Sunday, March 14, 2010

Money for nothin.....

It's baaaccccckkkk, the regular hoopla over nonprofit CEO's being paid too much.

I get pretty sick of this, both when the criticism is justified and when it's not. When it is justified, I get angry at the CEO (and, of course the board of directors who are accessories before the fact) for bringing disgrace on the hundreds of thousands of hard working and very underpaid nonprofit management staff.

When the critiques are off base, I get angrier, because the media should do its work and know better.

The interesting and infuriating thing about this is how often the spotlight goes on smaller local nonprofits and so rarely on foundations and large nonprofits such as hospital groups or universities. I know the salaries are in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, but it seems the same prejudice about salaries that exists about endowments. For big nonprofits--no problem. For small ones, horrors!

But, back to the news---the CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of America apparently scored over $1million in total compensation in 2008, over twice the average for CEO compensation at nonprofits of similar size. If true, that's worth some investigation and calling out, particularly since the Boys and Girls Clubs get 40% of their income from federal funds.

When people forget it's about the mission and not the staff, about the mission and not the board....bad things happen.

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