Fair Compensation or Over the Top Salaries?

This is a dangerous but necessary part of the discussion. A person who excels in his/her field is entitled to a fair compensation.  If financial gain is the goal of a top executive in a charity  organization, then perhaps he/she should leave the field of charity and move into the ‘for profit’ sector.  Charity organizations should be held to a higher standard. Charity organizations should aspire to excellence. The definition of excellence for a Christian Not-For-Profit as CPR-3 defines it is doing the best that they can with the resources they have to the 100% glory of God.  These organizations are often resource poor, it should not be because the top executives are dis-proportionally taking too much from the overall budget.

In a recent study from Charity Navigator who supports the organizations it studies but holds those same organizations accountable and puts them into the light of the Charity Organization Leaderspublic as they should, reports in their study, not surprisingly, there is a predictable relationship between the size of a charity and the CEO’s salary – the larger the charity the higher the median pay. The median pay for the top leader in a not for profit charity is $125,942.  Of the 3,929 charities studies, 9 paid their top executive greater than $1,000,000.  78 of those charities paid their top executive over half a million dollars.

Larger organizations that are working with thousands of employees and complicated systems, who are handling millions of dollars each year require an educated and experienced executive. There is nothing immoral about paying a top executive a fair wage. The hard question is what is a fair wage?  The donor recognizes that the dollars they give are partly going to an over the top paid executive. Work hard to find an organization whose leader is trustworthy, competent and unselfish in his/her own desires. If they are that ‘valuable’ to a high paying charity, the executive  will figure out other ways to make their personal endeavors meet their financial goals.  A limit should be expected considering the people they are serving are the poor.

Choose an organization who is committed to both excellence and sacrifice and who understands its stated mission and stewards your dollars with the poor in mind.

Dan O’Deens is the Executive Director and Founder of CPR-3. Follow him at danodeens.com