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Investing in comms staff when pay day disappoints

17 April 2013

There are many bonuses to working for a charity, but they’re not the sort they talk about in the City.

The satisfaction of working for a cause you believe in, alongside people who care as much as you do about making a difference in the world, counts for a lot. Because let’s face it: you don’t go into the charity sector for the spectacular pay and enviable benefits.

Which is probably just as well, according to the results of the TPP Not for Profit/CharityComms Charity Marketing and Communications Salary Survey for 2013. Overall, marcomms salaries have only seen a modest 2% rise over the past year, with levels remaining flat for 63% of respondents. Staff at smaller charities have born the brunt of the new financial reality, with salaries dropping by 2%.

Staff need to feel valued

But while pay rise prospects appear to be in the doldrums, charity communications staff still want to feel valued by their employer: valued in terms of the work they do and as professionals in their own right.

Support for professional development is the benefit most respondents would like, according to the survey. And that’s where we come in. CharityComms offers charity communications professionals a secure, trusted environment to reach their professional goals. We connect our members with their peers to share ideas, ask for advice, gain inspiration and enhance their reputation through speaking.
We give our members the opportunity to learn about the latest thinking and ideas in comms and see what best practice looks like. Our mentoring scheme provides a neutral advisor to act as a sounding board for ideas and an experienced voice to help resolve professional conundrums, it enables our mentors to give something back: arguably an even deeper reward.

Proving the value of comms

CharityComms’ role is also to champion communications within charities and give comms staff the ammunition to help them prove the impact of their efforts and creativity. With statements like, “it is often hard to link marcomms activity directly to incoming revenue, which means that some employers view comms purely as a cost and are reluctant to invest in increased salaries”, the salary survey shows we still have plenty of work to do.

But with more and more charities signing up to give their whole teams the benefits of belonging to a dedicated professional body, the sector is starting to recognise the value of investing in its comms staff.

Through their membership of CharityComms, our charity members demonstrate how much they value both their staff and comms itself. And together we can put inspiring communications at the heart of charities – whatever the financial climate.

2013 Salary Survey results

Vicky Browning


Vicky became CEO of ACEVO, the charity and social leaders’ network, in January 2017, helping to empower our inspiring sector leaders to make the biggest difference they can to their beneficiaries, their organisation and to society. Vicky was previously CharityComms’ director for nearly seven years.