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National Compensation Survey for Management and Administration in Not-for-Profit Arts Organizations

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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Based on a national survey to which 231 arts organizations responded, this report provides an abundance of data about salary levels for over 20 different management and administrative positions in Canadian non-profit arts organizations. (Profiles of each of the positions covered in the survey are included in an appendix to the report.) The report also highlights some human resource issues in the arts sector, including compensation, benefits, understaffing, overwork and appropriate work/life balance. The report concludes that, “if not managed effectively, [compensation] could represent a strategic risk to the longer term sustainability of the sector”.

The brief summary of the salary statistics indicates that arts organizations with larger budgets generally pay higher salaries. However, there is no one arts discipline with consistently higher salary levels than other disciplines. Ontario and the West have the highest compensation levels among the five regions in the survey. The data provided in the comparative industry sector profiles (Section VI) show that compensation in arts organizations, even those with budgets over $1 million, generally lags behind compensation in other not-for-profit sectors and well behind compensation in for-profit industries.

In terms of benefits, the report notes that “the scope and frequency of benefits offered across the not-for-profit arts sector is disproportionately lower than across other industry sectors”. Interestingly, a higher percentage of smaller and medium-sized arts organizations offer flexible work arrangements than health benefits. Larger organizations within the sector are much more likely than smaller organizations to offer health-related benefits. Very few arts organizations offer retirement savings packages to their employees.

The report provides detailed salary statistics showing the average salary for each position as well as the salary levels at which one quarter (25th percentile), one half (50th percentile) and three quarters (75th percentile) of the organizations pay lower amounts. These statistics are provided for organizations with various budget sizes. No estimate is given of the accuracy of the results given the size of the sample (231 organizations out of 2,000 responded to the survey).

This report provides a range of statistics to support the anecdotal evidence in the arts sector that “a general inability to offer competitive levels of compensation and benefits is one of the main challenges in the not-for-profit arts sector today”.

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