Salary increases for sponsorship professionals rebounded to pre-recession levels in 2015, with the average raise increasing to 6.3 percent from 5.9 percent last year, according to IEG Sponsorship Report’s 20th annual salary survey.

The last time the average raise was that high was just prior to the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008, when the figure also was 6.3 percent.

More than two-thirds (71 percent) of sponsorship professionals received a raise in 2015—up from 67 percent last year.

Continuing a trend, the average raise for sponsorship positions was more than three percentage points higher than the U.S. average. Exempt salaried workers in the U.S.—those for whom overtime pay is not required—earned average raises of 2.9 percent for the third year in a row, according to the annual study released in August by human resources consulting firm Aon Hewitt.

AVERAGE SPONSORSHIP SALARY INCREASE VS. NATIONAL AVERAGE
AVERAGE SPONSORSHIP SALARY INCREASE VS. NATIONAL AVERAGE

Additionally, a significantly higher number of sponsorship professionals received a bonus in 2015 versus previous years. A majority (58 percent) received bonus pay this year versus 46 percent in each of the three prior years, with the average amount across the industry at $16,098, down slightly from $16,426 in 2014.

Despite higher raises and more bonuses, job satisfaction showed a small decline across all industry sectors. Overall, satisfaction dropped from an average of seven to 6.9 on a 10-point scale, with those working for agencies having the sharpest decline, from seven in 2014 to 6.7 this year.

JOB SATISFACTION (10-POINT SCALE)
JOB SATISFACTION (10-POINT SCALE)

Not surprisingly, compensation continued to be linked to the size of an organization’s sponsorship revenue or spending.

In particular, many elements of compensation were dramatically higher for those working for properties, agencies and sponsors with sponsorship revenue or spending above $2.5 million—including total compensation, base salary, the percentage of people receiving bonuses, and bonus amount.

AVERAGE TOTAL COMPENSATION BY ORGANIZATION SIZE
COMPENSATION AND OTHER JOB FACTOR BY ORGANIZATION SIZE
Note: Organization size represents sponsorship revenue (properties and agencies) or sponsorship budgets (sponsors).

AVERAGE TOTAL COMPENSATION BY SPONSORSHIP REVENUE (PROPERTIES ONLY)
AVERAGE TOTAL COMPENSATION BY SPONSORSHIP REVENUE (PROPERTIES ONLY)

COMPENSATION AND OTHER JOB FACTORS BY ORGANIZATION SIZE
COMPENSATION AND OTHER JOB FACTORS BY ORGANIZATION SIZE
Note: Organization size represents sponsorship revenue (properties and agencies) or sponsorship budgets (sponsors).

However, it’s interesting to note that job satisfaction was highest among employees working for organizations with sponsorship spending or revenue below $250,000 (7.4 on a 10-point scale). That group also worked an average of 10 hours a week less than their counterparts at organizations over the $2.5 million mark (42 hours versus 52 hours).

For a breakdown of results by job title and other relevant findings from the survey, see charts below.

Survey findings derive from responses from 312 industry practitioners—53 percent working for nonprofit properties, 22 percent working at for-profit properties, 14 percent for agencies and 11 percent for sponsors.

COMPENSATION AND OTHER JOB FACTOR AVERAGES BY SECTOR AND TITLE
COMPENSATION AND OTHER JOB FACTOR AVERAGES BY SECTOR AND TITLE

AVERAGE TOTAL COMPENSATION BY TITLE AND ORGANIZATION TYPE
AVERAGE TOTAL COMPENSATION BY TITLE AND ORGANIZATION TYPE