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