Ongoing Research Projects

Wisconsin Nonprofit Compensation & Benefits Survey



Wisconsin’s nonprofit sector plays a critical role in the health and vibrancy of Wisconsin communities. We know that many who work in the nonprofit sector do so for the love and passion of a specific cause. Along with the Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies at UW-Whitewater, the Helen Bader Institute (HBI) for Nonprofit Management at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee firmly believes that nonprofit employees should be appropriately compensated for the great work they do in making a positive difference in the lives of Wisconsin residents.

Information about employee compensation and benefits is one of the top requests we get at HBI. Based on these requests, we acknowledge that last year’s crises have made considerable impacts on nonprofits regarding compensation and benefits. In response to your needs, we are launching this survey to provide timely and relevant information – focused on nonprofits.
With that, our Wisconsin Nonprofit Compensation and Benefits Survey was distributed May 3 – September 30, 2021, to nonprofits throughout Wisconsin. The subsequent report provides nonprofits with valuable compensation and benefits data to inform their organizations and employees’ critical decisions. Nonprofits that participated in the forthcoming survey receive a free copy of the report.
Why is this survey critical?
  • Your organization’s employees are its greatest asset. How you compensate your most significant asset impacts your organization’s overall performance.
  • This survey is key to evaluating your organization’s compensation and benefits strategy to help attract and retain the best talent.
Is this survey confidential?
We anonymized all data for reporting purposes. Any organizational identifiers are kept separate from sensitive information. We only used this data to:
  • help screen for duplicates.
  • determine whether or not your organization will receive a free copy of the subsequent report.

Purchase the Report Now

Project Team

The COVID-19 Effect on Wisconsin’s Nonprofit Sector



In an effort to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wisconsin nonprofits’ ability to meet their community’s needs, the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at the University of Milwaukee, in partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and our affiliate faculty throughout the UW-System, will issue a series of surveys to nonprofit leaders throughout 2020-2022. The initial survey was launched in April 2020.

The aim of this study is to provide real-time data to government officials, foundations, and other decision-makers about the current economic conditions facing nonprofits and the need for immediate and long-term support in order to ensure the ongoing provision of critical services throughout Wisconsin. The hope is that, by understanding the effect of the pandemic, we can also better understand the recovery process to be required afterward.

Survey results will be regularly distributed to local and state leaders, with virtual presentations made available to review findings and discuss the implications on program and service delivery for nonprofit organizations in communities located across the state.


Our highest priority is to learn directly from Wisconsin nonprofit leaders, by connecting with a broad range of nonprofits, with a broad array of missions. Based on an established online survey developed by the University of San Diego**, data collection efforts will focus on a variety of nonprofit capacities potentially affected by the ongoing pandemic, including:

  • Human Resources, including staffing and payroll
  • Finance & Revenue, including access to federal stimulus funding
  • Effect on Programs & Service Delivery

The survey will also collect information on needed resources, to better understand ways academic and community partners can assist Wisconsin’s nonprofit sector through these developing challenges and beyond.

Proposed Project Timeline

Project Start 04/10/2020
Survey ONE Distribution 4/14/2020 4/29/2020
Survey ONE Findings Released 5/18/2020 COVID-19 Report 1
Northeast Wisconsin Dane County La Crosse
Arts, Culture, and Humanities Human Services
Survey TWO Distribution 07/13/2020 08/09/2020
Survey TWO Findings Released 08/16/2021 COVID-19 Report 2
Survey THREE Distribution 03/14/2022 04/01/2022
Final 2020-2022 Summary Report 05/02/2022


Project Team

* Nonprofit Wisconsin: In Brief – Size and Scope  Economic Impact, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, 2019

**Deitrick, L., Tinkler, T., Strawser, C., & Young, E. (2020). Nonprofit response to COVID-19: The immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on San Diego County nonprofits. San Diego, CA: The Nonprofit Institute, University of San Diego.