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Crain’s Detroit Business

Pay Rises for Non-Profit Social Services Leaders

The CEOs of social services non-profits have historically been among the lowest-paid executives in the non-profit sector. But the pay scale for the CEOs overseeing social services organizations in Southeast Michigan is on the rise.

Experts say local compensation increases are part of a national trend fueled by a mix of factors, including continued turnover among executives in social services and other non-profit segments and related competitiveness concerns, a long period of economic growth, and the increasing budget sizes and complexity of social services agencies.

Changeover from long-term executive directors has also been accelerating as predicted, and that is spurring increased compensation.

With the aging workforce in the region, some agencies don't think they have the bench strength to promote someone to the top spot, said Tim Dupuis, a Detroit-based vice president for Chicago-based executive compensation firm Pearl Meyer.

"So, we are seeing increasing compensation packages for aging executives where the board wants them to stick around for another year or two," Dupuis said.

Outgoing CEOs sometimes make legacy pay for the amount of time they've been with a non-profit, and that will boost their compensation, said Dupuis. "But the job descriptions for CEOs of social services have changed a lot."

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