appetite to transform inequitable systems and utilize their strategies to deepen impact and center equity. These organizations are growing quickly, innovating often, and always pushing industry norms in their work. 

“Organizations are refining their compensation philosophies and they are eager for data to guide decisions around hiring, salaries, and benefits,” said Molly O’Donnell, Lead Partner, Portfolio Investing. “One of the ways New Profit can best serve our social entrepreneurs is to elevate their collective knowledge to benefit the entire community—at New Profit and beyond.”

The executive summary of the Compensation Study Report breaks down data by organization size, region, and roles, among others. Additionally, organizations had the opportunity to share open-ended responses about their existing practices. Some of the key findings include: 

  • 30% of those organizations surveyed noted that one of the biggest challenges around equitable compensation was defining pay equity.
  • Organizations provided some of the practices and policies they have in place around compensation equity including regularly reviewing compensation, sharing salary bands with employees, eliminating negotiation practices, having clear and equitable salary adjustment practices, and utilizing external consultants for equity audits.
  • Over 50% of respondents utilize third-party benchmarking to set compensation levels for CEOs while others rely on survey data and performance reviews. 

Participating organizations received full access to the aggregated data from the survey. Learn more about our current portfolio.


*The full report and findings have only been shared with survey participants in order to preserve organization anonymity.  


About New Profit

New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit exists to build a bridge between these leaders and a community of philanthropists who are committed to catalyzing their impact. New Profit provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. It also partners with social entrepreneurs and other cross-sector leaders to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change to ensure that all people can thrive. Since its founding in 1998, New Profit has invested over $350M in 130+ organizations and, through the America Forward Coalition’s collective advocacy efforts, has unlocked over $1.7B in government funding for social innovation.