Charities journal Third Sector has an interesting piece up Analysis: Senior pay - a fair price for good leadership? about securing the right people at the head of the organisation ..
Surveys consistently show that the public does not approve of high salaries for senior staff in charities; indeed, last November's poll of 1,000 people by the consultancy nfpSynergy showed that 33 per cent of respondents thought charity chief executives should not be paid at all.However, for what they see as very good reasons indeed, the Charities, where they can, prefer to overlook supposed public preferences for the way Charities should behave, taking the opposite view that :-
..... "The days are gone when you can get someone who performs well at a range of tasks, such as lobbying politicians, and rely on them to take a small salary on top of their commercial pension," [as] "You can't get people with the right skills nowadays unless you pay, because we're in a commercial market."The article includes a link to a handy chart showing the results of this policy.
An interesting take on the whole thing comes from Ian Joseph, managing director for charities and not-for-profit at Russam GMS, a company that specialises in providing interim managers for charities, who "thinks some of the amounts paid by the charities in the study are unusually high [and] I think in the examples of a private hospital and Nuffield we have to ask whether they are really charities.Third Sector has looked at the annual accounts of the top 150 charities by income, as listed on the Charity Trends website run by the Charities Aid Foundation, and created a list of the 100 charities that paid their top earner the most in 2011 or 2012.
The results reveal a wide variety, ranging from the charitable independent hospital that paid about £1m a year in 2011 to more mainstream charities and professional bodies paying between £120,000 and £130,000 a year.Thirty of the top 100 earners were paid more than £200,000 a year and nine were paid more than £300,000. The mean average pay across the top 100 was £208,000 to £216,000 a year (a median of £165,000).
"I'm not saying that they are or they're not, but it raises a question about how you apply the public benefit test." before making clear that [he] has no problem with major charities paying six-figure salaries in general. "Senior executives have myriad stakeholder groups that they have to satisfy," he says. "They often have to generate income without selling anything and they have to manage a large number of volunteers. Running a charity is often far more complex than running a private business."