Published: 15 July 2015

Salary survey suggests comms is more valued

Communications is becoming more valued in the charity sector according to the latest salary survey from CharityComms and TPP Recruitment.

The Charity Marketing & Communications Salary Survey 2015 shows that over half (54%) of respondents feel communications has become more valued over the past year, a 4% increase on last year’s figure.

The statistic suggests that comms is increasingly recognised as vital in enabling a charity to be responsive and effective. As one respondent puts it: “Many charities are beginning to grasp the pressing need for and value of someone who can develop a comprehensive and coherent campaign plan which supports internal/external engagement, fundraising, collaborative services and business development.”

The survey also shows that overall, the size of charity marcomms teams and the level of individual salaries appear to be stable, with 65% of respondents seeing salaries remaining at the same level as last year and 63% thinking their marketing and communications team will remain the same size next year.

Kate Maunder, divisional manager at TPP Recruitment, said: "We’ve seen some junior salaries nudge back up this year, after dips in 2014. We believe this is because of increased confidence and a focus on future growth. Senior salaries still vary widely across different types and size of organisation."

As CharityComms' chair John Grounds argues, the difference between charities that really understand the benefits of investing in communications (and therefore communications staff) and those that don’t is palpable. Not just in visibility, but also style, confidence, innovativeness and effectiveness.

While sections of the national press are attacking charities which employ paid staff as wasteful, as Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer's Society said yesterday: "The charitable sector needs to attract people with the right skills and experience to deliver services to millions of people, raise funds and create wider change on behalf of the people they represent." 

Charity pay is still considerably lower than for equivalent private sector posts: our survey shows up to a 30% differential, with the NCVO suggesting this rises to 45% when taking into account bonuses and other incentives. 

And despite the positive experience of the majority of respondents, there is still work to do in establishing the value of effective communications in some organisations. As one respondent said: “Charit[ies are] not realising the value in these roles – [they’re] still far behind the private sector in investing and building brand value and having staff that understand their audience.”

You can download your free copy of the Charity Marketing & Communications Salary Survey 2015 here

Read about how to make the case for communications, and see the presentations from our Making the case for comms workshop here.


Vicky Browning, CEO, ACEVO

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.