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Average CEO pay at large charities rises to £175,000, survey shows

01 Mar 2023 News

Stockfotos-MG / Adobe

The average salary for chief executives at the UK’s largest 100 charities by income has increased by £5,000 since 2021, a new analysis has found. 

Chief executives at these charities now receive a median salary of £175,000, up from £170,000 in 2021 and £155,000 in 2019, according to the Charity Chief Executives Survey 2023.

This year’s biennial survey, published today in the March issue of Charity Finance, asked leaders to confirm their salary including bonuses and excluding pension contributions. For those who did not disclose any figures, we looked at data published in their charity’s latest accounts. 

Highest-paid individuals

With an annual income of over £1.2m, Steve Gray of Nuffield Health remains the highest-paid chief executive. Gray earned between £930,000 and £940,000 in 2021. 

Al Russell, chief executive of the London Clinic Trustees and Paul Nurse, CEO of the Francis Crick Institute, ranked second and third, earning respective incomes of £510,000-520,000 and £420,000-430,000.

Julie Maxton, executive director of the Royal Society, is the 4th highest earner and the highest-paid female leader, with a salary of £385,000. 

Meanwhile, the lowest-paid chief executives of the 100 charities with the largest incomes in the UK were Mines Advisory Group’s Darren Cormack (£98,000-110,000), Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Waseem Ahmad (£98,000) and Tearfund’s Nigel Harris (£93,000).

Anthony Cotterill, territorial commander of the Salvation Army, UK and Ireland Territory, receives a remuneration of £25,000 per annum to cover his cost of living.

Data was available for 80 chief executives. Some charities that do not have permanent CEOs, including the Wellcome Trust, declined to take part.

In comparison, the average total pay for the FTSE 100 chief executives was £3.9m in 2021-22, according to a PwC analysis.

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