Cold, hard, cat coins.

Cold, hard, cat coins.

Compensation: Being compensated for your work is pretty darn important, but it can take a lot of forms: from straightforward wages and benefits (like insurance and PTO), to profit sharing and opportunities for professional development. How do you need to be compensated? How can your organization do a better job compensating employees, contractors, and volunteers? The resources and strategies in this section will help you explore options and strategies to negotiate for what you really need to feel valued and support your lifestyle, as an organization or an individual.

Survey Says: We asked the folks taking the PAHRTS survey to respond to this question: Think of your most current or most recent PAID job at a MN theater. How do you think your pay compares to what others are getting for similar work in MN theaters? Here’s what they said:


SKIM IT: The Dos and Don’ts of Compensation:

  • DO negotiate for what you need.
  • DO consider compensation as it relates to job performance. Employees will work better if they feel valued.
  • DO tell your colleagues how much you make. Secrecy hurts everyone, but it disproportionately hurts women and people of color.
  • DO think of where your priorities and values are when it comes to compensation. Is a lower salary worth it if they offer a full benefits package and you can bring your dog to work? What about a high pay rate with a long commute and little room to grow? As an organization, think of additional ways to compensate that may also reflect your mission.
  • DON’T put “Depending on Qualifications” in your job posting. You’re wasting time when you (should!) have a budget that dictates a salary range.
  • DON’T ask people to work for “exposure.” Exposure doesn’t pay the bills.


  • Legal: Leave from Work by Chris Jozwiak & Cassie Navarro of Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP and Penelope Phillips. Covers the Family Medical Leave Act, MN Workers Compensation Act, MN Human Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, MN Parenting Leave Act, and the Women’s Economic Security Act.
  • Classification Scenario by Ashley Hanson and Pogi Sumangil: Scenarios based on survey comments from our community.
  • Morality Discussion: If an organizational budget is a moral document, what does your pay scale say about how you value people?



  • Benefit Summary An example of how to layout benefits to employees and applicants. Goes great in a handbook and on your hiring page!
  • Nonprofit Workplace Trends powerpoint by Lisa Brown Morton: A powerpoint presentation covering best practices and nonprofit trends from the Nonprofit Employment Practices survey. Covers retention strategies, 
  • TCG Report: Employee Benefits Survey 2012 by Christopher Shuff and Ilana B. Rose: Data on prevalence of health care, pension plans, disability, paid leave, sabbaticals, and professional development opportunities from over 150 theatres.
  • Minneapolis Paid Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council in 2016, the Paid Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance takes effect July 1, 2017.