April 19, 2023

Mala Nagarajan blog header

Brilliant consultant and thought-leader Mala Nagarajan returns to our podcast to share six practices that nonprofits can use to de-link privilege (or, on the other side of the coin, marginalization) from salaries, and reconstruct compensation in a way that is equitable.

The six compensation practices that Mala discusses are:

  1. Construct salaries with multiple components.
  2. No longer negotiate at the beginning of employment.
  3. Tie the highest salary to the lowest salary.
  4. Consider all salaries as interdependent, and to consider leadership at every level.
  5. Acknowledge that everyone has different capacities.
  6. Separate pay from performance.

These practices are drawn from the Compensation Scale Equity Process and Calculator™ developed by Vega Mala Consulting, of which our guest is Cofounder and Principal. We introduce this process and calculator in the episode as well, and discuss how nonprofits and other consultants can utilize it. We also discuss what nonprofits can do right away even if they are unable to work with consultants to address equity in their compensation structure.

From Fund the People’s 8 Practices of Talent-Investing, this episode explores Practice #2: Lead with Respect, Practice #3: Build People-Systems, and Practice #4: Advance Talent Justice. To learn about these, and all 8 Practices of Talent-Investing, listen to Season 4 Episode 1.

To hear Mala’s previous appearance on the show, listen to Season 3 Episode 9, where she discusses what it means for nonprofits to develop a “compensation philosophy.”


Guest Bio:

Mala Nagarajan is a nonprofit strategist and social entrepreneur with more than 20 years of management, technology, and organizational development experience spanning the public, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors. She is driven by a vision of strong organizations working collaboratively toward a common social purpose. Mala’s consulting focuses on people/human resources and technology management, and how these systems integrate with organizational activities like programs, communications, financials, and resource development. This includes helping to build capacity in strategic planning and thinking, sustainable infrastructure growth, and data-driven evaluations and assessments.

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