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Many Big Non-Profit Groups Pay Execs Well

Tue., Sept. 5, 1995

Some of the nation’s biggest non-profit organizations also are charitable with their chief executives, giving larger salaries and more perks despite scandal and closer scrutiny, a new survey says.

A survey of 184 organizations by The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that 154 of them paid at least one top official more than $100,000 a year.

And 83 compensated at least one top official with more than $200,000 - which is, by the way, President Clinton’s pay as chief executive of the United States.

Of the 167 groups that reported information last year and this year, 120 increased chief executive salaries, according to the survey reported in the Sept. 7 issue of the biweekly “newspaper of the non-profit world.” Thirty-four reduced compensation and 13 made no changes.

Some of the highest-paid executives are Harold M. Williams, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, at $610,001; William G. Bowen, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, at $455,389; and Harvey W. Schiller, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s executive director, at $429,331.

Among the lowest-paid executives - those typically accepting modest or no salaries for their work - are Robert C. Macauley, chief executive of the AmeriCares Foundation, and Ferdinand Mahfood, president of Food for the Poor.

Neither one collects a salary.

“I think they’re giving more money (in salaries) in order to retain the talent that they have,” said Daniel Langan, spokesman for the National Charities Information Bureau, a watchdog organization.

“It’s up to the board of directors how much they have to pay to employ somebody who is going to improve their programs, their revenues, their overall operation,” Langan said. “What they also have to keep in mind, however, is that it is public record.”

Non-profit organizations must file information with the Internal Revenue Service.

Americans gave $126 billion to charities in 1994.

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