Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CEO's of non-profits

A big part of me figuring out how to DO SOMETHING against social injustice, is looking at different organizations that are really making making headway and making a difference.  

There are so many and I have high-lighted a few on this blog.  However lately I have felt led to look a little deeper at these organizations, and find out where the donations are going; specifically what salaries the CEO's are taking.  

I was shocked.

And appalled.

At some of the numbers I found.

So I've been thinking about what constitutes a reasonable salary, and what is considered excessive.  People's opinions will surely vary on this, and I haven't figured it out.  But here is my processing.....

When it comes to for-profit companies I don't care much how they distribute their earnings.   I would like to think that a profitable company shares the reward with all the employees providing a reasonable living wage to lowest on the totem pole. But to be honest, I don't lose sleep over this.  

However, when I think about non-profits whose monies come directly in the form of donations, from hard-working people, I have a desire to know where that money is going.  And even more directly, I want to make sure that the people on the top are not getting wealthy from money that we are giving for a cause we believe in.  

Do I think that those who work for non-profits should have to live in poverty?  No.  But do I think they should give up the goal of an affluent lifestyle?  Yes.  I really do.  I think that's a choice that should be made.  They have the freedom to pursue money through working for many for-profit companies.  So when they make a choice to work for a non-profit, I think they should also be choosing to make a modest living.  Especially when the non-profit is faith-based.

Why?  Because the bible teaches us to give sacrificially.   As we forgo wants and even needs to support an organization, should that blood money then go to funding a CEO's elaborate lifestyle?   Shouldn't there be sacrifice in choosing to do this kind of work?  

I have so many more thoughts on this.  I'm still processing.  And researching.  A great resource I found is  where you can find the financial info on almost all non-profits.  Go to the form 990, scroll down a bit and you can see what the CEO's and key employees are making.