I have a situation that I don't think has been addressed before; so if it has, my apologies.
Have you ever dealt with a situation where the hiring company appears to have badly misjudged the market when setting a hiring salary range?
I have an offer from a non-profit social services company, and I would very much like to take the offered role. I've been working in the non-profit sector for many years, and this particular company meets every single criteria I have for my next position, except for one: Compensation. The role would be a "bigger fish, smaller pond" opportunity, which professionally is just what I'm looking for. Their mission and people are second-to-none. Unfortunately the offer came in at a $10K pay cut from what I currently make performing a lower level role at another non-profit. They stated it was the top of their hiring range. I should point out that this is a new IT Director role, and they've never had an IT leadership role before.
In doing market research, I found that the average IT Director salary in my market is about $65K above their offer, with the low end in the market still being $30-35K above the offer. The job description and expectations match very closely with the descriptions I found when researching the market. My expectation, based on the company's non-profit status, it being a new role for the company, a promotion for me, etc. is $20K more than the offer ... still well below market ... and still a significant gap.
I simply cannot afford a pay cut, no matter how much I like the company and the role. Any ideas as to how to go about discussing this with them? Or am I better off just walking away and wishing them the best?