For Startups
November 20th, 2019

I Get Paid to Do This? Setting Your Own Salary as a Progressive Founder

By Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

Being a progressive entrepreneur and trying to figure out your own compensation package isn't easy. You’re afraid your startup will run out of money. You worry that other staff or funders will think that you are greedy. You don’t know how much of your personal savings you feel comfortable dipping into  – or you don’t have savings, have student loans to pay, dependents to support. You know you’re not paying your other staff as much as they deserve. You’re already more financially secure than the people who your nonprofit serves or works with, but you also feel that nonprofit staff like you are chronically underpaid.

So, how much should you pay yourself? And when should you start? It’s a question Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman asked herself as the founder of SumOfUs, and one she's heard from other founders a lot  –  most recently in her role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence here at NMV. Taren talked to a bunch of progressive startup founders  –  both for-profit and nonprofit  – to try to answer this question and wrote up what she found. Check it out on Medium!