The average annual pay of charity chief executives rose by 3.2 per cent to £60,000 in 2013, according to Acevo’s latest pay survey.
Figures from the charity chief executives body show that the average salary has returned to the same level as in 2011 after a fall of 3.1 per cent to £58,139 in 2012.
But the survey says that when inflation is taken into account the latest increase represents a real-terms fall of 0.1 per cent from 2012.
A report into the findings of the survey, published today, is based on responses from 678 chief executives.
It shows that the chief executives of charities with incomes of more £5m a year were paid a median salary of £87,750.
The heads of charities with incomes of between £1m and £5m a year were paid an average of £61,851, and those working for charities with incomes of under £1m received an average of £43,395 a year.
The report also shows that the gender pay gap was 18.6 per cent, the widest since 2008.
Male chief executives picked up an average of £67,000, compared with £54,350 for their female counterparts.
The report says that most of the gender pay gap appeared to caused by the fact that there are disproportionately fewer female leaders of large organisations and more female leaders of smaller organisations.
Chief executives working for London-based charities were the best paid when salaries were broken down geographically – picking up an average salary of £70,000 – followed by the chief executives of charities based in south-west England, who received an average of £69,000.
Chief executives working for Northern Ireland-based charities were paid the least, an average of £47,283, followed by those working for charities based in north-east England, where the average salary was £49,000.
More than 82 per cent of chief executives who responded said they were either somewhat or very satisfied with their relationship with their charity’s trustees, compared with 8 per cent who said they were either somewhat or very dissatisfied.
The remaining 9.5 per cent were neither satisfied or dissatisfied.
Writing in his introduction to the study, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, says: "Executive pay has come under scrutiny this year, but our results demonstrate once again the restrained approach taken by charity leaders on this issue. Chief executive pay rose by an average of 3.2 per cent over the past year, returning it to 2011 levels following a fall in 2012. The rate of increase since last year is lower than the rate of inflation over the same period, as sector leaders respond to a financial environment which remains challenging for many charities."