Average ATL non-profit CEO: $173,691
Average CEO pay at American non-profit groups is $158,075, up 6 percent over last year, according to a study released today by Charity Navigator.
The New Jersey-based watchdog group analyzed variations in CEO compensation based on:
— Geography. Among U.S. cities, Atlanta ranked 15th with average CEO pay at $173,691, or about $15,000 more than the national average. Atlanta CEOs ranked right behind those in Nashville, TN.
— Category. Groups working on education issues paid their CEOs the most (an average of $263,105 a year), while religious-based charities paid the least ($101,872).
— Size. The biggest charities (at least $13.5 million in annual spending) paid their executives the most ($286,760 a year, on average).
By and large, CEO compensation at American non-profits is appropriate, the organization said.
“Leading one of these charities requires an individual that possesses an understanding of the issues that are unique to the charity’s mission as well as business and management expertise similar to that required of for-profit CEOs,” the study’s introduction said. “While there are non-profit salaries that we would all agree are out-of-line, it is important for donors to come to terms with charity executives earning a fair wage — which is roughly $160,000, according to our research.”
The analysis, which looked at compensation practices at 5,448 mid- to large-sized charities, also offered donors five tips to evaluate whether compensation for a particular CEO is appropriate:
1) Obtain comparison data for similar charities.
2) Find out if the charity has a compensation committee.
3) Be skeptical of charities that report zero CEO compensation.
4) Consider the performance of the charity in relation to the CEO’s pay.
5) Be cautious if the charity has given the CEO a bonus.
You can read more about these tips, as well as the full report, here.