Building a Vibrant Nonprofit Workforce with the Boland Survey


By Tracey Braun, CCVO Manager, Programs

The Alberta nonprofit sector is a source of great innovation, solutions for complex problems, and exceptionally creative collaborations. None of these activities occur without a committed, professional, and skilled workforce.

Your organization’s total compensation strategy – salary, health and wellness benefits, vacation, and additional incentives – plays a crucial role in employee retention and satisfaction. For your strategy to be effective, you should be sure to revisit it regularly, and not only upon hiring. 

Perhaps you have no intention of hiring now, but if you had to replace a long-term employee, how would you determine their salary? Perhaps you are happy with your benefits package, but if the cost increases dramatically how would you decide what to change? Since 1997, the Boland Survey has collected data on salaries, human resource practices, and benefits from nonprofit organizations across Canada. With over 26,000 organizations and 50,000 employees in the Alberta nonprofit sector alone, effective compensation planning is critical to the overall health of nonprofits.

Keeping salaries competitive is one important element of an effective compensation strategy. Employees want to know they are being paid fairly compared to those working in a similar role at a similar organization. A discrepancy in salary between employees doing similar work can lead to dissatisfaction, low productivity and morale. Boland Survey data helps you better understand competitive salaries and benefits for your employees.

The Boland Survey can provide you with the confidence and information you need to build a fair compensation strategy. How?

1. The Boland Survey includes data from Canadian nonprofits. Nonprofits and charities across Canada enter their compensation data annually to add to the database.

2. The Boland Survey is job-specific. With over 95 job positions, the Boland Survey provides detailed salary information by position, based on responsibilities, qualifications, and reporting relationships.

3. The Boland Survey is comprehensive. Reports include both annual salary and hourly wage information, and a breakdown of salaries by region and organization size (annual operating budget). 

4. The Boland Survey includes HR best practices and comparisons. Detailed information on peer organizations will help you structure your compensation strategy with accurate data, so you know you are fairly compensating your employees, based on data from similarly sized organizations in your region. Need to know what the average salary increase is in your region? Not sure how many days to offer for vacation time? Are most organizations now subsidizing transit passes? The Survey answers these questions and many more.

5. *new* The Boland Survey is now accessible year-round. Beginning in late-May 2019, CCVO will launch a new platform for the Survey, allowing you to enter your organization’s salary and benefit information when it’s convenient for you. Once enough data is entered, new reports will be available (first report anticipated in Fall 2019).  

Whether you’re a seasoned HR professional, Board member, or a part-time Executive Director, the Boland Survey has the information you need to support your organization and the nonprofit workforce. The 2019 Survey is launching soon – join our newsletter to receive updates on all Boland news!