2018 salary survey: developments in data, admin and projects positions

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Our 2018 salary survey is now available, with comprehensive salary tables for roles at all levels within charities and not for profit organisations.

Along with the figures, we look what's happening more broadly with recruitment in each of the areas we cover: here are some of the key trends noted by our specialists in data management, operations, admin/support and projects/programmes.

Data Management

The rights and wrongs of data usage are headline news these days, and a major focus for many charities too, dealing with their own data-based demons but also recognising the potential benefits and building teams accordingly.

Following a steady influx of data professionals for some years, time has naturally progressed, as have most of those hired, which means the once rarely-spotted charity data manager can now be found in far greater numbers.

The challenge for many now is where to go next, as further opportunities for progression within the sector are relatively limited. For many experienced data managers, seeking more scope, variety and responsibility, the answer is often a move to a smaller charity, where with a smaller team (or as sole data manager) they'll generally have a far bigger remit.

Demand remains high and ongoing for staff with Raiser's Edge skills, while Salesforce skills are increasingly sought-after, and those who are multi-skilled (particularly with systems migration experience) are the most highly-prized of all.

Meanwhile in our experience, data professionals are just as keen to work from home as their colleagues in other functions, but for data confidentiality reasons, anywhere outside the office is rarely an option. Many employers in this field are fairly receptive in this respect though and often prepared to offer flexibility on working hours instead.

Operations, Admin & Support

Over the past year the most noticeable trend has been the increase in part-time or contract-based roles, generally at the expense of full-time, permanent positions.

Some things never change though, one being that vacancies for junior level positions continue to generate hundreds (and hundreds) of applications.

Given the numbers it's a real challenge to make the shortlist - both for the candidate and employer - but for candidates, demonstrating genuine interest and commitment to the charity sector (for example through volunteering) will make a difference.

Meanwhile the nature of admin and support roles continues to evolve as it has for some years now.

Purely secretarial roles are giving way to more wide-ranging admin and support roles involving tasks like data cleansing, social media updates, organising events or preparing proposals. The traditional office manager role has all but disappeared too, with their responsibilities often absorbed into an EA/PA role.

Projects & Programmes

This area can be particularly affected by the political climate, and with continued cuts in government funding, there's high demand for people with experience of successfully sourcing it elsewhere, such as from institutional donors.

Next year we'll be publishing this guide, in theory at least, from somewhere outside the EU, with whom we'll have some as-yet-unspecified agreements. Or not.

One of the few things we do know is that there will be fewer available funding options for UK projects, increasing competition for what remains. As a result there's high demand for those with experience of proposal/bid writing, and the ability to put together a winning grant application is likely to be one of the most valuable skills going.

Last year we noted the growing number of educational programmes, but in the year of #MeToo it's perhaps fitting (or connected) that this year's most noticeable increase has been in projects relating to female empowerment.

The subject of the role/project is particularly important for those in this field - often significantly more so than salaries, which remain fairly static. Projects and Programmes people are often more willing than most to be flexible on things like salaries, hours and location, but it has to be for the right project, ideally something for which they have a genuine passion.

Advice, news, events and specialist insight from the Harris Hill Blog