The latest WOB remuneration survey
shows that 18 per cent of WOB vacancies posted by NFPs are paying directors fees. Because WOB covers a broad range of NFPs the figure for them running a larger business will be higher.
This 18% figure has increased from 15% in the 2 years.
WOB’s position is that NFPs should pay directors if they have a paid workforce. Paying directors in 2017 does not detract from the ethos of the selfless volunteer but recognises that those who can offer themselves may need to ‘earn a living’. Also it's a matter of fairness to the directors given that NFP employees are not as poorly paid as they once were.
The next question is access to the skills you need – certainly with the move to skills based selection procedures the NFP is out there competing with many others; both NFPs and other types of organisations. A good example is accountants (being one) who are in high demand - it's part of the profession to provide your services to an NFP but the friendship can stretch only so far!
Another example is organisations wanting digital, ICT and specific industry expertise in ‘hot’ sectors.
Some advice was given to the directors of an NFP recently. Their organisation has a number of elements to its business – accommodation services, property ownership and management and investment management. I suggested to them that they need a broad skills base amongst their directors including investment management and oversight, property management / development and ICT skills – all in contested areas.
I also suggested that WOB research of its director postings clearly shows that remunerated positions attract more interest.
What to pay – it's difficult to be specific without looking at the overall remuneration structure for an organisation but a starter range is $10k - $15k for a director and 1.5 times that for chair. Some organisations do pay more but when moving from unpaid to paid it's wise to start low.
This is assuming monthly or bi monthly meetings and committee work. Nothing extra is paid for committees, at least initially; unless there are special circumstances.
If that presents a large financial impost then an option is to reduce the board size; or pay less.