Monday 21 December 2009

How much can the CEO of a charity expect to get paid?

The Fred Hollows foundation was in the poo today for blowing a few million on dodgy investments.

I can't find out how much the senior managers are paid, as they don't tell you how many "key personnel" there actually are in the annual report.

In 2008, key personnel raked in $343,000. Now that could be one person - the CEO, or two people (CEO and CFO) or 3.

From what I have seen of charities so far, it would not surprise me if the CEO was making $343,000, but it is more likely that is split between two positions.

At least the Directors don't get a cent. Fred wrote that into the constitution.

World Vision pays its CEO, Tim Costello, $250,000 per year (the details are on page 36). The Deputy CEO gets $246,000.

I don't mind that so much as World Vision is a big organisation (revenue of nearly $350 million per year) and it operates in a lot of countries. Compare the $250k that Tim gets for running a $350 million outfit with the $180k or more that the CEO of ActionAid gets for running an $8 million "charity".

However, that is not far short of what Tim's brother got paid to run the finances for the entire country.

The Red Cross, run by Robert Tickner, pays one of their board members between $450,000 and $490,000 (page 46). No guesses for who got paid that much. An incredible 16 managers got paid between $180k and $369k. What a bunch of blood-sucking leeches they are.

(Hint: if you are doing a search, look for the word 'remuneration' in the annual report.

Save the Children - the sneaky sods have put their annual report up as a PDF that can't be searched. All I can find is that they paid $1.16 million to their "key personnel" this year, without listing who those key personnel are or how many there are.

Vinnies - I searched a number of annual reports, and could find nothing in any of them pointing to how much they pay their key personnel. Knowing how Vinnies works, I doubt they pay them much at all. Vinnies, or the St Vincent de Paul Society, are the only mob here that I would properly classify as a "charity".


Steve D said...

The other factor in vetting charities before passing on a contribution is that of whether your 'donation' gets to it's destination or just lines the collector's pocket. I once bought a pen from a guy at the front door thinking "that's a lot for a cheap pen but if it's for a charity..." then finding that more than 50% of my 'donation' was kept by the collector.

How much of your donation goes to 'political' activities is also an issue. Did WV really need to be in Copenhagen?

spot_the_dog said...

For charities in the USA, the Better Business Bureau collates and publicizes all financial info on charities, and it's pretty easy to search (i.e. here's the entry for the US "Save The Children Foundation," or you can enter a keyword [i.e. 'Cancer' or 'AIDS'] so you can browse them and find the one you're happiest donating to). You can also send complaints about any businesses (including charities) to them.

I've looked, but can't find anything so straightforward as this for Australian charities, which is a shame. I simply don't give to "big" charities in Oz anymore - I concentrate on smaller local organizations where I can see firsthand what's what. I don't see paying for pampered elitist do-gooders' first-class travel to "conferences" in exotic overseas, or paying for political lobbyists, as an effective use of my charitable donations.


Thor said...

I can't believe I'm reading this... an eye opener!

Nathan Rider said...

It feels awe-inspiring to read such informative and distinctive articles on your websites.CEO Mark Hurd

Anonymous said...

I find the salary earned by the head of World Vision, Tim Costello, somewhat obscene. I understand it's a big organisation, and somewhat complex to run. But most charities are run very poorly - they're hardly bastions of efficiency given the skillsets of people attracted to them, and anyone who's come from outside the 'industry' tends to comment on the pettiness, nastiness, and incompetence of the managers who work there - they've got hard jobs, but they're simply not worth the corresponding salaries because of their own lack of competence. What's riling about someone like Tim Costello's salary is that a) he could comfortably live off a third of that salary and provide the money to the cause and b) place like World Vision insist on paying other staff considerably less thatn the private sector. Their use of 3rd party for-profit fundraisers is also objectionable, with organisations like Cornucopia taking exorbitant cuts of any donations you make.

Anonymous said...

I really don't care how much the other charities pay their CEO's I would like to know how much of the $25 if I donate does the Fred Hollows Foundation get and how much is used for running costs?