Nonprofit Newswire | September 30, 2009

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The Next Youth-Magnet Cities
Sept 30, 2009; Wall Street Journal | “Much of Wall Street is now moving to K Street,” according to Barbara Lang, president of the DC Chamber of Commerce, who was asked by the Wall Street Journal about the trend of youth flocking to the DC area for nonprofit jobs.  The always strictly economically-minded Wall Street Journal attributes the influx to regulation of financial markets, coupled with the rapid growth of government jobs, but also cites the trendiness of the Obama presidency, and the culture of a globalized city as appealing to young professionals, who are the most mobile segment of the population.  The list is looking down the road, at “post-recession meccas”, and is quick to point out that their study is not scientific.  However, its scope leaves out many considerations that are in fact quantifiable:  What segment of the youth population is represented by “highly mobile”?  Where are they coming from, and what necessitates the move?  What will happen to housing markets in the DC area?  How about the job markets – which jobs are youth taking, and at what nonprofits?  It seems likely that the migration will raise many such questions that it is important that the sector address, so as to avoid their potentially negative impacts.  —James David Morgan

Study: CEO Salaries At Nonprofits Up In 2008, NPR (Setpember 28, 2009)
Sept 28, 2009; NPR | Maybe it was appropriate that this story came out on Yom Kippur.  Most nonprofit CEOs are paid bubkas in this economy, but for the big nonprofits—hospitals, museums, etc.—they aren’t suffering that much.  The median pay increase for the big nonprofit CEOs studied by the Chronicle was 7 percent.  That’s how much of the nation covered the story, including today’s report on CNN’s morning news show as well, with the implied comparison of million dollar salaries increasing while charitable donations aren’t.  The increases were justified by these big nonprofits, in light of charitable cutbacks and staff cutbacks, as the CEOs having to take on more job responsibilities during the recession.  The Chronicle, however, led with the fact that 30 percent of the big nonprofit CEOs took pay cuts.  Let’s face it.  In the nonprofit sector, sometimes difference of size is difference of kind.  The CNN reporter on TV today dripped sarcasm as she highlighted million dollar CEO salaries and seemed unpersuaded that these men and women had taken on so many additional roles that they needed to keep pushing further north of one million.  On the other hand, a CNN anchor did suggest that these salaries paled against the Wall Street bonuses that look like the current administration is willing to approve to prop up or indulge, take your pick, the nation’s banking sector.  For most of the nonprofit sector, CEOs make tiny percentages of these big salaries, and it’s those small nonprofit CEOs, not the heads of big museums and foundations, who are taking on multiple job titles to keep their organizations afloat.  On CNN, however, the reporter did take pains to point out the average salaries reported by the CEOs of one slice of big nonprofits—something like $830,000 paid on average to the CEOs of big nonprofit hospitals.  —Rick Cohen


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