Methodology and FAQ

How we compiled the data

All salaries in our guide derive from real UK charity and not for profit vacancies posted between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, based on:

• All roles worked on by Harris Hill in each of their specialist fields 
• Roles advertised in the equivalent CharityJob categories over the same time period

Around 1,500 jobs appeared in both groups but were counted only once, resulting in a total sample of just over 45,800 third sector vacancies.

Pretty huge in other words, yet it can’t quite tell us everything, since salaries advertised and offers made won’t always be one and the same.

For Harris Hill, that’s where the insight of our sector specialists proved vital, knowing which rates are realistic for the roles concerned, which are wishful thinking, and where to make some well-informed adjustments to ensure they reflect what’s really paid, not just the initial intentions. Data was then returned to the expert team at CharityJob for further insight and review, before final checks all round to reach the figures you'll find here.

We’re confident they reflect the sector closely, and we hope you’ll find them useful. If you have any queries on current rates for your role(s), please call Harris Hill on 020 7820 7300, CharityJob on 020 8939 8430, or email salaries@harrishill.co.uk

Notes and FAQs

Here are a few explanatory notes you may find useful, and should there be any other frequently asked questions during the year, we'll post the answers below for reference.


According to NCVO figures, more than 50% of UK charities (including many of the largest), are based in Southern England, so a majority of charity jobs are too, which is reflected in our data. Salaries elsewhere are typically a little lower, but proportionately so in general, reflecting slightly lower living costs.

Charity sizes

We’ve listed salaries for small, medium and large charities, which for the purposes of this report have been classified by headcount as shown below.

Job titles

For maximum clarity we’ve stuck to simple, frequently-used terms wherever possible. Most are self-explanatory but to further explain just two:

Manager: salaries refer to those with people management responsibilities, rather than (for example) account managers with no direct reports.
Officer/Executive: this also covers titles like Coordinator and Advisor, none of which are entirely reliable indicators of seniority, often varying between organisations. For our purposes, these salaries apply to roles more senior than assistants/entry-level, but more junior than managers.

The living wage

At time of compiling the report, more than 1,030 UK charities were paying every employee the Living Wage as a minimum; as do we at Harris Hill.

To be clear, that’s the original version, accredited by the Living Wage Foundation and based on the cost of living. Not to be confused (though you’d be forgiven for thinking that was the point) with the ‘national living wage’, based on the cost of living in 1984. Or so it may seem.

But while that's an encouraging rise of nearly 30% more charities than a year ago, including some of the very biggest employers.

Given the sector’s financial challenges that’s unlikely to change at great speed, but as advocates of a living wage, and mindful that salaries we report can also be taken as recommendations, rates below the Living Wage Foundation minimum are not included in our tables. 

Download the full 24-page 2019 Salary Report

Welcome and introduction 

Summary and market trends 

Fundraising ►

Marketing, PR & Digital ►

Business Services ►

Policy, Advocacy & Campaigns ►

Finance ►

Human Resources ►

Projects & Programmes ►

Temporary & Interim ►

Executive salaries ►

Candidate insights ►

Career shifters ►

Regional updates ►

Methodology & FAQ ►

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