query: salaries

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Sun Apr 22 21:12:10 CDT 2001

[ed:  thanks to Richard, John, and Peggy for continuing the organizer 
salary discussion.]

From: richard l wood <rlwood at unm.edu>

Salaries for organizing among low-income folks certainly aren't what they
ought to be, and a lot depends on the kind of organization. To add to the
mix of other responses, a note on the area that I know a little about:
faith-based organizing as done by (with variation in different
settings) PICO, Gamaliel, DART, and IAF, plus OLTC, RCNO, IVP, and some
independent organizing efforts (about 130 organizations in all, mostly in
metropolitan areas but with a smattering of more rural organizing work
going on). There, entering organizers often start high 20's to mid-30s,
depending experience; but within a few years that increases dramatically;
for someone who becomes a director of a big local organization it goes
into 50s and 60s. But, like most organizing, it takes a remarkable array
of skills to be good at it: relational/people skills, political analysis,
strategic thinking, fundraising, participative pedagogical skills,
preferably some sense of humor, a willingness to learn and approach new
terrain with an open mind, and either a faith orientation oneself or
a willingness to work respectfully with those for whom faith is central to
their politics.

Richard Wood
University of New Mexico


From: "John Gaudette" <gaudette at forward.net>

The average salary for social workers in the Chicagoland Matro area is
$45,367.  50% of these salaries ranging between $31,852 and $54,304.   As
for community organizing, I am in the process of reviewing our salary
structure, and I am finding that many organizations have already increased
their salaries from the $25,000 to the mid $40's (neighborhood-based
organizations).  Also, foundations have been raising the questions of
salaries and employee retention, and take every opportunity to bring the low
salaries and its effect on the organization to all our foundations.

Bottom line, many organizations have moved beyond this discussion and raised
salaries to somewhere near teacher salaries.  From what I have heard and
seen, it hasn't broken any budgets or drawn much negative raction from

John G


From: Peggy Jen <p_jen at yahoo.com>

The recently published, "A Guide to Careers in Community
Development" by Paul Brophy and Alice Shabecoff (Island Press)
also includes general information on salaries and types of
positions in Appendix A.

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