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Charitable Compensation


Claim:   Article compares the salaries of top executives of several large charitable organizations.

MOSTLY OUTDATED AND INACCURATE

Examples:

[Collected via e-mail, October 2010]

Keep these facts in mind when "donating". As you open your pockets for yet another natural disaster, keep the following facts in mind; we have listed them from the highest (worse paid offender) to the lowest (least paid offender).

The worst offender was yet again for the 11th year in a row is, UNICEF - CEO, receives $1,200,000 per year, (plus use of a Royal Royce for his exclusive use where ever he goes, and an expense account that is rumoured to be well over $150,000.) Only pennies from the actual donations goes to the UNICEF cause (less than $0.14 per dollar of income).

The second worst offender this year is Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross... for her salary for the year ending in 2009 was $651,957 plus expenses. Enjoys 6 weeks - fully paid holidays including all related expenses during the holiday trip for her and her husband and kids. including 100% fully paid health & dental plan for her and her family, for life. This means out of every dollar they bring in, about $0.39 goes to related charity causes.

The third worst offender was again for the 7th time was, Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way receives a $375,000 base salary (U.S. funds), plus so many numerous expense benefits it's hard to keep track as to what it is all worth, including a fully paid lifetime membership for 2 golf courses (1 in Canada, and 1 in the U.S.A.), 2 luxury vehicles, a yacht club membership, 3 major company gold credit cards for his personal expenses...and so on. This equates to about $0.51 per dollar of income goes to charity causes.

Fourth worst offender who was also again in the fourth spot, for every year since this information has been made available from the start 1998 is amazingly yet again, World Vision President (Canada) receives $300,000 base salary, (plus supplied - a home valued in the $700,000 - $800,000 dollar value range, completely furnished, completely paid all housing expenses, including taxes, water/sewer, telephone/fax, HD/high speed cable, weekly maid service and pool/yard maintenance, fully paid private schooling for his children, upscale automobile and an $55,000 personal expense account for clothing/food, with a $125,000 business expense account). Get this, because it is a "religious based" charity, it pays, little to no taxes, can receive government assistance and does not have to declare were the money goes. Only about $0.52 of earned income per dollar is available for charity causes.

Of the sixty some odd "charities" we looked at, the lowest paid (President/C.E.O/Commissioner) was heading up a charity group right here in Canada. We found, believe it or not, it was......

The Salvation Army's Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 Billion dollar organization. Which means about $0.93 per dollar earned, is readily available and goes back out to local charity causes... truly amazing... and well done "Sally Ann".

No further comment is necessary..."Think Twice" before you give to your charity of choice as to which one really does the best for the most - or the least for the most, for that matter.
 
[Collected via e-mail, November 2012]

The American Red Cross
President and CEO Marsha J. Evans' salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses


MARCH OF DIMES
It is called the March of Dimes because only a dime for every 1 dollar is given to the needy.

The United Way
President Brian Gallagher receives a $375,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits.

UNICEF
CEO Caryl M. Stern receives $1,200,000 per year (100k per month) plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.
Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.

GOODWILL CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.
You donate to his business and then he sells the items for PROFIT.
He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage! Nice Guy.
$0.00 goes to help anyone! Stop giving to this man.


Instead, give it to ANY OF THE FOLLOWING

GO "GREEN" AND PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE IT WILL DO SOME GOOD:

The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd Bassett receives a small salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.
96 percent of donated dollars go to the cause.

The American Legion
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!


The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Disabled American Veterans
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

The Vietnam Veterans Association
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

Make a Wish: For children's last wishes.
100% goes to funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.

St. Jude Research Hospital
100% goes towards funding and helping Children with Cancer who have no insurance and can not afford to pay.

Ronald McDonald Houses
All monies go to running the houses for parents who have critical Children in the hospital.
100% goes to housing, and feeding the families.

Lions Club International
100% OF DONATIONS GO TO HELP THE BLIND, BUY HEARING AIDES, SUPPORT MEDICAL MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD. THEIR LATEST UNDERTAKING IS MEASLES VACCINATIONS (ONLY $1.00 PER SHOT).

Please share this with everyone you can.
 

Origins:   When deciding which charities to donate to, many people consider an important factor to be the "efficiency" of these organizations — that is, what percentage of the monies taken in by a given charity goes to funding its mission rather than being eaten up by costs such as fundraising activities, salaries, and other administrative overhead.

The e-mail reproduced above, which began circulating in 2005 and has been re-circulated every year since then around Christmastime, attempts to steer potential
donors away from inefficient charities. Unfortunately, much of the information it presents was inaccurate back in 2005, and it has grown only more so in the years since then, resulting in a misleading and outdated view of various charities. We attempt to present accurate and up-to-date information about the named charities below.

The following efficiency information is derived from the Charity Navigator web site, the GuideStar web site and Forbes magazine's November 2009 special report on the 200 Largest U.S. Charities. Salary information is taken from Schedule J (Compensation Information) of the various charities' IRS Form 990 filings, an annual reporting return that certain federally tax-exempt organizations must file with the IRS which provides information on the filing organization's mission, programs, and finances. (In the context of this article, the term "efficiency" refers to the percentage of total budget/expenses that each listed organization spends on providing charitable programs and services, while the term "compensation" or "pay" includes salary, one-time payments, and deferred compensation.)
  • UNICEF: The e-mail is not specific about which executive is being referred to here, as UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) is a global organization with offices in 190 countries. We're assuming the reference is to the President and CEO of the United States Fund for UNICEF, Caryl M. Stern, whose last reported total yearly compensation was $472,891, not $1,200,000. Both Charity Navigator and Forbes rate this organization's efficiency at 91%, far greater than the 14% claimed in the e-mail cited above. In response to the claim that UNICEF's CEO receives "a Royal Royce for his exclusive use where ever he goes," UNICEF told us that "There is no Rolls Royce or company car provided for any staff member at UNICEF or the U.S. Fund, including the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund or UNICEF’s Executive Director.
  • American Red Cross: The information presented above is outdated (as of October 2010), as Marsha J. Evans resigned her position as CEO of the American Red Cross in 2005. The current President and CEO of the American Red Cross (since 2008) is Gail J. McGovern, whose total yearly compensation for 2010 was about $1,037,000 (considerably higher than the $651,957 figure mentioned above) and for 2011 was about $561,000. Charity Navigator and Forbes both rate this organization's efficiency at 92%, much higher than the 39% figure claimed in the e-mail.
  • United Way: The United Way is another charitable organization that operates on both global and local levels. We're assuming the e-mail references the President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, Brian A. Gallagher, whose last reported total yearly compensation was $717,076 (including a base salary of $415,613, which is a bit higher than the $375,000 figure reported above). Charity Navigator rates this organization's efficiency at 89%, while Forbes rates it at 85%, both much higher than the 51% efficiency claimed in the e-mail.

  • World Vision: World Vision is yet another charitable organization with global reach, but the message quoted above specifically references World Vision Canada. That organization provided us with the following information:
    Dave Toycen [President and CEO of World Vision Canada] salary is $184,000 which is a matter of public record. As per our Board's compensation policy, Dave and all of our top executives earn substantially less than executives who run comparable organizations. This policy is overseen by our Board's Executive Committee and is regularly assessed by an independent external consultant. We disclose executive compensation as required to the Canada Revenue Agency.

    Dave does not live in a $700,000-$800,000 home, and none of his housing costs are paid for by World Vision. He has lived in the same house outside of Toronto for more than 20 years. He travels economy class and does not use the most cutting edge technology.

    Accountability in the use of funds and transparency to our donors are among our core values and they are taken seriously at World Vision. As evidence of this:

    - The facts about our executive compensation, including the President's renumeration, are published openly on our website;

    - Our annual report and independently audited financial statements are also available for review.
    World Vision Canada's (self-reported) efficiency is 81%, much higher than the 52% figure claimed above.
  • Salvation Army: The information presented above is outdated, as W. Todd Bassett stepped down as National Commander of The Salvation Army in April 2006; the current National Commander of the Salvation Army (since 2010) is William A. Roberts. The Salvation Army is not required to file a Form 990 with the IRS because it is primarily a religious organization, but according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Roberts' last reported total annual compensation was $126,920, much higher than the $13,000 reported above. Forbes rates this organization's efficiency at 82%, a fair bit lower than the 93% figure claimed in the e-mail.
  • Goodwill: Goodwill Industries International is not a business that takes in donated items and resells them for a profit. It is a not-for-profit organization that provides job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Goodwill raises money for their programs through a chain of thrift stores which also operate as non-profits.

    The CEO of Goodwill Industries International is not Mark Curran, nor does he make $2.3 million a year. The current President and CEO of Goodwill is Jim Gibbons, who in 2011 received a total reported compensation of $725,000.
  • March of Dimes: Charity Navigator rates the March of Dimes' efficiency at 64.6%, a fair bit lower than most of the charities mentioned here, but much higher than the 10% figure claimed in the e-mail example quoted above.
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: Charity Navigator rates the efficiency of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 70.3%, considerably lower than the 100% figure claimed of it above.
  • Ronald McDonald Houses: Ronald McDonald House charities operate at local levels in dozens of different metropolitan areas in the U.S. with varying levels of efficiency. Charity Navigator rates the efficiency of the parent organization at 89.5%.
  • Lions Club International: Charity Navigator rates the efficiency of the Lions Clubs International Foundation at 83.9%.
A 2011 addendum to the original message presented the following information:
The American Legion National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
The Disabled American Veterans National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
The Military Order of Purple Hearts National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
The Vietnam Veterans Association National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
These organizations with no salaries have donations going to help Veterans and their families and youth.
According to the most recent available Form 990 filings, all of these statements are false and/or misleading (in large part because the National Commanders are not necessarily the top business executives of these organizations):
  • The two men who served as National Commander of the American Legion during the 2009 tax year (David Rehbein and Clarence Hill) received total aggregate compensation of $103,701. The American Legion's National Adjutant (Daniel Wheeler), who is described as "the administrative head of the organization," received $201,661 in total compensation.
  • The two men who served as the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Commander-in-Chief during the 2009 tax year (Glen M. Gardner, Jr. and Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr.) received an aggregate total compensation of $329,868.
  • In the 2009 tax year, the National Adjutant of Disabled American Veterans (Arthur H. Wilson), who is described as "serving as the DAV's chief executive officer," received a total compensation of $328,252.
  • The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is a separate entity from the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation (MOPHSF), although the former is largely dependent upon the latter to raise funds for its programs. For tax year 2009, the Executive Director of the MOPHSF (Gregory A. Bresser), who left that post in August 2009, received $142,986 in total compensation.
  • In tax year 2009, the President of Vietnam Veterans of America (the closest match to the "Vietnam Veterans Association" mentioned in the e-mail), John Rowan, received a total compensation of $69,874. (The highest paid executive was CFO/staff director Joseph Sternburg, who was paid $137,902.)
Unfortunately, the five veterans-related charitable organizations mentioned above don't receive very high marks for efficiency (as determined by Charity Navigator, the BBB, or Form 990 information):
  • American Legion: 55%
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars: 84%
  • Disabled American Veterans: 77%
  • Military Order of Purple Heart Service Foundation: 35%
  • Vietnam Veterans of America: 25%
Additional information:
America's Most Efficient Charities America's Most Efficient Charities
(Forbes)
Last updated:   3 July 2014

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