- Eleven American charity CEOs earn more than $1 million a year, according to the latest Charity Navigator study
- The charity watchdog said CEOs may work hard managing multi-million dollar institutions, but seven-figure payments ‘do not seem warranted’
- Top earners included Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Thomas Campbell ($1.5m) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s James Clark ($1.8m)
- All are men
PUBLISHED: 19:38 EST, 14 October 2013 | UPDATED: 02:20 EST, 15 October 2013
Their job is to serve the disadvantaged, yet an elite list of nonprofit sector CEOs is earning more than $1 million a year.
The latest Charity Navigator study shows 11 nonprofit chiefs across America command a staggering seven-figure salary – well above the sector average. All are men.
While the charity evaluator noted that the highest-paid CEOs oversee multi-million dollar operations, it still considered some of the paychecks ‘excessive’ and ‘outrageously high’.
High earners: Metropolitan Museum of Art head Thomas Campbell (left) and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CEO John Ryan (right) earn more than $1 million
The 2013 Charity CEO Compensation Study analyzed the 2011 IRS returns of 3,929 mid to large-size US-based charities that rely on public support.
It found Metropolitan Museum of Art head Thomas Campbell’s annual salary of $1.5 million — $655,932 in base pay and $840,800 in ‘other’ compensation – put him near the top of the highest-paid list.
The father of two, who manages the Met’s $386 million budget, was the highest paid executive in the ‘arts, culture and humanities’ category, where the US median pay came in at $159,650.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CEO John D. Ryan reaps $1.2 million a year to manage a $42 million budget. His peers in the ‘public benefit’ category earn a median of $142,661.
Big wigs: National Jewish Health’s Michael Salem (left) and James Clark of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (right) earn nearly $3 million between them
Icahn School of Medicine CEO Davis pulled in $1.3 million, while Rockefeller University’s new CEO, Marc Tessler-Levigne, makes $1.3 million, according to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, Michael Salem of National Jewish Health pulled in just over $1 million, including $648,286 base compensation, $361,756 bonus and incentives, and $16,500 ‘other’ income. The ‘health’ sector median was just $137,919.
In the ‘human services’ category, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s president and CEO, James Clark, earned $1.8 million – substantially higher than the $114,000 median.
Other top earners include Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, National American University CEO Dr. Ronald L. Shape, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Dr. Stephen Prescott and the chiefs of Goodwill Southern California and Miami Jewish Health Systems.
Charity Navigator noted in its report that charities with total expenses of $13.5 million and higher pay their CEOs upwards of $250,000.
These top nonprofit leaders are typically hired for their ability to manage multi-million institutions and therefore can command high salaries. The report also noted leaders in the nonprofit sector earn far less than their private sector colleagues to do the same job.
But the watchdog group challenged the financial viability of such high payments in a sector mostly reliant on donations.
‘In our opinion, it is evident that seven-figure salaries do not seem warranted, even in the largest sized charities,’ the report said.