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Houston Nonprofit Executives Among Highest-Paid in U.S.

November 24th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized

In Houston, the median compensation for nonprofit CEOs and/or executive directors is $95,625, the highest of any city in Texas, and the eleventh-highest of large metro areas in the U.S. When put in terms of cost of living in the highest-paid city — Washington D.C., where nonprofit execs can earn $154,500 — Houston’s median compensation for executives of nonprofits jumps to second with an adjusted salary of $145,628, Guidestar’s Nonprofit Compensation Report shows.

But pay among Houston’s nonprofit sectors can vary wildly.

Factors that influence average and median executive pay include the focus of the nonprofit and the overall budget of the organization.


Each year, Guidestar, a nonprofit organization that collects, analyzes and organizes nonprofit data from the IRS, releases its Nonprofit Compensation Report, which examines executive-level compensation among nonprofit organizations around the country.

Guidestar’s study, which used data from each nonprofit’s 990 tax form filed for fiscal year 2013, included 810 CEOs and executive directors from nonprofits in the Houston area. More than 58 percent of those executives lead nonprofits in one of five categories: human services, education institutions and related activities, community improvement, arts and culture, and health services (excluding disease, disorders, medical disciplines and mental health organizations).

On average, executives in nonprofits within those industries and with budgets greater than $5 million are paid 630 percent more than their counterparts at nonprofits with budgets less than $500,000.



This difference is most dramatic among the health-related nonprofits, where average executive pay at large organizations is 1,648 percent more than average executive pay at small nonprofits in the same industry.

But it doesn’t always pay to be in health care. In nonprofits with budgets less than $500,000, health organization CEOs had the lowest average pay of the five major industries in Houston, and the second lowest of all nonprofit industry categories included in the study. In fact, health nonprofit CEOs and executive directors only had the highest average pay in large organizations with budgets of $5 million or greater.

By Madison Henry
Sep 22, 2015
Houston Business Journal 

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