A Chronicle of Philanthropy study involving more than 10,000 nonprofit employees from 865 organizations revealed that top-level officers from hospitals and private colleges earns so much more than their colleagues in other sectors.

Here is an excerpt from a report published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

In the Chronicle study, nonprofits reported average annual compensation of $492,180 per key employee. But that’s an average heavily skewed by top-dollar employees working at hospitals and medical centers as well as at private colleges and universities.

Key employees at hospitals and medical centers — many of whom are doctors who run private practices as part of their employment arrangements — earned an average annual pay of $750,550, roughly 52 percent more than the overall average. Key employees working at private colleges and universities earn annual compensation of $696,730, on average, 41 percent larger than average across all key employees and 84 percent larger than their peers at public colleges and universities, who earn an average of $377,970 a year. Many of those employees are either doctors at university medical schools, investment managers, football coaches, or others who command high pay packages.


At the bottom of the key employee pay scale are United Ways, community foundations, and religious groups. Each is nearly in a dead heat for the smallest average key employee compensation, with United Ways reporting $235,960 a year, community foundations $234,340, and religious organizations $232,671.

Community foundations, religious organizations, and social-service groups reported the smallest average CEO compensation. Average annual pay for key employees with “CEO” in their titles stood at $376,350 at community foundations, $370,320 at religious groups, and $300,370 at social-service organizations.