Women, people of color often underpaid

Many who work at nonprofits in South Carolina are grossly underpaid, especially women and people of color, according to a statewide organization that represents more than 800 organizations in non-profit.

Together SC recently released the first nonprofit compensation study in nearly a decade. The study concluded that living wages, racial and gender inequalities must be addressed for nonprofit organizations to attract and retain staff.

Women and people of color earned less money than their white male executive director counterparts.

Overall, the results showed that:

❯ Compensation is not always competitive.

❯ Junior staff do not always receive a decent salary.

“Those who choose to pursue a career of giving back do so for the many rewards beyond financial compensation,” said Madeleine McGee, president of Together SC. “But people need to be able to take care of their own families. These findings will enable us to do more good in the community because we are able to do good through our own staff.”

The nonprofit sector responds to local needs such as education, homelessness, affordable housing, access to health care, ending violence, arts and culture, and conservation of animals and land.

Nearly 500 statewide nonprofits employing one or more professionals responded to a 70-question survey conducted by Kahle Strategic Insights of Charleston last March. In upstate, 105 nonprofits responded.

In this photo provided from March 2020, Sarah J. Umsted, Community Resources Coordinator for United Way of the Piedmont, was at Total Ministries in Spartanburg to help families struggling with the coronavirus pandemic as United Way launched a relief fund disaster emergency.

All 501(c)3 organizations registered in South Carolina were encouraged to participate. Participation in the survey included both Together SC members and non-members.

Paige Stephenson, CEO of United Way of the Piedmont

“Having worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years, I wasn’t too surprised by the results,” said Paige Stephenson, Chair of the Board of Together SC and CEO of United Way of the Piedmont. “Nonprofits are in the same war for talent as for-profits, so we need to make sure we offer competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain team members to solve our community issues. complex.”

Partly due to the high cost of living, Charleston County reported that most organizations did not pay a living wage, followed by Beaufort.  Greenville and Spartanburg counties reported much lower levels of organizations not paying a living wage.

Upstate nonprofits participating in the study include Find Great People of Greenville, Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy and Jolley Foundation, Spartanburg County Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Foundation, Mary Black Foundation, United Way of the Piedmont and the Chapman Cultural Center.

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Male leaders earn more than their female counterparts

Among the statewide findings:

❯ Male leaders earn more than their female counterparts by an average of $16,291, or 16.1%. Additionally, female executives made up 74% of the 419 executives who submitted salary data.

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