negotiating a job offer, what should I be making? Nonprofit
September 22, 2015 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Hello Hive Mind- I am asking for advice about negotiating a job offer. This Is my first big girl job, and I have been told that I should try and negotiate my salary, I have never done this before. The position is in the nonprofit field, located in New York City, and is at the senior program manager level. I do not know what I should be asking for. I looked on glassdoor, but the organization is not listed, and this is in the nonprofit field, any advice?

Here is the background on me:
I have worked in a related field for 7 years, and I have a masters degree.

This is all very foreign to me, I would never think to negotiate. But my teacher friends are making 80-95K, and that just blew my mind!
posted by TRUELOTUS to Work & Money (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is really very highly dependent on the size and budget of the non-profit, but I'd guess about $60k to start. Could easily go significantly higher, though.
posted by youcancallmeal at 12:47 PM on September 22, 2015


I'm on my phone or I'd post more specific links but check out Ask A Manager. Alison was an HR manager for a non-profit IIRC. Plus she has lots of good negotiation tips in general. One of the more useful things I've read there is to negotiate the whole compensation package not just salary. E.g., if there isn't much leeway with the salary range, you might ask for more PTO or lower insurance premiums, etc. Good luck!
posted by Beti at 12:53 PM on September 22, 2015


Non-profits can vary pretty widely, dependent on size, market, and donor. For example, 80K for a senior program manager doesn't sound unreasonable to me for a large, well-founded organization in an expensive market -- but I've also seen more senior positions for significantly less.

Was your last job salaried? One benchmark is to ask for 10% over your previous salary (or approximation of a salary based on hourly wage plus a reasonable mark-up for benefits, say 15-20%) If whatever they offer you is higher than that 10% increase, then see if they'll go a couple thousand dollars higher. Just ask! It doesn't hurt!
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:55 PM on September 22, 2015


Great, also what is good for benefits. I have one offer 40b no matching, one does match is this standard? I am trying to compare here. thanks!
posted by TRUELOTUS at 1:22 PM on September 22, 2015


sorry, 403 B.
posted by TRUELOTUS at 1:23 PM on September 22, 2015


I would be managing 3 projects, and supervise two staff members.
posted by TRUELOTUS at 1:28 PM on September 22, 2015


Do you have an offer in hand? Or are you tossing out an opening position in the negotiations.

You can check salary.com Program Manager (Non-Profit). Those rates are usually a bit inflated; however, it will give you some ballpark ideas. If you are in a small non-profit, then it is likely that the overall salary structure is quite a bit lower.

If I was hiring someone new and inexperienced in the role, I would probably offer in the first quartile. Depending on how directly relevant the experience is I might go a bit higher.
posted by 26.2 at 1:28 PM on September 22, 2015


Is there a comparable organization on glass door - in terms of number of mission+ staff + organizational budget?

What are the benefits like? That can be a BIG difference in NPO jobs.
Matching is not standard. I've been at places that would match a decent amt after being there x number of years and that was considered generous. I've also had things like you just got a small percent of your salary in an acct whether you put in or not.
posted by oneear at 1:30 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


You can check the non-profit's 990 forms (tax forms) which are public and available online in various places. This will tell you the salaries of the three highest paid employees in this actual organization. This will give you a good sense of where the organization is and you can figure out where you should fit i.e. should you be one of the three highest paid employees? Does this employer pay the market right and therefore comparators are relevant, etc.
posted by cushie at 2:11 PM on September 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not all nonprofits are created equal. Some pay competitively, some don't.

Some make up for low pay with perks: flex time, comp time, a lot of vacation, etc.

Some expect you to take what they give you and work yourself into the ground "for the mission".

This is really hard to answer without knowing the type of nonprofit it is (field, size, financial health, etc.) Some good places to start are: look at their board, look at their 990, look at their Charity Navigator rating. Is it a big national? Is it a tiny local nonprofit with limited resources? Try and divorce "nonprofit" and "compensation" from your thinking. What would you expect to be paid for this work at a similarly-scaled for-profit company?
posted by Automocar at 2:17 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The salaries of people on H1B visas are public record. E.g. here are the salaries for "program managers" in "New York". As you can see, not all of these are non-profits, and these salaries are those recorded at the time of the application (so may have gone up since then), but you get the idea. Use the search function and you may also be able to find your employer in the database.

And people who are telling you to negotiate the offer are right: this moment, when you have the offer but haven't signed anything, is the last time you will have any bargaining power for at least a few months, if not a few years.
posted by caek at 2:19 PM on September 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


You can check the non-profit's 990 forms (tax forms) which are public and available online in various places. This will tell you the salaries of the three highest paid employees in this actual organization. This will give you a good sense of where the organization is and you can figure out where you should fit i.e. should you be one of the three highest paid employees? Does this employer pay the market right and therefore comparators are relevant, etc.

I think this is going to be your best bet, becUse no one here can account for all the variables. Case in point: I worked in development for an enormous non-profit, with offices in every state. We were very fairly compensated, but everyone from our legendary ED down could have made more (in some case lots more) elsewhere. That's a pretty common situation. I also worked for a small 6-7 person organization that was influential and connected and everyone made about twice as much there. (Too much, tbh.) Here, in LA, I would have expected a senior program manager to get 40-50K DOE, in late-90s dollars.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:40 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


You should perhaps check out the salary survey info from the American Society of Association Executives.

It's not free, but consider it an investment in advancing your career.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:49 PM on September 22, 2015


Nobody here can really help answer what you should ask for because (as people have said) nonprofits vary widely. A job like you're describing could probably pay anything from 40-150K, depending on a million variables.

Basically you should try to get the org to name its range, and then think of arguments for why you should come in near the top of the range. Look at the job requirements and stress the ones that you have. And also yes, you can usually negotiate a little extra vacation, a training allowance, or other benefits.

And forgive me for saying this, but it's better if you don't call it a "big girl job." There's no reason to bring gender into this, and referring to yourself as a girl risks making you sound young and unserious, especially in a role in which you'd be supervising other people.
posted by Susan PG at 7:09 PM on September 22, 2015


Professionals for Nonprofits does annual salary surveys for Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. You can request a free copy on their site, but their 2013-14 NY salary survey is actually downloadable here as well.

And I'll second the idea of looking up salaries for comparable positions at similar-sized organizations; even if this particular one isn't on Glassdoor, other similar organizations should be.
posted by LNM at 7:22 PM on September 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I highly recommend that you *do not* look at the 990 forms on Guidestar. What the top execs make is not relevant to what they're going to pay regular employees, especially those straight out of college. I worked at a nonprofit and the CEO made well into 6 figures while I as a manager made $30k.

Definitely find out all benefits/perks, and what the culture is like. I had crappy pay but great healthcare, worked under 40 hours a week, 403b matching.
posted by radioamy at 7:29 AM on September 23, 2015


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