Cause IQ nonprofit insights

The Highest Paid Nonprofit CEOs in 2019

Picture of a dollar bill. Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash.

The highest-paid nonprofit leaders — CEOs, Executive Directors, etc. — all earn at least $900k per year, and into the tens of millions for the largest of hospitals and health systems. While the highest-paid nonprofit CEOs are in healthcare and financial services, things get more interesting when we look at normal charities. The highest-paid charity CEOs tend to be a mix of arts organizations, museums, and research institutes, although a wide variety of organizations pay their leadership quite well.

Executive compensation is a tricky issue. Just because a CEO or Executive Director is paid well doesn't mean they aren't more than worth it. But it's still worth trying to understand if a nonprofit exec's pay is similar to their colleagues or not. To do so, we compared total compensation as a percent of organization revenue, and total compensation as a percent of all salaries and benefits paid out by the organization. We found that most executives compensation was between 1.0% and 1.4% of total revenue and between 3.0% and 3.3% of all salaries and benefits paid (these are 25th and 75 percentiles). We found executives paid up to 8.8% of total revenue and 58.3% of all salaries and benefits paid.

Top 10 highest-paid nonprofit CEOs

  1. Peter S. Fine Fache, Banner Health

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $25,549,644
    Base:
    $1,318,397
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    0.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $6,767,434,029
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  2. Lloyd H. Dean, Dignity Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $13,417,483
    Base:
    $1,787,802
    % Revenue:
    0.1%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $11,111,962,660
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  3. Anthony R Tersigni, Ascension Health Alliance

    Title:
    And President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $13,249,761
    Base:
    $1,622,297
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    2.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $2,344,976,505
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  4. R Heldebrant, Star One Credit Union

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $12,465,866
    Base:
    $625,269
    % Revenue:
    5.2%
    % Comp:
    38.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $241,617,549
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  5. Jack N Gerard, American Petroleum Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $10,669,493
    Base:
    $1,954,232
    % Revenue:
    4.6%
    % Comp:
    14.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $234,349,360
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  6. Scott Serota, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $10,665,097
    Base:
    $1,308,079
    % Revenue:
    1.8%
    % Comp:
    4.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $606,168,219
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  7. Steven J. Corwin, NewYork Presbyterian Hospital

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $10,375,520
    Base:
    $2,016,101
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $6,320,339,436
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  8. Christopher van Gorder, Scripps Health

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $9,840,956
    Base:
    $1,318,797
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $3,193,531,252
    FYE:
    2018-09
    Location:
    Website:
  9. James Skogsbergh, Advocate Aurora Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer , Director
    Amount:
    $8,511,609
    Base:
    $1,755,408
    % Revenue:
    14.9%
    % Comp:
    19.3%
  10. Philip A. Incarnati, McLaren Health Care

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $6,929,688
    Base:
    $1,827,318
    % Revenue:
    2.2%
    % Comp:
    10.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $310,301,267
    FYE:
    2018-09
    Location:
    Website:

Top 50 highest-paid charity CEOs

  1. James Skogsbergh, Advocate Aurora Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer , Director
    Amount:
    $8,511,609
    Base:
    $1,755,408
    % Revenue:
    14.9%
    % Comp:
    19.3%
  2. Juan Sanchez, Southwest Key Programs

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $3,616,978
    Base:
    $783,593
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $408,931,970
    FYE:
    2018-08
    Location:
    Website:
  3. Thomas P Campbell, Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Title:
    Executive Director
    Amount:
    $3,017,012
    Base:
    $543,317
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $574,798,843
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  4. Prescott Stephen, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,778,127
    Base:
    $779,863
    % Revenue:
    3.0%
    % Comp:
    7.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $91,783,174
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  5. Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center

    Title:
    Managing and Artistic Director
    Amount:
    $2,272,888
    Base:
    $1,771,925
    % Revenue:
    5.7%
    % Comp:
    11.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $39,933,955
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  6. Michael W Howard, Electric Power Research Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,248,545
    Base:
    $663,018
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    1.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $421,346,820
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  7. C Darby, In-Q-Tel

    Title:
    President , Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $2,153,731
    Base:
    $741,358
    % Revenue:
    1.8%
    % Comp:
    5.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $116,697,968
    FYE:
    2018-03
    Location:
    Website:
  8. Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall / The Carnegie Hall Corporation

    Title:
    Executive and Artistic Director
    Amount:
    $2,014,821
    Base:
    $1,264,367
    % Revenue:
    1.9%
    % Comp:
    4.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $103,429,195
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  9. Gordon van Welie, ISO New England

    Title:
    President , and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,995,156
    Base:
    $737,040
    % Revenue:
    1.0%
    % Comp:
    1.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $193,047,934
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  10. Mary Leary, Mather LifeWays

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,983,924
    Base:
    $678,048
    % Revenue:
    4.3%
    % Comp:
    7.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $45,963,837
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  11. Nancy Brown, American Heart Association

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,850,348
    Base:
    $748,640
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $851,806,734
    FYE:
    2017-06
    Location:
    Website:
  12. Ivan L Hand, Money Management International

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,843,621
    Base:
    $873,038
    % Revenue:
    3.5%
    % Comp:
    5.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $52,195,181
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  13. David Coleman, The College Board

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $1,790,162
    Base:
    $835,881
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,073,678,672
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  14. Alan F. List, MD, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,787,719
    Base:
    $852,182
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $192,207,953
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  15. Ellen Futter, American Museum of Natural History

    Title:
    President and Trustee
    Amount:
    $1,755,274
    Base:
    $984,752
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $205,386,527
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  16. Edward J Grefenstette, Dietrich Foundation

    Title:
    President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information Officer
    Amount:
    $1,749,309
    Base:
    $515,000
    % Revenue:
    2.5%
    % Comp:
    51.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $69,656,378
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  17. David Myers, American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,715,061
    Base:
    $703,730
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    0.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $481,741,424
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  18. Mark R Chassin Facp Mpp, The Joint Commission

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,697,666
    Base:
    $1,383,067
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.4%
  19. Cristian Samper, Wildlife Conservation Society

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,637,145
    Base:
    $646,098
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    1.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $278,649,802
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  20. Glimcher Laurie, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Title:
    Trustee , President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,590,130
    Base:
    $1,112,387
    % Revenue:
    0.1%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,755,138,116
    FYE:
    2018-09
    Location:
    Website:
  21. William D. Hansen, Strada Education Network

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,571,495
    Base:
    $621,240
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    6.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $169,832,911
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  22. Christopher D. Hillyer, New York Blood Center

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,533,936
    Base:
    $954,436
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $352,613,347
    FYE:
    2018-03
    Location:
    Website:
  23. Amr Elsawy, Noblis

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,531,776
    Base:
    $577,223
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    0.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $322,734,504
    FYE:
    2018-09
    Location:
    Website:
  24. Eric Lander, The Broad Institute

    Title:
    President and Director , Broad Institute of Mit and Harvard / President and Director / Director , President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,522,115
    Base:
    $1,207,782
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $447,333,733
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  25. Lincoln T Smith, Altarum Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer , Secretary
    Amount:
    $1,493,205
    Base:
    $375,942
    % Revenue:
    2.9%
    % Comp:
    5.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $50,692,252
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  26. Raymond H. Cypess, American Type Culture Collection

    Title:
    Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,488,793
    Base:
    $1,174,416
    % Revenue:
    1.5%
    % Comp:
    3.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $96,169,254
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  27. Christopher T Olivia, Visiting Nurse Service of New York

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,488,739
    Base:
    $1,147,356
    % Revenue:
    4.4%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $33,680,414
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  28. Robert Schultze, International City Management Association Retirement Corporation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,481,322
    Base:
    $545,366
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $239,638,761
    FYE:
    2017-12
    Location:
    Website:
  29. Lisa Sherman, Advertising Council

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,476,989
    Base:
    $628,391
    % Revenue:
    2.9%
    % Comp:
    7.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $50,568,790
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  30. Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,455,444
    Base:
    $742,649
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    1.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $256,825,626
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  31. Preston Campbell, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,426,266
    Base:
    $647,336
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    1.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $275,790,756
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  32. David M. Chao, Ph.D., Stowers Institute for Medical Research

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,416,197
    Base:
    $1,363,488
    % Revenue:
    1.6%
    % Comp:
    4.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $86,524,558
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  33. Peter L. Miller, The Institutes

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,382,565
    Base:
    $742,331
    % Revenue:
    1.8%
    % Comp:
    5.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $75,791,847
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  34. Mark R Proctor, Boston Pediatric Neurosurgical Foundation

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,360,808
    Base:
    $728,925
    % Revenue:
    11.3%
    % Comp:
    16.3%
  35. Michael Nguyen, Atlantic Housing Foundation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,350,411
    Base:
    $349,965
    % Revenue:
    2.1%
    % Comp:
    26.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $65,025,066
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  36. Joseph Flatley, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,318,752
    Base:
    $470,000
    % Revenue:
    11.8%
    % Comp:
    19.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $11,222,647
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  37. Allen M Spiegel, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,316,495
    Base:
    $398,140
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    0.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $353,158,371
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  38. Kristiina Vuori, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,312,171
    Base:
    $717,258
    % Revenue:
    1.0%
    % Comp:
    1.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $125,326,751
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  39. Pierce Charles D, Glory of Zion International Ministries

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,301,164
    Base:
    $24,000
    % Revenue:
    8.8%
    % Comp:
    26.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $14,819,926
    FYE:
    2019-03
    Location:
    Website:
  40. Richard P. Lifton, The Rockefeller University

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,300,570
    Base:
    $922,500
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $496,427,301
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  41. J Cobrin, Affiliates Risk Management Services

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,288,777
    Base:
    $617,019
    % Revenue:
    5.6%
    % Comp:
    20.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $22,865,031
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
  42. David C. Carroll, Gas Technology Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,261,303
    Base:
    $500,197
    % Revenue:
    1.2%
    % Comp:
    3.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $104,775,685
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  43. Rebecca W. Rimel, The Pew Charitable Trusts

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,235,922
    Base:
    $916,785
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $337,873,774
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  44. William Jeffrey, SRI International

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,233,002
    Base:
    $612,523
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $408,964,833
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  45. Lewis von Thaer, Battelle Memorial Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer From 10 and 17
    Amount:
    $1,229,932
    Base:
    $386,689
    % Revenue:
    0.0%
    % Comp:
    0.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $5,087,879,187
    FYE:
    2018-09
    Location:
    Website:
  46. Marvena Twigg, National Youth Advocate Program

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer - Nyap
    Amount:
    $1,229,721
    Base:
    $388,376
    % Revenue:
    1.4%
    % Comp:
    3.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $84,898,251
    FYE:
    2018-12
    Location:
    Website:
  47. E. Wayne Holden, Research Triangle Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer , Rti International
    Amount:
    $1,221,428
    Base:
    $734,526
    % Revenue:
    0.1%
    % Comp:
    0.2%

Want to explore these insights in greater detail?

A Cause IQ account enables you to discover your own trends and present them to your clients. Or use our platform to enrich your existing data, benchmark your clients against their peers, analyze executive compensation, generate prospecting lists, or research individual organizations in-depth.
Get a demo of Cause IQ
Over 200 customers use Cause IQ to grow, maintain, and serve their nonprofit clients.