Cause IQ nonprofit insights

The Highest Paid Nonprofit CEOs

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. Ernie Sadau, CHRISTUS Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $13,463,390
    Base:
    $4,838,032
    % Revenue:
    1.3%
    % Comp:
    2.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $1,012,200,002
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  2. 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:
  3. 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:
  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. Anthony R Tersigni, Ascension Health

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $10,631,627
    Base:
    $1,400,605
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.2%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $2,389,900,816
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  7. James D. Dahling, Children's Health System

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $8,917,055
    Base:
    $1,015,004
    % Revenue:
    29.4%
    % Comp:
    66.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $30,331,259
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  8. 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:
  9. 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:
  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 , President , Director
    Amount:
    $5,964,082
    Base:
    $1,871,319
    % Revenue:
    6.9%
    % Comp:
    8.2%
  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. 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:
  5. Thomas P Campbell, Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Title:
    Executive Director
    Amount:
    $3,017,012
    Base:
    $543,317
    % Revenue:
    0.7%
    % Comp:
    1.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $414,668,610
    FYE:
    2018-06
    Location:
    Website:
  6. 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:
  7. Nancy Brown, American Heart Association

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer / Board Member
    Amount:
    $2,517,493
    Base:
    $851,015
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    0.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $700,362,587
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  8. David Myers-See Sch J Notes, American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences

    Title:
    Board Member , President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,430,374
    Base:
    $715,384
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    1.1%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $829,569,118
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  9. Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center

    Title:
    Managing and Artistic Director
    Amount:
    $2,361,171
    Base:
    $1,791,925
    % Revenue:
    8.7%
    % Comp:
    11.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $27,240,751
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  10. 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:
  11. Edward J Grefenstette, The Dietrich Foundation

    Title:
    President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information Officer
    Amount:
    $2,315,041
    Base:
    $540,000
    % Revenue:
    3.0%
    % Comp:
    60.3%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $76,422,895
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  12. 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:
  13. Alan F. List, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,298,047
    Base:
    $962,345
    % Revenue:
    1.1%
    % Comp:
    1.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $203,209,481
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  14. 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:
  15. C Darby, In-Q-Tel

    Title:
    President , Chief Executive Officer and Trustee
    Amount:
    $2,222,343
    Base:
    $769,620
    % Revenue:
    1.7%
    % Comp:
    4.4%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $133,417,523
    FYE:
    2020-03
    Location:
    Website:
  16. Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall / The Carnegie Hall Corporation

    Title:
    Executive and Artistic Director
    Amount:
    $2,167,405
    Base:
    $1,337,640
    % Revenue:
    3.2%
    % Comp:
    4.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $67,672,916
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  17. David Zolet, Logistics Management Institute

    Title:
    Chief Executive Officer and President
    Amount:
    $2,165,759
    Base:
    $654,157
    % Revenue:
    0.7%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
  18. Peter Miller, The Institutes

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $2,070,074
    Base:
    $788,123
    % Revenue:
    2.7%
    % Comp:
    7.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $77,706,816
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  19. Eric Lander, The Broad Institute

    Title:
    President and Director / Director , President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,978,783
    Base:
    $1,348,223
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.9%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $586,860,976
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  20. Ellen Futter, American Museum of Natural History

    Title:
    President and Trustee
    Amount:
    $1,881,009
    Base:
    $1,089,410
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $198,055,556
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  21. Christopher D. Hillyer, New York Blood Center

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,822,254
    Base:
    $1,042,440
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $483,523,813
    FYE:
    2020-03
    Location:
    Website:
  22. 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:
  23. 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:
  24. Raymond H. Cypess, American Type Culture Collection

    Title:
    Chairman , Chief Executive Officer / Chief Executive Officer , Chairman
    Amount:
    $1,755,865
    Base:
    $1,308,155
    % Revenue:
    1.6%
    % Comp:
    3.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $110,718,935
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  25. 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:
  26. 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:
  27. Mark R Chassin Facp, The Joint Commission

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,701,007
    Base:
    $1,386,777
    % Revenue:
    0.9%
    % Comp:
    1.4%
  28. 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:
  29. 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:
  30. Brian A. Gallagher, United Way Worldwide

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,578,515
    Base:
    $548,784
    % Revenue:
    0.6%
    % Comp:
    4.6%
  31. Richard J. Cohen, Public Health Managment Corporation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,549,534
    Base:
    $766,070
    % Revenue:
    0.7%
    % Comp:
    1.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $215,703,859
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  32. Edison T. Liu, Jackson Laboratory

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,530,354
    Base:
    $811,274
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $460,123,417
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:
    Website:
  33. Douglas Gorence, University of Minnesota Foundation Investment Advisors

    Title:
    President and Chief Investment Officer
    Amount:
    $1,484,488
    Base:
    $609,741
    % Revenue:
    36.4%
    % Comp:
    44.6%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $4,075,450
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  34. 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%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $967,451,493
    FYE:
    2019-09
    Location:
    Website:
  35. Preston Campbell, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,456,768
    Base:
    $699,283
    % Revenue:
    0.2%
    % Comp:
    1.5%
  36. 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:
  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. Uri D Herscher, Skirball Cultural Center

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,412,852
    Base:
    $1,411,352
    % Revenue:
    5.3%
    % Comp:
    8.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $26,438,040
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  39. Cristian Samper, Wildlife Conservation Society

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,367,655
    Base:
    $653,087
    % Revenue:
    0.5%
    % Comp:
    0.8%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $255,583,692
    FYE:
    2020-06
    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. Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,352,901
    Base:
    $791,995
    % Revenue:
    0.3%
    % Comp:
    0.7%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $403,087,006
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  45. 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:
  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. Rebecca W Rimel, The Pew Charitable Trusts

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,295,806
    Base:
    $985,380
    % Revenue:
    0.4%
    % Comp:
    1.0%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $346,765,756
    FYE:
    2020-06
    Location:
    Website:
  48. J Cobrin, Affiliates Risk Management Services

    Title:
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Amount:
    $1,294,687
    Base:
    $637,902
    % Revenue:
    5.6%
    % Comp:
    19.5%
    NTEE:
    Revenue:
    $23,268,805
    FYE:
    2019-12
    Location:

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.
Create a free account
Over 200 customers use Cause IQ to grow, maintain, and serve their nonprofit clients.