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Report Roundup: Local Salary Negotiation Practices for Entry-Level Positions

Report Roundup

Last month ConnectVA teamed up with VCU Career Services to host a Regional Nonprofit and Social Services Career Fair – focusing on internship and early career opportunities. Over 80 local nonprofit employers came out to look for talent, and were well-received with over 300 career seekers looking to learn more about work in the social sector.

Following the Career Fair, VCU Career Services surveyed organizations that attended in order to learn more about hiring practices in the local sector and gave us rights to publish the information.  The survey focused on Salary Negotiation Practices for entry-level positions. The results are below.

Are you open to salary negotiation for entry-level positions with your organization?

Nonprofit Employer Survey 1

According to the survey, only 42% of local organizations are willing and able to negotiate salary when hiring for an entry-level position. Why is that so? Limited budgets and financial restrictions are the likely culprit. Adding to the job seeker’s burden however is the often used “commensurate with experience” line in a job ad instead of the true salary range the organization is able to offer. Openly disclosing salary ranges on your organization’s job postings helps to give entry level professionals realistic expectations of what to expect. Vu Le of Nonprofit with Balls blog has covered salary transparency to great popularity.

Are you open to negotiating non-salary items for entry level positions with your organization?

Nonprofit Employer Survey 2

On the bright side, local nonprofits are more open to negotiating other benefits. In fact, 75% of organizations responded “yes” to being open to negotiating terms like employment start dates, telecommuting, professional membership, and development funds.

Nonprofit Employer Survey 3

This may mean that if you’re looking for your first nonprofit job, seeking funds to attend workshops or join your local professional membership chapter may be in the cards for you where a higher salary is less likely. Such benefits could arm you with new knowledge that will propel you into higher-level positions eventually (and hopefully…higher salaries). If you are a recent graduate looking to enter the nonprofit sector, check out this other great advice piece from the Nonprofit with Balls blog.

Salary Ranges

PNP Staffing Group published data that captures salary ranges for a variety of nonprofit positions in the D.C. area, from entry level, to Executive. Entry-Level Job Seekers – you can use this information to get an idea of what ranges actual nonprofits are hiring for, so you can negotiate accordingly. (Note: D.C. salaries are often higher than the Richmond area. Salary.com is also a good resource for identifying local salary ranges based on specific job titles.). Employers – you can use this data for benchmarking with other organizations.

PNP-Staffing-Group-Salary-Staffing-Report_2016-DC Salaries

See the Full Nonprofit Salaries and Staffing Report


If you’re responsible for your organization’s recruitment, check out Nonprofit Learning Point’s Complying With Employment Law: From the Interview to the Last Day (And Beyond) class. If you’re a job seeker, don’t miss our tips on how to job search on ConnectVA.

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