Paying Foundation Board Trustees for their service is a touchy subject. Compensation deemed excessive or unreasonable may violate federal and state laws, and public sentiment polls heavily against the practice. The public’s expectation is that Charitable Foundations benefiting from favorable tax status will direct most of their money to charitable purposes.
The majority of foundation board members serve as volunteers. Foundations that do choose to compensate Board members must carefully benchmark that compensation to avoid even the perception of self-dealing and abuse of tax laws.
The first step in benchmarking appropriate compensation Board Members is to obtain a comparable data for similarly sized organizations. A 2013 Survey of Foundation Board compensation can be found here: