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Recently, Barnes Dennig and Hauser revealed the results of the 2019 Non-Profit Compensation Benefits and Benchmarking Study.  For this 7th edition of the study, a record high 117 organizations participated with over 50% of those organizations being in the social or human services sectors.  In addition to revealing feedback from the study results, Barnes Dennig and Hauser facilitated a panel discussion on relevant benefits and compensation trends, pitfalls, and best practices.

The results of the study covered compensation, benefits, staffing, and operations. Additionally, survey participants provided the three greatest areas of concern within their organizations, which included cutbacks in funding, rising costs of operations, and staff retention as their greatest obstacles.  However, the survey results noted many of the organizations projected revenues to increase in 2020 and projected staffing for 2020 to remain consistent with 2019 levels.  To sustain or support annual budgets, many organizations noted the use of fundraising efforts. Roughly 76% of participating organizations used an annual gift campaign as a primary fundraising activity, which is consistent with prior survey results.  Fundraising activities with the most change between the 2019 and 2017 surveys were galas/annual dinners and golf outings, with more organizations using galas to fundraise and fewer relying on golf outings.

One of the most frequently talked about issues during the presentation and panelist discussion was the importance of creating a benefits package that caters to all employees at the various points in their careers, and how those packages can have a strong correlation with employee retention.  The study revealed that 2019 gross monthly premiums and employee monthly contributions for healthcare were quite consistent with the previous year.  While the actual cost of healthcare did not remain the same year over year, it was noted that the primary way organizations previously cut or maintain employer healthcare costs was changing insurance carriers and changing deductibles.  When thinking about the key criteria that impact a company’s cost of healthcare, organizations were encouraged to analyze their employee populations based on age/gender, geography, level of plan benefits covered and claims levels.

Given that operating budgets for non-profit entities are already stretched, some ideas for health plan additions were proposed that may not have as high of costs as many entities assume they have.  Two examples of these were HSA and HRAs with participating organizations noting the use of these two types of accounts at 58% and 22%, respectively.  Plan claims were also reviewed and interestingly revealed a figure of only 5% of employees making of 80% of the claims.  This figure further emphasizes the importance of reviewing plan claims to plan costs to ensure that the organization and its employees are receiving the best value from the plan.

As with any discussion centered around an organization’s workforce, the topics of staff retention and turnover rates were examined. Organizations are looking for ways to satisfy their workforce without driving up operational costs.  Wellness plans, providing flexibility and focusing on benefits that are important to your population of employees were shared for attracting and retaining talent.  With rising healthcare costs and increased compensation competition from the private sector, non-profit entities everywhere are working to retain employees by providing benefits packages that are affordable, not just to the individual, but to the entire organization as well.

Additional Resources 

These statistics were pulled from the extensive report created by Barnes Dennig and Hauser Insurance. You can request a copy of the full report here.

We recently covered the findings at an in-depth roundtable event. For more information, a recording of the presentation, and findings, please visit our website here.

If you have questions about this report or wish to know how your organization can be better positioned to excel in 2020 and beyond, have a member of our Non-profit team contact you at no charge here, or by calling 513-241-8313.