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Nonprofit Compensation Solutions

GuideStar, the leading source of nonprofit compensation data, has the solutions to inform your compensation practices. We have the data to answer the most complex compensation questions, meet IRS requirements for establishing fair and reasonable compensation, and benchmark nonprofit executive compensation.

GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report

New! 2013 edition just published!

Now in its 13th edition, the GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report remains the only large-scale analysis of its kind based entirely on IRS data. The 2013 report features:

  • 135,055 observations from 94,785 Forms 990 for fiscal year 2011
  • Nonprofits from the entire 501(c) universe—most 501(c) organizations that filed an FY 2011 return with the IRS and had incomes of $1 million or greater
  • 14 job categories
  • Executive summary showing trends at a glance
  • National, state, metropolitan statistical area, gender, and NTEE (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) analyses
  • Incumbent compensation analysis

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GuideStar Premium Subscriptions

GuideStar Premium subscribers can search for individual nonprofit executives by name and view their compensation. In addition, the "People" tab of a nonprofit's GuideStar Premium report provides current and historical compensation data for the organization's officers as well as compensation for highest-paid employees as reported on the latest IRS Form 990 we have digitized (hand-keyed) for that organization.


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Nonprofit Comparables AssessorTM

GuideStar is pleased to be affiliated with ERI Economic Research Institute (ERI). ERI's Nonprofit Comparables Assessor is an easy-to-use desktop program that converts the compensation data nonprofits report to the IRS on Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF into infinite combinations of reports and analyses. It can assist organizations in attracting, retaining, and motivating their key executive staff. Interactive graphs and screens present data from 3.5 million-plus forms representing more than 25 million incumbents. The Professional and Consultant Editions also include for-profit compensation data.


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Why Nonprofit Compensation Research Matters

Tax-exempt organizations must ensure that the salaries and benefits they pay their executives meet the IRS's definition of "fair and reasonable." That definition varies from nonprofit to nonprofit; to determine what is "fair and reasonable" for a position at a specific organization, you must research what people in comparable jobs earn at nonprofits that are of similar size and that have similar missions and programs.

If the IRS finds that executives at an exempt organization have been overpaid, it can fine both the executives and the board members who approved the overpayment, or even revoke the organization's tax-exempt status unless the board (1) based its decision on appropriate research and (2) documented its decision-making process at the time it approved the compensation.

GuideStar's compensation solutions take care of the first requirement. Each is based on comprehensive, trustworthy data, and each documents the research that informed executive compensation decisions at your organization.