As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, it is no secret that in general, most staff working for voluntary associations and charitable trusts are not paid as much as their counterparts in the private sector. This fact was recently validated in a survey undertaken by Strategic Pay, which revealed a disparity of 30% when measured against comparable positions in the for-profit sector. However, according to a reliable British report, conflicting this trend are the remuneration packages of Chief Executives in the leading 11 international overseas aid charities, which as was stated in the report.. “could bring the (charity) sector into disrepute”.

Needless to say many of us work for charities and associations because we believe in a particular cause – and are passionate about making a difference. This is more that can be said for most employees in private sector business, who put pay high on their list of priorities.

Considering the voluntary sector contributes $9.5 billion to the national economy and has an annual operating expenditure of $6.5 billion, it is sometimes astounding to think that the additional contribution of voluntary labour is valued at $3.3 billion (according to research commissioned by Philanthropy New Zealand)! This represents $7 billion in value or 4.9% added to GDP. It says much for the quality of people working for charities and associations, who place collective action and public benefit ahead of personal financial gain.

On another positive note, the third sector has achieved near gender equality with 42% of positions across the board filled by women, who are also strongly represented on volunteer boards.

Given the massive contribution paid staff and volunteers make to their respective charity or association, we recognise the importance of having a good representation of skills and experience at board level. We would like to encourage those passionate volunteers and paid staff to consider what contribution they may be able to make at board level. If you are interested there are a couple of sites that list board positions, such as The Institute of Directors. We also have to have the knowledge and experience to assist your board evaluate what it may need in the form of new board members.

You can call  09 419 0042 or email info@associations.org.nz

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