Top 10 Best-Paid Fundraisers at Nonprofit Organizations

Competition for the best of the best sends compensation past $1 million mark

Big nonprofits know it takes money to raise money. Big nonprofits know it takes money to raise money.

Competition to attract top fundraisers is costing U.S. charities a lot of money, according to the latest compensation data available analyzed by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

In 2011, upward of two dozen fundraisers at nonprofits earned more than $500,000, and two earned more than $1 million.

The Chronicle analyzed pay for fundraisers at 280 nonprofits that raise at least $35 million from private sources. Data were culled from IRS Forms 990 that charities filed in 2012.

Colleges and hospitals tended to pay the most, The Chronicle reported, in part because they were more likely to run ambitious drives for private support.

At a time when nonprofits are under financial pressure because of tight government budgets and a tough economy, demands on top fundraisers are stronger than ever, and very few people have the right skills to meet expectations, according to experts consulted on the report.

Competition for talent is so intense that an “arms race” has broken out among nonprofits to lure talented fundraisers with hefty salaries, Steven Rum, vice president for development at Johns Hopkins Medicine, told The Chronicle.

“I lost five people to an institution a mile away, predicated on one thing: money,” Rum said.

Not everyone in the nonprofit sector was pleased to hear about the size of the salaries at the top level.

Ken Berger, head of Charity Navigator, told The Chronicle that “if you’re working for a charity, the idea of fundraisers becoming millionaires is problematic. I don’t care how much money you raise.”

Following are the top 10 earners at U.S. nonprofits, based on 2011 compensation data.

 

10. Armando Chardiet

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Base pay in 2011: $611,579

Bonus pay in 2011: $0

Total compensation in 2011: $677,906

 

9. Albert Checcio

University of Southern California

Base pay in 2011: $452,555

Bonus pay in 2011: $92,000

Total compensation in 2011: $722,317

 

8. Stuart Sullivan

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Base pay in 2011: $389,744

Bonus pay in 2011: $293,550

Total compensation in 2011: $752,291

 

7.  Michael Eicher

The Johns Hopkins University

Base pay in 2011: $454,808

Bonus pay in 2011: $69,366

Total compensation in 2011: $829,652

 

6. Kathleen Kane

City of Hope

Base pay in 2011: $500,582

Bonus pay in 2011: $257,080

Total compensation in 2011: $844,491

Columbia University, New York

5. Mark Kostegan

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Base pay in 2011: $500,000

Bonus pay in 2011: $210,019

Total compensation in 2011: $870,866

 

4. Richard Naum

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Base pay in 2011: $381,565

Bonus pay in 2011: $441,592

Total compensation in 2011: $872,964

 

3. Daniel Forman

Yeshiva University

Base pay in 2011: $585,410

Bonus pay in 2011: $0

Total compensation in 2011: $922,542

 

2. Susan Feagin (former executive vice president, university development and alumni relations)

Columbia University

Base pay in 2011: $512,760

Bonus pay in 2011: $520,200

Total compensation in 2011: $1,066,951

 

1. Anne McSweeney

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Base pay in 2011: $415,701

Bonus pay in 2011: $748,227

Total compensation in 2011: $1,212,309

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