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. 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:
  2. Steven J. Corwin, NewYork Presbyterian Hospital

    Title:
    President and Chief Cutive Fficer / President and Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $12,414,295
    Base:
    $2,169,286
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $6,714,154,880
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  3. Barry S Arbuckle, MemorialCare Health System

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $11,671,114
    Base:
    $1,369,502
    % Revenue:
    5.0%
    % Comp:
    11.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $235,738,358
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  4. Peter S. Fine Fache, Banner Health

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $11,256,938
    Base:
    $1,489,493
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $7,138,466,898
    FYE:
    2019-12
    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. Susan Edwards, ProHealth Care

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $8,791,445
    Base:
    $968,387
    % Revenue:
    6.0%
    % Comp:
    9.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $145,552,917
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  7. David C Pate, St Luke's Health System

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $8,564,141
    Base:
    $1,186,628
    % Revenue:
    1.5%
    % Comp:
    2.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $575,649,444
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  8. James Skogsbergh, Advocate Aurora Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer , Director
    Amount:
    $8,511,609
    Base:
    $1,755,408
    % Revenue:
    14.9%
    % Comp:
    19.3%
  9. Ernie Sadau, CHRISTUS Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $8,344,473
    Base:
    $4,351,450
    % Revenue:
    1.1%
    % Comp:
    2.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $736,526,976
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  10. Howard P Kern, Sentara Healthcare

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer and Ex - Efficio Director
    Amount:
    $8,053,745
    Base:
    $1,721,005
    % Revenue:
    3.3%
    % Comp:
    8.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $244,219,286
    FYE:
    2019-12
    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. Tiffany Carr, Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $4,615,910
    Base:
    $416,816
    % Revenue:
    8.3%
    % Comp:
    77.9%
  3. Lewis von Thaer, Battelle Memorial Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $3,775,540
    Base:
    $1,058,348
    % Revenue:
    0.0%
    % Comp:
    0.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $8,259,952,869
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  4. Nancy Brown, American Heart Association

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $3,474,435
    Base:
    $813,595
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    0.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $746,432,389
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  5. Robert Schultze, International City Management Association Retirement Corporation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer and Dir Until 11 and 4 and 19 / President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $3,125,351
    Base:
    $616,250
    % Revenue:
    1.3%
    % Comp:
    2.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $243,525,421
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  6. Thomas P Campbell, Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Title:
    Executive Director
    Amount:
    $3,017,012
    Base:
    $543,317
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $515,073,571
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  7. Michael W Howard, Electric Power Research Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,528,882
    Base:
    $690,090
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    1.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $421,043,576
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  8. Lisa Sherman, Ad Council Edge

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,348,637
    Base:
    $643,319
    % Revenue:
    4.6%
    % Comp:
    11.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $51,168,618
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  9. Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall / The Carnegie Hall Corporation

    Title:
    Executive and Artistic Director
    Amount:
    $2,340,288
    Base:
    $1,302,168
    % Revenue:
    2.7%
    % Comp:
    4.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $87,183,213
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  10. Gordon van Welie, ISO New England

    Title:
    President , and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,306,029
    Base:
    $760,091
    % Revenue:
    1.2%
    % Comp:
    2.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $194,266,780
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  11. Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center

    Title:
    Managing and Artistic Director
    Amount:
    $2,272,888
    Base:
    $1,771,925
    % Revenue:
    4.8%
    % Comp:
    10.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $47,764,314
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  12. Mary G Leary, Mather LifeWays

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,226,163
    Base:
    $699,380
    % Revenue:
    4.2%
    % Comp:
    7.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $52,953,061
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  13. David Zolet, Logistics Management Institute

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer and President
    Amount:
    $2,165,759
    Base:
    $654,157
    % Revenue:
    0.7%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
  14. C Darby, In-Q-Tel

    Title:
    President , Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $2,161,427
    Base:
    $741,523
    % Revenue:
    1.8%
    % Comp:
    4.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $118,015,724
    FYE:
    2019-03
    Location:
    Website:
  15. Brian Fitzgerald, Easterseals New Jersey

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,049,850
    Base:
    $153,081
    % Revenue:
    2.6%
    % Comp:
    3.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $78,115,524
    FYE:
    2019-08
    Location:
    Website:
  16. Eric Lander, The Broad Institute

    Title:
    President and Director / Director , President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,030,573
    Base:
    $1,302,458
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $536,846,609
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  17. Ellen Futter, American Museum of Natural History

    Title:
    President and Trustee
    Amount:
    $1,808,928
    Base:
    $1,033,941
    % Revenue:
    0.8%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $219,056,859
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  18. William Jeffrey, SRI International

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,803,862
    Base:
    $660,046
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    0.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $390,019,935
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  19. Lincoln Smith, Altarum Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,757,770
    Base:
    $409,122
    % Revenue:
    3.5%
    % Comp:
    5.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $50,041,977
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  20. 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:
  21. Glimcher Laurie, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Title:
    Trustee , President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,731,293
    Base:
    $1,140,233
    % Revenue:
    0.1%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,985,509,644
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  22. 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:
  23. Marki Flannery, Visiting Nurse Service of New York

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,710,106
    Base:
    $1,189,681
    % Revenue:
    4.0%
    % Comp:
    1.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $42,264,408
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  24. 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%
  25. David Coleman, College Board

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $1,677,781
    Base:
    $859,347
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,107,897,207
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  26. Alan F. List, MD, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,676,731
    Base:
    $928,924
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $188,453,291
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  27. Dan Nisley, Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,666,286
    Base:
    $106,435
    % Revenue:
    13.2%
    % Comp:
    22.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $12,630,235
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  28. 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:
  29. F. David Winter, Baylor Scott & White HealthTexas Provider Network

    Title:
    Chairman and President / Director and Chair and President
    Amount:
    $1,539,270
    Base:
    $912,283
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $880,621,046
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  30. Christopher D. Hillyer, New York Blood Center

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,533,936
    Base:
    $954,436
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $391,197,146
    FYE:
    2018-03
    Location:
    Website:
  31. 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:
  32. E. Wayne Holden, Research Triangle Institute

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer , Rti International
    Amount:
    $1,476,905
    Base:
    $872,597
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    0.3%
  33. Susan Medak See Sch J, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

    Title:
    Managing Director
    Amount:
    $1,467,554
    Base:
    $135,941
    % Revenue:
    7.0%
    % Comp:
    12.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $20,848,523
    FYE:
    2019-08
    Location:
    Website:
  34. Preston Campbell, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,456,768
    Base:
    $699,283
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
  35. Deborah Borda, New York Philharmonic

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,455,594
    Base:
    $981,771
    % Revenue:
    1.7%
    % Comp:
    3.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $86,369,882
    FYE:
    2019-08
    Location:
    Website:
  36. Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,455,444
    Base:
    $742,649
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
  37. Robert E. Fernandez, New York Independent System Operator / Cheryl Hussey

    Title:
    Evp , General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer / Interim Chief Executive Officer Through June 2019 , Executive Vice President , General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer / Interim President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,453,325
    Base:
    $373,000
    % Revenue:
    0.8%
    % Comp:
    1.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $182,270,329
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  38. David M. Chao, Ph.D., Stowers Institute for Medical Research

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,413,617
    Base:
    $1,360,250
    % Revenue:
    1.9%
    % Comp:
    3.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $73,449,478
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  39. Peter 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:
  40. Mark R Proctor, Boston Pediatric Neurosurgical Foundation

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,359,463
    Base:
    $738,788
    % Revenue:
    11.0%
    % Comp:
    11.2%
  41. Douglas G. Myers, San Diego Zoo Global

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,356,168
    Base:
    $601,781
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $422,092,199
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  42. Kristiina Vuori, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,356,029
    Base:
    $758,611
    % Revenue:
    1.1%
    % Comp:
    2.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $122,956,459
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:
  43. Thomas M. Sack, MRIGlobal

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,354,417
    Base:
    $492,623
    % Revenue:
    1.2%
    % Comp:
    2.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $108,959,622
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  44. S J Isakowitz, Aerospace Corporation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,351,563
    Base:
    $525,962
    % Revenue:
    0.1%
    % Comp:
    0.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,111,594,000
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  45. 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:
  46. Jason Providakes, Mitre

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,338,671
    Base:
    $696,469
    % Revenue:
    0.1%
    % Comp:
    0.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,842,446,821
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  47. Roy B Gilleland, Partners Cooperative

    Title:
    President
    Amount:
    $1,328,587
    Base:
    $498,712
    % Revenue:
    3.1%
    % Comp:
    46.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $43,490,668
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  48. Cristian Samper, Wildlife Conservation Society

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,305,650
    Base:
    $653,592
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    0.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $263,863,758
    FYE:
    2019-06
    Location:
    Website:

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