Friday, September 4, 2009

USA Today Review of CEO Salaries for US Foreign Aid NGOs

USA Today reported on August 31 that, according to 2007 organizational tax returns (Form 990), four chief executives, whose government-funded non-profit corporations are paid to deliver U.S. foreign assistance, earned more than half a million dollars in 2007. Each of the organizations is exempt under IRC section 501(c)(3). Both Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Patrick Leahy are quoted saying that the pay is excessive:

"It seems to me that these are salaries that are outrageous, particularly if they're government contractors," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over non-profit compensation.

"It conflicts with most people's notion of what a non-profit organization is about when they're paying themselves salaries that are several times higher than what a U.S. Cabinet secretary would earn," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who chairs the subcommittee that funds foreign aid.

Are government salaries the benchmark for determining what nonprofit executives should earn?

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