THE LAVISH salary and perks given William Aramony when he was president of the United Way of America has turned the spotlight on the compensation of other chief executives of major charities. None came even close, according to a survey by Money magazine, although one reached hailing distance.
And none was paid an unconscionable salary when compared with the chief executives of private businesses of similar size. On average, the charity executives earned half what their private-sector counterparts did. But should executives whose salaries derive from donations aspire to the same compensation as the heads of profit-making companies? There's no clear answer.
Money suggests that donors who care about the salary scales of their favorite charities ask for the information. One way of looking at the reasonableness of the salary, Money says, is to calculate it as a percentage of the charity's income. Or compare it with the average salary for charities of the same size. They range from $83,000 for charities collecting less than $1 million a year to $185,000 for those raising $20 million or more.