Although most foundations choose to not compensate board members for routine board service—creating or revising foundation policies, overseeing foundation operations, attending board meetings, and more—one size does not fit all. For some small foundations, culture and assumptions, or specific strategies and rationales, lead the board to compensate its members.
Our just-released 2023 Foundation Operations and Management Report shows that roughly one-third (33%) of foundations compensate board members for routine board and committee service distinct from any compensation for advisory or staff services.
Board compensation varied by foundation type: Forty-six percent of independent foundations compensated board members for routine board services compared to 25% of family foundations and 23% of other foundations.
Among the 121 foundations that compensated board members for routine service, the average annual compensation was $15,682, and the median annual amount was $6,000. These amounts are consistent with findings from past years.
For more on this topic, see Board Compensation: What Is the Right Answer for Your Foundation?