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  • rachaelconroy

E266 - Salaries In The Charity Sector

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

“…I am a dedicated worker of the charity sector. I think its an incredible sector, I feel very proud to work in it and I think it has the potential, as it does, to change society..." - Phil Kerry

This week, I sat down with Phil Kerry, CEO at New Horizon Youth Centre to discuss salaries in the charity sector. This week’s episode has a slightly different approach to some of our other chats as Phil wouldn’t consider himself an “expert” in this area but is very open about his opinions on the topic. Phil and myself talk candidly about the subject but it should be stated to the listeners that these are very much the views of us as individuals.

1. A multi-pronged approach

It is clear that if salaries in the sector are ever going to change, there needs to be a paradigm shift in a number of areas. It is likely to need individual pressures from within the sector as well as a systemic change in both public opinions and funder attitudes. We must not forget, that the charity sector would not exist without the impeccable commitment of millions of volunteers that we are so fortunate to have in the UK. Whilst these volunteers enter the sector with altruistic intent, as cost of living continues to rise, charities need to ensure that they are rewarding their volunteers where they can.

2. A fear of sensationalist headlines?

The fear of a sensationalist headline feels like a factor in holding individuals and organisations putting their heads above the parapet. However, established rules, such as charities having to declare the number of employees who earn over £60,000 could be fuelling the notion that there should be a ceiling on the amount that someone should earn when working for a charity. Combined with the fact that to my knowledge, this 60,000 figure hasn’t changed for the last decade suggests that it is a rather arbitrary figure and not reflective of today’s society.

3. Who is solving societies biggest challenges?

As stated at the top of this episode, both Phil and myself shared a lot of our personal opinions through the course of the discussion, but I would like to leave you with the thought that if society is expecting charities not just support but solve some of the biggest challenges we are all facing, shouldn’t we rethink a salary structure that reflects this?

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E257 - The four day working week with Bernadette Murphy -

E245 - Internal process efficiency with Mark Kemp

E242 - Increasing the capacity and confidence of fundraisers with Dr Beth Breeze


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