Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MDA CEO receives pay raise despite layoffs of 7% of employees

From KPHO-TV in Arizona:

PHOENIX -- The leaders of the nation’s top charities and foundations received average pay raises of 7 percent last year, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study released Monday.

The study tallied increases for the national biggest nonprofit organizations, which include four Arizona organizations.

According to The Chronicle’s study, chief executive officers for the the Muscular Dystrophy Association, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Valley of the Sun United Way all received raises in 2008.

Sept. 28, representatives from each organization told CBS 5 News their CEOs have no plans to take pay cuts, despite drops in donations.

The most highly paid CEO, according to the study, is Muscular Dystrophy Association President Gerald Weinberg.

The longtime Tucson executive made $402,732 in 2008, despite laying off 12 percent of his staff to make up for a 10 percent drop in donations.

A representative from the charity said Weinberg will participate in an association-wide weeklong furlough during the week of Thanksgiving.

Make-A-Wish Foundation President David Williams also made more money in 2008, receiving a 9.1 percent raise that included a $75,000 bonus.

His pay totaled $354,487 in 2008.

Make-A-Wish Foundation Media Relations Manager Brent Goodrich said Williams' salary is low, considering he runs a $202 million charity.

"He's doing a great job for us. He's making sure that even more kids get their wishes, and that's the bottom line for us,” Goodrich said.

At the Valley of the Sun United Way, President Merl Waschler’s salary was $209,943, plus another $104,342 in benefits in 2008.

The authors of the Chronicle of Philanthropy study said, when the organization’s approximately $58-million income is factored in, Waschler's salary is higher than most nonprofit CEOs.

A United Way spokesperson said Waschler has since frozen his salary.

Representatives from each organizations also said their CEOs' pay for 2008 was determined in 2007, before Wall Street collapsed.

St. Mary’s Food Bank CEO Terry Shannon’s salary is $123,230. He received a small raise in 2008, but he is pulling in about one-third of the average salary for a CEO at a large nonprofit organization.

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the average salary for nonprofit CEOs at the nation’s 253 largest organizations in 2008 was $361,538.

In 2007, it was $330,395.