Nonprofit Newswire | December 21, 2009

Print Share on LinkedIn More
Subscribe via E-Mail Subscribe via E-Mail Subscribe via RSS Subscribe via RSS Submit a News Item Submit a News Item


The Nonprofit QuarterlyA Little Reason Amid the Nonprofit Executive Pay Hysteria
Dec 20, 2009; The Charlotte Observer | Each week, there’s another newspaper story like this—shockingly high pay for charity CEOs based on the executive pay data from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. But most of us in nonprofits know that such high payment is the exception not the rule. And GuideStar data shows that most nonprofits pay their leaders less than $100,000 a year. NPQ’s Rick Cohen told the Observer that “most nonprofit CEOs are terribly paid.” According to this article, in North Carolina, “More than 200 charities across the nation pay CEOs over $1 million a year. And more than 80 nonprofit leaders in the Carolinas have collected compensation exceeding $500,000.” Georgetown’s Pablo Eisenberg pointed to the lack of IRS regulations on pay for nonprofit executives as a problem. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa is working on a proposal to prevent large nonprofit executive salaries. While the number of nonprofits increased between 2002 and 2008, the number of people designated to work in the nonprofit arm of the IRS decreased. So any amount of nonprofit oversight will need to come with more funding from government. Currently there is one IRS worker for every 4,000 nonprofits. Mark Owens, a former IRS official said, “The sector is hugely important in the lives of our citizenry. The government and the public deserve someone paying attention to how well the system is working.”—Kristin Barrali

The Nonprofit QuarterlyLegal Aid Lawsuit Delivers Quick Results in Texas but It’s Not Over
Dec 18; Austin American-Statesman | In this economic environment we imagine that we will be seeing more stories like this one where a lawsuit was filed against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission by Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid on behalf of seven families. The families had all waited months for their food stamps applications to be processed though they all qualified and Texas requires that all applications be processed within 30 days. One day after the lawsuit was filed all of the families had their applications approved but Robert Doggett, a lawyer on the suit says this does not satisfy the problem because the lawsuit was also aimed at forcing the state to meet its own deadlines for all applications. Doggett said he plans to add more families to the suit and move forward because in November of this year less than 60% of applications were approved on time. This case is representative of the important role legal aid plays in keeping government systems working as they should.—Ruth McCambridge

The Nonprofit QuarterlyJustin Timberlake Tops List of Charitable Stars
Dec 18, 2009;
| More than just a pop star, Justin Timberlake is this year’s top celebrity fundraiser for charities. The $9 million he raised for the Shriners Hospital for Children topped Madonna’s $5.5 million for Raising Malawi, Pamela Anderson’s $4.8 million for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Oprah Winfrey’s $4 million for her eponymous Angel Network, Bono’s $3.6 million for the ONE Foundation, Angelina Jolie’s $3 million for the United Nation’s refugee agency, Rihanna’s $2.3 million for UNICEF, George Clooney’s $2.2 million for the United Nations itself, Salma Hayek’s $1.6 million for UNICEF, and Shakira’s $1.3 million also for UNICEF. One suspects that in some cases, these numbers may be spread to more than the charities listed in these articles, that is, the listed charities might be the celebs’ primary charitable targets, but not their only ones, particularly if they give through their personal foundations as many do. But the key is that there are celebrities like Timberlake raising money for legitimate charities, and that should be applauded.—Rick Cohen

The Nonprofit QuarterlyReport on Colorado Nonprofits Reveals Struggles
Dec 18, 2009; Denver Post
| The Denver Post reports on a survey of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, citing findings that 56 percent of the state’s nonprofits encountered moments this year when their expenses exceeded revenues—and that just about half of the surveyed groups anticipate falling short of their 2009 revenue goals. From a Nonprofit Quarterly perspective, some of the key findings in the report [PDF] include these: nearly a third of the 450 survey respondents cut back or eliminated programs and services during the past 12 months, 16 percent laid off staff, more than one-fifth cut staff pay or staff hours, almost one-fourth acknowledged tapping reserves and another 16 percent were considering this strategy. It’s hard to make generalizations about “nonprofits” since they are so diverse in size and function, but two particular items in the findings caught our attention: “Larger organizations laid off staff at much higher rates than smaller organizations” and “Smaller organizations turned away clients at higher rates than larger organizations.” The sector needs to generate this sort of granular understanding of the Great Recession’s impact on nonprofits, so that we understand differential impacts by size and by subsector (such as Colorado’s arts sector reporting chronic financial problems and Colorado’s health nonprofits more likely to report cutbacks on programs, staff hours, and staff pay.—Rick Cohen


[[script language=”javascript” type=”text/javascript”