Archive for Saturday, January 14, 2012

Executive pay varies widely at Lawrence nonprofits

The highest-paid nonprofit leaders in Lawrence are, left to right, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger, Gene Meyer, CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. The median salary for a nonprofit leader in Lawrence is $57,000.

The highest-paid nonprofit leaders in Lawrence are, left to right, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger, Gene Meyer, CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. The median salary for a nonprofit leader in Lawrence is $57,000.

January 14, 2012


Nonprofit directors who make more than $100,000:

• Sheahon Zenger, KU Athletics: $450,000

• Gene Meyer, Lawrence Memorial Hospital: $443,598

• Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment: $403,965

• Kevin Corbett, KU Alumni: $323,452

• Steve Warren, KU Center for Research: $305,467

• Bruce Beale, DCCCA: $300,000

• Rhett Evans, the Environmental Institute of Golf: $237,106

• Matthew McClorey, Lawrence Regional Technology Center: $175,124

• Sharon Spratt, Cottonwood Inc.: $152,000

• Barrie Arachting, Christian Psychological Services of Lawrence and Topeka: $139,577

• David Johnson, Bert Nash: $130,000

• Kathy Claussing Willis, Lawrence Memorial Endowment: $121,853

• Cortney Buffington, Kansas Research and Education Network: $114,633

• Paul Flaa, Haskell Light: $114,571

• Susanne Shaw, Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communications: $111,364

• Judith Bellome, Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association: $107,191

• Richard Jackson, ECKAN: $100,395

• Judy Culley, The Shelter, Inc.: $100,072

The median salary for all agencies in this study was about $57,000.

Related document

Nonprofit Director Salaries ( .PDF )

About the data

How we selected nonprofits for this study:

• Obtained a list from the Internal Revene Service of all registered nonprofits in Lawrence.

• Excluded any agency that had revenues of less than $20,000 or agencies that paid a director less than $10,000.

• Included ECKAN, which is housed in Ottawa, because of its close involvement with the Lawrence community.

• Also included Lawrence Memorial Hospital, which has a slightly different tax classification than other nonprofits in this study.

How we obtained the data

• Most of the nonprofits’ IRS 990 forms, which provide a financial summary of each agency, was available for free online at

• If the information was not listed, we contacted the agency and asked their director to disclose their income.

Variations in the data

• Not all agencies had yet filed a current year 990 form, or it wasn’t online yet, so the salary is for a previous fiscal year.

• Agencies varied in how they calculated compensation. Some included benefits, such as contributions to retirement programs, while others did not. Our figures are for total compensation, including salary and benefits, if the agency listed those numbers.

Download the PDF above or see the Google form below for the complete data set.

From housing the homeless to raising money for Kansas University to providing health care for the uninsured, dozens of Lawrence nonprofit agencies work daily performing what the Internal Revenue Service considers charitable, tax-exempt work.

While such organizations fit into a similar tax classification, a Journal-World investigation found wide variation in how much the directors of local nonprofits are paid.

An examination of public tax documents for 90 local nonprofits showed the heads of such organizations are paid anywhere from under $20,000 to more than $400,000 a year.

Here’s an analysis of the salary data from the most recent available information, provided by the agency or tax documents:

• The median nonprofit director salary in Lawrence was about $57,000, far lower than the median nonprofit director salary nationwide of about $147,000, according to Charity Navigator’s 2010 Compensation Report.

• Half of the director salaries fall in a range between $42,000 and $81,000.

• 18 local nonprofit directors make more than $100,000 in total compensation, with six making more than $200,000.

• Four of the top five compensated directors — all making more than $300,000 — work for organizations affiliated with Kansas University, including KU Athletics, KU Endowment, KU Alumni and the KU Center for Research.

‘Not apples to apples’

Trying to compare nonprofit salaries and figuring out a way to gauge fair pay for such work is a complicated and subjective task, said James Abruzzo, a nonprofit compensation specialist for DHR International.

“It’s not apples to apples all the time,” said Abruzzo, who helps nonprofits set compensation levels.

For instance, those in the health care sector of the nonprofit world, such as hospital directors, are typically paid on the higher end of the scale, Abruzzo said. That’s the case in Lawrence, as Gene Meyer, Lawrence Memorial Hospital president, is second only to KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger in salary. Meyer is paid about $440,000.

Typically, the higher the budget and fundraising needs, the higher the salary, Abruzzo said.

That helps explain why some local directors, even in the same sector, make more than others, he said.

In Lawrence, one of the higher-paid directors, Bruce Beale, who makes $300,000 overseeing the substance abuse and counseling agency DCCCA, handles an annual budget of about $20 million.

That compares to local nonprofits like Douglas County Senior Services, Family Promise of Lawrence, and the Douglas County Dental Clinic, which pay their directors about $50,000 but have much smaller operating budgets.

Regardless of industry standards, it might be shocking for some donors to learn the heads of nonprofits make hundreds of thousands in the name of the charity.

Sandra Miniutti, vice president of Charity Navigator, which releases an annual national nonprofit Compensation Report, said her organization gets a lot of inquiries from donors and the public outraged by what some nonprofit directors make.

Though the IRS sets vague salary guidelines for nonprofit directors, the process for setting compensation is the key to ensuring nonprofits have legitimate compensation practices, Miniutti said.

That process should include comparisons of the salaries of other directors at similar nonprofits in similar sectors. For instance, the board of a homeless shelter would look at the salary of a shelter director with a similar budget in the same general geographic location.

Representatives from several of the nonprofits that pay directors on the higher end of the scale detailed such processes for the Journal-World.

Drue Jennings, a retired business executive and chairman of the KU Endowment Association’s board of trustees, described the rigorous process the board goes through to come up with a compensation package in excess of $400,000 for director Dale Seuferling. In addition to performance evaluations, the process is rooted in analyzing and comparing what similar agencies pay, he said.

A comparison of several other university endowment nonprofits shows Seuferling’s salary is in line with industry standards. For instance, the head of the University of Nebraska Foundation makes about $410,000, while the director of the University of Oklahoma Foundation makes just under $300,000.

Chuck Heath of Lawrence serves on the board of directors for both Lawrence Memorial Hospital and DCCCA, and detailed a similar review process.

“It’s a very thorough process,” he said. “It’s by no means without conversation.”

In the end, the salaries are necessary for the type of high-level work the directors perform and to ensure keeping quality people, Heath said.

“Both of them are outstanding at what they do,” Heath said. “The greatest disservice we could do is lose people like this,”

That’s a common sentiment across the nonprofit world, Abruzzo said, as nonprofits must compete for leadership candidates against the for-profit sector, which can typically offer much higher compensation packages.

“There’s a tendency for them to say you have to pay for quality,” said Abruzzo, and nonprofits have a smaller pool of candidates for high-level positions. “There is a sparsity of nonprofit talent.”

The other side

On the opposite end of the pay spectrum are the majority of nonprofit directors at local human and social service agencies who make under $100,000 and manage shoestring budgets. Of the 90 agencies examined by the Journal-World, 72 have directors making under $100,000, while 36 directors make $50,000 or less.

The sacrifice in pay by such nonprofit executives is a point rarely highlighted, Abruzzo said.

Dealing with dwindling resources and slashed funding sources, some nonprofit directors eschew large salary increases as they experience the day-to-day funding struggles, he said.

“They’re taking less than they are worth,” Abruzzo said.

At Headquarters Counseling Center, executive director Marcia Epstein said it’s difficult to place her salary above other agency needs, particularly in tough times.

For the past several years, Epstein’s salary has hovered around $42,000 as she works to make a decreasing amount of revenue go further.

In 2010, the agency saw its revenue, which is less than some local directors make, dip from about $225,000 in 2009, to about $209,00 in its 2010 fiscal year.

“Salaries are not the first priority,” said Epstein, conceding it’s difficult not to daydream about being able to offer her dedicated staff better pay and benefits.

Through the years in the nonprofit world, she’s aware she could skip over to the for-profit sector and make a higher salary. But she and her family are comfortable with her working for less pay.

“It’s an honor,” she said. “We’ve had wonderful things in our life in spite of my salary.”

Google form

Nonprofit salaries/compensation

Salaries/compensation of local nonprofit directors.

Google form

Nonprofit salaries/compensation Google

Database shows the salaries of nonprofit directors in Lawrence. See sidebar for more information on the data.


JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 1 month ago

Interesting article. Now let's see if LJW follows up with for profit CEOs. I'd like to know how much Dolph makes. I'd also like to know how much The CEOs at companies the city and county subsidize with tax dollars make. Got the juice for that,Shaun?

Beth Ennis 5 years, 1 month ago

if they are publicly traded companies, the information will be available. If not, then he can ask, but odds are they won't give out that information.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 1 month ago

All corporations are required to file information about the corporate officers. This information is readily available for publicly traded corporations. It is also available for private corporations to a more limited degree. My point really was why publicly disclose public sector and nonprofit sector salaries without placing it in the proper context. I find it amazing that some of the nonprofit ceos make what they do when the Governor of Kansas makes just over $100,000 and the President of the United States makes $400,000. Sometimes, salaries seem high until you make a comparison. As everyone knows who reads my posts, I'm no fan of Sam Brownback. However, he has 10,000 employees and a multibillion dollar budget. When nonprofit CEOs are making more that seems crazy to me. I'd like to know what for profit CEOs make because I suspect the scale is ever further skewed. No wonder the middle class is getting screwed.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

I would certainly have the juice for that. But As Did I Say That says, info for private companies isn't available unless they would voluntarily submit, which would be unlikely. Publicly traded companies info. is available, but I'm not even sure we have any of those in Lawrence.

Shaun LJW

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 1 month ago

If private companies don't want to disclose so called private information then why should their company receive public sector tax subsidies? Shouldn't the public know if the subsidies are "needed?"

Steve Jacob 5 years, 1 month ago

I know CEO's deserve big money (not being sarcastic), but the one that sticks out is Bruce Beale, DCCCA: $300,000. I mean the guy leading Bert Nash: only gets $130,000. Is DECCA that much harder to run the Bert Nash?

Godot 5 years, 1 month ago

You are quite right. FOR the PROFIT of the executive administrators and their consultants. You give your money to a not-for-profit and most of that money goes to fund luxurious lifestyles for the executives.

United Way should include a prospectus for each organization it represents in its fundraising efforts, one that discloses the salaries and benefits of the executive staff, and the percentage of funds allocated to administration and fundraising vs actually funding the "good work."

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

The KUAC is non-profit in name only. Sure, it has no stockholders, but there is plenty of profit made that is paid out in exorbitant salaries to coaches and administrators.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 1 month ago

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. The only difference between a for profit and a not for profit is what you do with the revenues that exceed expenses. In a for profit, they return it to the shareholders. In a not for profit, they reinvest it in the business operations. In other words, just because you run a not for profit business, that doesn't mean you don't make a profit...having said that, most charities don't make a profit and operate on a shoestring budget.

Godot 5 years, 1 month ago

There is another very important difference between for-profit and not-for-profit entities. The for-profits pay tax on their profits, the not-for-profits do not. The not-for-profits can also amass huge fortunes to invest in forvprofit entities, and keep the profits without paying taxes on them.

I would like to see an enterprising journalist uncover the total amount of monies held by not-for-profit entities nationwide in investments, retirement accounts, real estate, etc) and then extrapolate the tax that would be collected on that money if it were held by a for-profit organization.

If that is too much of a stretch, it would be helpful to see how our city, county and school budgets would be affected if the not-for-profit organizations in Douglas County were required to pay the same property tax rate that commercial property owners pay.

xclusive85 5 years, 1 month ago

I have seen at least two letters from people that work at Cottonwood recently. Could it be that they don't want changes (for-profit companies) or cuts to their funding from the state to keep salaries like the $152,000 that Sharon Spratt gets?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Cottonwood is an excellent organization.

My wife has been working with people with dd for over 25 years, and it's the best place she's ever seen that provides those services.

Despite cuts in funding, they don't lay off support staff or reduce services - management often forgoes raises and bonuses in order to do that.

The services they provide are fantastic, and the staff remarkably generous - when we visited NC and spoke with someone in a similar agency, they were blown away by some of the things Cottonwood employees do.

I don't know how to analyze those salaries, and determine what's appropriate, but Ms. Spratt's is less than 1/2 of the top five or six on the list.

As an agency that provides quality services, and employs people, provides jobs for clients, etc. they have a vested and legitimate interest in being able to continue doing so, and are understandably concerned about cuts in funding.

xclusive85 5 years, 1 month ago

Jafs, I understand the feeling that you need to defend the salary of some of the people at Cottonwood. I also worked for Cottonwood for a number of years as a residential assistant. I understand the challenges that come up. I was very good at what I was doing and maintain relationships with some of the consumers that I worked with.

That being said, the fact that they do not lay off staff is a LIE! I got a new job when I graduated college. I asked if I could stay on at Cottonwood in an as needed role. I was willing to work weekends and overnights. Those are hard to staff sometimes and I know they were offering other people the same position and had been turned down. I was turned away from doing that.

As far as Mr. Spratt's salary, I think it is too much as well as the salaries that are above hers.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

I didn't defend her salary - as I said, I don't know how to evaluate it.

Your example seems rather unclear - if you got a new job, then you weren't laid off or fired - the fact that they wouldn't keep you on "as needed" is not the same thing.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

"as I said, I don't know how to evaluate it" According to JayhawksFan1985's above post, it's 50% higher than that of the governor who oversees 10,000 employees and a budget that runs into the billions. Of course, she's doing a better job than the governor.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago


Also, of course, being a politician gives one access to lots of money-making opportunities, as we all know.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

It's also a fraction of the salaries of many CEO's at for-profit institutions, many of whom don't do a great job.

And, a fraction of the salaries of professional athletes and movie stars.

And, about 5x the starting salary for a teacher.

That's why it's hard to evaluate.

My wife says that she earns and is worth every penny of it.

brewmaster 5 years, 1 month ago

Wow!! Some of those nonprofits are a pure scam, especially KUAC.

ctutgo 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't pretend to know about such things. I only know that I work at LMH, and Gene Meyer is a great administrator. He took this hospital from a place "I wouldn't take my dog to" 20 years ago to a standard so high that I am totally comforatable taking my own family there (just ask Providence employees if they would say the same.) This hospital in now worthy of Magnet Status. I hope they go for it someday! As an employee, it is a wonderful place to work. We are a family. When other hospitals were laying people off, LMH was financially sound. We even got a bonus last year! Gene Meyer had the foresight to put a freeze on hiring a few years back (which many criticized, including me) so that LMH was able to ride out the recession. I will tell anyone who asks that I am proud to work there!

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm glad you like your job. Couldn't they hire ten nurses for what this guy makes, though? Maybe if the bosses were willing to take a less greedy salary, the hospital wouldn't have had to have a hiring freeze on employees who actually do the work in the hospital, like nurses, janitors, secretaries and food workers.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness.

cabocrazed 5 years, 1 month ago

They could probably hire 5 or 6 nurses at the going rate. Gene is a CEO. He does actual and very relevant work and is responsible for every employee, every transaction, and everything associated with LMH. He deserves the pay, every dime.

Greedy? No way. Greedy is someone like Oliverius at Stormont in Topeka who makes over $1 million a year in total compensation.

I would take a hiring freeze over layoffs anyday.

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

So if you're sick in the hospital, which would you care about? Well-paid, high-quality nurses or a well-paid high-quality paper pusher in the front office? It's so weird to me that people on this board routinely defend overpaid boss types, because high salaries are necessary to attract quality employees, but if they're referring to workers, they should be satisfied with whatever is thrown their way in terms of wages. "You get what you pay for" only applies to those who already make bank. Teachers, state workers, retail clerks, postal workers, et. al. are vilified for wanting to be adequately compensated. Half the people in this country made $26,000 or less in 2010.

cabocrazed 5 years, 1 month ago

I want both. I would want a high-quality nurse caring for me. I also want a well-paid CEO who has the vision and knowledge that their facility is and will be financially viable. I would also want the CEO to manage a facility that will be there for my family and my community's healthcare needs for generations to come. Mr. Meyer is accomplishing both. It's not Mr. Meyer's problem, nor anybody else's, that 50% of this country made $26K in 2010. Does that 50% have a Bachelor's degree - or a Master's? And don't gritch about opportunity. There is more financial opporturnity for people making a lower income to go back to school and have it financed in the form of grants. The key is want and desire.

cabocrazed 5 years, 1 month ago

The key word is Average. There is considerable differences in what an acute care (hospital) RN earns and what a nursing home or rehab facility RN earns.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you saying that Meyer couldn't do his job just as well if he were paid 1/3 of his present salary? (which would still be double what even the highest paid nurses get.) Is his job really any ten times more stressful or difficult than that of an ER nurse?

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 1 month ago

Heck, the truth is that we could all do our jobs just as well for free...but would we want to? And should we have to?

ctutgo 5 years, 1 month ago

Please do not underestimate the power of a great CEO. 20 years ago, I am sure LMH had great nurses, but I would have taken my loved ones with a serious illness out of town. Last year, LMH saved my father-in-law's life. A few months ago, my dad passed from cancer at LMH. The way he, and we, were treated was remarkable. That comes from the top down. From technology to staff, quality all the way!

Terry Sexton 5 years, 1 month ago

Gene is worth every penny & then some. A responsibility that large deserves equally large compensation. He is a bargain.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

Right. He takes the money and runs: Doesn't pay personal dime one to either Lawrence or Douglas county given he doesn't reside in either: No property taxes paid to either; no personal property taxes paid to either. Parasitic user of tax funded services who is given an incredible amount of money for "running" a Grade B "hospital".....only functional for emergencies.

Lawrence really does need to closely examine residency requirements if people want to work for the City or the County. Granted LMH ain't either, but I expect there's some city and county funding that goes to the joint.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 1 month ago

Only functional for emergencies is completely false.

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 1 month ago

I guess you haven't used LMH in the last decade or so.

And, no, we do not have to closely examine residency requirements...unless it's to get rid of them. There's no reason at all why everyone who gets even a single penny from local taxes has to live in Lawrence. That's an antiquated system. We're paying him to perform a job. Since when should it be appropriate that you have to pay part of your salary or wages back as property taxes based on where you work? (And since when is it being "parasitic" when you earn your wages?)

Plus you claim that he "doesn't pay personal dime one to either Lawrence or Douglas county". That seems absurd...unless you assume he doesn't buy one darned thing while in Lawrence, so never plays our local sales tax.

Your whole argument is absurd.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for your insight, ctutgo. From my perspective, Meyer has done a wonderful job during his tenure. Sure, there is room for improvement, but based on what I have seen firsthand at other hospitals, and what I have read about the health care industry in general, LMH stands head and shoulders above similarly situated institutions.

We should be especially thankful of Mr. Meyer's successful efforts to parry the attempts of that private multi-national health care corporation who had their greedy eyes focused on Lawrence a few years back, and in fact, made several moves, including investing a lot of money, before they were outmaneuvered and sent packing in defeat.

WilburM 5 years, 1 month ago

Best Bargain! Loring Henderson of the Shelter for $35,640. A lot of people doing great work for relatively little compensation.

Bob Forer 5 years, 1 month ago

I do have one good thing to say about Mr. Henderson: he's obviously not in it for the money.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

Let me check. There could be a number of reasons it didn't pop up on our list.


Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

They didn't show up on our list because they have a different tax status. They are run by a city board, and fall into a public not-for-profit status, I believe

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

It falls outside the bounds of our study though...

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

There's several "Wows!" on that list. Take a look at GaDuGi Safecenter:

Sara Jane Russell; $64,798 "salary"; on an operating budget of $242,490 which is 27% of overall expenses.....and the figure doesn't even include the "benefit package" of health insurance; sick leave; vacation leave; retirement (?), workers comp, unemployment costs, etc., etc., etc., etc. Closer to 40% and higher in all likelihood. Like Epstein of Headquarters, Russell is with a "sacred cow operation" and has been for over 3 decades.

There are many other examples of "sacred cow status" in those statistics, but 27% of a joint's budget going out in a singular salary? Shades of Bernie Madoff....

Then, even more insulting, you got: Ecumenical Christian Ministries Thad Holcombe; $56,708 salary; on an operating budget of $186,723; The salary alone is 31% of alll costs, NOT including all the benes, perks (We must know that all these social service people don't keep "regular" office hours.......much of their time is spent hobknobbing.....not at fundraisers, though....not much of that going on at any of them places.....Alceste is referring to the proverbial "free lunches" obtained at "power meetings".), etc., etc., etc.,etc. It's a fine career path, poverty pimpdom, knowing there is job security as one quietly makes those personal banking deposits.....

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

your comments show a terrible lack of reason and understanding.

A percentage of the overall costs alone means nothing. You must factor in real and pertinent information such as

Services provided value of services to the recipients and the community are there costs not factored into the budget, for example, is building space or staff donated by another source

I really get tired of knee jerk reactionaries without any actual data hopping on a high horse.

I would rather you educate yourself first.

And your personal dislike of Marcia Epstien and Sara Jane Russell only suggests that you find disfavor when people dedicate their lives in service to their community.

In fact, alceste, your comments have made me think that you have little of value to offer people doing positive work other than just whining and complaining.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago left out Ecumenical Christian Ministries' Thad Holcombe

Bassetlover 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you kidding me?!?!? She is on-call 24-7-365, just for starters. A full nights sleep is a rare occurrence in her job since most sexual assaults happen in the wee hours of the night, thus you will frequently find her at the emergency room at LMH long before the sun rises. And then this "sacred cow" goes to the office to start the admin part of her job. Try walking a mile in her shoes. Your comments are sheer ignorance.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

Get a grip.

"In the past five years, more than 450 adult sexual assaults have been reported in Lawrence." 450/5 = 90 per year.

Here's even more damning stats:

Here’s a review of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program in 2011:

• 48 — sexual assault cases.

• 0 — adult transfers.

• 3 — transfers of children ages 14 and younger to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

• 4 — instances where two or three victims were in the ER at the same time.

• 28 — patients elected to report to law enforcement.

• 8 — patients elected to not report to law enforcement, but sent evidence to KBI to be kept up to five years. Victim can file a report and pursue charges within this timeframe.

• 9 — patients declined or were out of the 72-hour window for forensic evidence collection.

• 10 — nurses trained to handle SANE cases.

• 3 — nurses are in process of completing orientation.

• $118,245 — wages paid to have one nurse on-call.

• $2,000 — approximate cost per SANE exam for LMH. There is no charge for patients.

• $250 — district attorney’s office paid LMH per case.

Couple that with the reality "that" program indoctrinates how many "volunteers" and has that number "on call"? Get real. $66g per year is far too much money. Put then it panders to the politcally correct and the prurient interests of oh so many. shrug

Aberrant sex in Douglas County, Kansas is BIG BUSINESS. Seems to pay pretty well, too....

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

I am not sure where your ignorance ends and your stupidity starts, but your facts are far from complete in reference to what services are provided out of her office.

As I suggested before, replacing your anger with understanding might make you less insignificant.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

I understand it's hard to see the forest due to the trees. It's like that in sacred cow land, eh?

If you truly "valued America", you'd embrace diversity.....Diversity of thought which is what made this Nation great......and not call names. However, "political correctness" dominates in this new, NeoFascist group think environment. Fooey.

Now shoo on back to the barnyard and await the little red rooster's return; meanwhile, cluck away....feel free to wring your hands, too.....

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

you make outlandish unsubstantiated statements and then expect to be taken seriously?

Where I come from that just makes you a liar, nothing more.

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

Yeah? Which one(s) is/are "outlandish"; "unsubstantiated"?

Where I come from you're called naive, emotive, and uninformed. Cite the stats as to how many actual leave the house/office visits there are. I've provided the Lawrence Memorial stats.

Back to the barnyard, please. Await the return of the little Red Rooster.....too lazy to crow for day....He keep ev'rything in the barnyard ; Eager settin' a-ready to lay .....

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

you are a liar and you have nothing of honor or value to add. Chau

Alceste 5 years, 1 month ago

naneeee naneee boo boo.....I suspected you had no data....only emotions. shrug

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 1 month ago

What benefit package? Do you know that she has health insurance, sick leave, vacation? And, no...workers comp and unemployment are not "benefits". Most of us at the lower spectrum don't get health insurance or paid sick leave and vacations. I don't know what Russell's "benefits" are, if any...but neither do you.

sad_lawrencian 5 years, 1 month ago

This is why I refuse to donate to most charities (Headquarters is an exception). How can I justify donating anything (my salary is less than $30k a year) when some of these directors are making $100,000, plus, a year?

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 1 month ago

Then you should donate to the Recovery and Hope Network!!! I only make $15,600, with no benefits. (And, yes, I'm, on the list.) Of course, that's still 21% of our entire annual budget. But, then, I'm the only staff person. And we serve over 300 people a year with mental illness, keeping them out of jail and mental hospitals, so saving LOTS of taxpayer dollars. On less than $75,000 a year. I know how to stretch a dollar with the best of them :-) I'll be waiting for your check to come!!

jerseykansan 5 years, 1 month ago

What we all have to remember here is that these CEOs NEVER STOP doing their jobs - they are the face of their organization. They are not 8-5 employees. They work 24/7 for their organization. Compensation for that sounds justified to me - some of these salaries are pretty weak considering the importance of the work these men and women do.

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago


Nice bit of objective fact based journalism. I noticed that some of the "Director or highest paid employee" took a large percentage of revenues as compensation. So I imported your data (excluding those where that data that wasn't complete) and computed that percentage as a measure of effeciency. Those that took more than 30% of revenues as compensation includes:

Haskell Foundation Michael O'Leary $49,606/$64,532 76.8704% Called to Greatness Ministries Ryan Hickman $84,000/$116,412 72.1575% Social Service League of Lawrence Jean Ann Pike, Store Manager $33,637/$58,699 57.3042% Accredit Council Ed. Journalism & Mass Comm. Susanne Shaw $111,364 /$219,238 50.7959% Wakarusa Valley Development, Inc. Troy Roberts $98,592/$203,779 48.3818% Kansas Scholastic Press Association Jeff Browne $39,349/$84,092 46.7928% Student Churches Erik Fish $79,859/$186,902 42.7277% Haskell Light Paul Flaa $114,571/$282,487 40.5580% Family Promise Dana Ortiz $50,000/$132,831 37.6418% Lawrence Community Nursery School Stephanie Duncan $32,112 /$89,589 35.8437% Lawrence Regional Technology Center Matthew McClorey $175,124/$491,607 35.6228% National American Indian Court Judges Association Vincent Knight $90,078/$291,219 30.9314% Ecumenical Christian Ministries Thad Holcombe $56,708/$186,723 30.3701%

On the other side of the scale, those that took less than 3% of revenues in compensation included:

Kansas Research and Education Network Cortney Buffington $114,633/$3,836,484 2.9880% Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association Judith Bellome $107,191/$3,594,018 2.9825% Lawrence Community Shelter Loring Henderson $35,640/$1,205,339 2.9568% American Society for Photobiology Jean Cadet $12,000/$408,874 2.9349% Douglas County Child Development Association Anna Jenny $42,770/$1,639,377 2.6089% Trinity In-Home Care Kelly Evans $47,744/$1,933,358 2.4695% Independence, Inc. Stacey Schwartz $58,500/$3,344,737 1.7490% DCCCA Bruce Beale $300,000/$20,282,848 1.4791% Bert Nash David Johnson $130,000/$9,639,324 1.3486% Douglas County Community Foundation Chip Blaser $64,142/$7,278,369 0.8813% ECKAN Richard Jackson $100,395/$11,896,029 0.8439% Kansas University Athletics Sheahon Zeanger $450,000/$67,090,128 0.6707% Cottonwood Sharon Spratt $152,500/$23,133,114 0.6592% Kansas University Endowment Association Dale Seuferling $403,965/$132,323,429 0.3053% University of Kansas Center for Research Steve Warren $305,467/$151,370,474 0.2018%

George_Braziller 5 years, 1 month ago

The current director of Independence, Inc. is earning every penny. She's having to clean up the horrible fiscal mess left by Tanya Dorf after she "resigned."

Kendall Simmons 5 years, 1 month ago

No kidding!!! Tanya Dorf Bruner was an unmitigated disaster. Nearly drove Independence, Inc. out of business.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

Sigmund, Appreciate the list. I think that does help put it into some perspective, but I think that calculating like that does present some issues, which I'm sure you've figured out.

Here's where I see the issue, from the smaller org's to the larger ones.

Small: Scale is the issue here. As a hypothetical example, let's imagine we have a small, three person nonprofit counseling center with revenues of 150K. If the org. consisted of one fully trained psychologist who is also the director, and makes 80K, along with two staffers making a combined 70k, then the director makes more than 50% of the revenue. But, under those circumstances, I don't think anything looks out of the ordinary, though the group would fall at the higher end of the list.

Large: The problem here is that for some of these larger organizations, it's simply easier to pull down big federal and state grants, which will then dwarf the CEO's pay. But that CEO may or may not have had much influence on the grants, and the large grants make the CEO look underpaid. Obviously, the money is contingent on the type of group and where the larger bucks are likely to flow.

Thanks for the work.


Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

That one was not listed on our IRS list, but thanks for pointing out. I'll check into it.

Shaun LJW

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

Much more interesting, but not disclosed in the article, was how much of an non-profits revenues were from government grants of tax dollars versus private fund raising, which raises some larger questions of contributions being income tax deductible.

For instance, the average compensation was 14.8736% and the median compensation was: Theatre Lawrence Mary Doveton $50,985/$492,037 10.3620%

If I recall correctly, the city of Lawrence and Douglas County each gave Theatre Lawrence $100,000 which would be 40% of their revenues and presumably the remaining 60% was private contributions which provided the donor with a partially offsetting income tax deduction.

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

shaunepec (Shaun Hittle) says ... Appreciate the list. I think that does help put it into some perspective, but I think that calculating like that does present some issues, which I'm sure you've figured out.

Absolutely correct, no matter the ideology one has to be careful on what conclusions can be drawn from such a simple analysis, especially if one is a reporter doing journalism. I am sure those on the right will have a very different take of the numbers than those on the left.

What i appreciated the most about this article is that you resisted the temptation to draw broad conclusions from your work, unlike other higher profile colleagues at the World Company.

n0mjs 5 years, 1 month ago

I am one of the CEOs on the "over $100,000" list. I have a few comments on my situation in particular.

First off, I'm not sure what Mr. Hittle is calling a "salary" here, because he's about 15% high on mine. If he had the actual salary number for me, I wouldn't have made his $100k+ list. I'd like to have an opportunity to provide accurate information, however I was not contacted.

Second. Our organization revenue comes from fee-for-service and membership (which pays for services also). We don't actually receive any grant funding (not since the mid-90s) and have received no donations. Again, understanding the 990 might be helpful. Mr. HIttle reported our entire revenue as from grants and donations... wow, don't I wish!

Finally, many of the comments made talk about what we executives "take". My organization, as a 501(c)(3) is governed by a board of directors, not me. I do not "take" the salary, our board sets it. Numerous times I've asked mine be lowered and and use the savings to increase other staff salaries... but... I'm already the lowest paid CEO of an organization like the one I work for in the US.

I'm not sure what the point of this article is. It's not fair to lump all nonprofits together. There isn't another like the one I work for in the state of KS. Usually there's maybe one per state. Comparing us against each other, locally, creates a comparison to nothing. Comparing our organizations against their peer organizations would to a better job of creating a "report card" of sorts, if that was the intention.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

n0mjs, As is clearly stated in our sidebar, there is some variation on salary/compensation. Some organizations reported salary and other benefits as one number on the 990 form, others broke them up, and still others left them off altogether. So, it's not all even across the spectrum, but we tried to make that clear.

The accuracy of the information was obtained from the IRS 990 form. If that was incorrect, I'd be happy to update the information.

As for lumping all the nonprofits together, we tried to make the point that they shouldn't all be lumped together. In fact, the first subhead is "Not apples to apples," followed by comment from experts making that very point.

On the spreadsheet, you make a valuable point that it should include program fees and other revenue, and that's been updated.

Shaun LJW

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

n0mjs (anonymous) says… "I am one of the CEOs on the "over $100,000" list. I have a few comments on my situation in particular."

I don't think the $100+ salary was meant as an indictment and the numbers used were gathered from a independent agency that claims coverage of non-profits. 501(3)(c) charitable organizations are able to take tax deductible contributions as well as fee-for-services. I don't see the relevance of the fact that you have chosen not to take donations. As far as I could find Shaun didn't use the term "taking a salary" and for the most parts the comments are unmoderated and not necessarily the view of the World Company management or employees.

The point of the article, as far as I could see, was to provide a comparative overview of non-profits in Lawrence Kansas area and not nationwide and he could hardly be faulted for the fact that he didn't contact all 90 directors. I think that your point of view was clearly covered and best stated in the ‘Not apples to apples’ section that contained the following quote, "Trying to compare nonprofit salaries and figuring out a way to gauge fair pay for such work is a complicated and subjective task, said James Abruzzo, a nonprofit compensation specialist for DHR International."

If your point is you could be making a larger salary but choose not to, then good on you mate. Perhaps Shaun can be persuaded to give you special coverage in a feature article that demonstrates you not some evil rich guy.

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

autie (anonymous) says… "Comparing KU anything to service organizations that provide services for DD/mental health/childrens care/foster placement like comparing pumpkins from the moon. Ridiculous."

Why? Is there something particular that you like/dislike about KU?

dcap 5 years, 1 month ago

This has been an interesting article and discussion! Would you consider doing a piece on the lowest paid non-profit directors?

phalan 5 years, 1 month ago

Absolutly right! First some of your figures are absolutly LOW, salaries that is! Lets look at some of the additional perks these CEO's get. Let's take Douglas County Visiting Nurses as an example. I have donated a healthy amount to this organization only to find out they are no longer DOUGLAS COUNTY VISITING NURSES just Visiting Nurses, I haven't seen an article saying that they would be moving out of their Douglas County supplied offices or that they have stopped receiving DOUGLAS COUNTY FUNDS! Ms Bellome is and excellent bait and switch CEO. I gave gererously to her "Hospice House" only to find out that a family member couldn't go there because insurance wouldn't pay as it never was licensed as HOSPICE. Next I get asked to donate for children they serve only to be told they "don't serve many but would like to". Why does our community allow county funds to go to such organizations when we are fortunate enough to have CEO's such as Loring Henderson or Kelly Evans who actually get the work done that makes a difference in our community and are doing what they believe in for less then half the pay. Ms Belome needs to take a lesson and maybe drop some of the bate and switch tactics. It would be nice to also see what these "non-profit Execs" have as perks in addition and what their CFO's make. Hum!

Sigmund 5 years, 1 month ago

After looking at the data, my short list for the Top non-profit director who earned their salaries included Bruce Beale of DCCCA where over half of the revenues come from government grants despite the fact that virtually every probation granted in Douglas County where drugs or alcohol were involved (from DUI to assault to under-aged drinking), family violence, or where there is any question of mental health requires successful completion of a DCCCA program and payment to DCCCA get off of probation.

In the end I gave my top spot to Mary Doveton of Theatre Lawrence and not just because in American English it is usually spelled as Theater and Theatre is a lot more classy. But because she is the only member of a 18 member board who receives a salary, $50,985, on revenues which included $167,000 of ticket sales and $130,000 of "Grocery Cards." Now I must admit I had no idea before I read her Form 990 that a typical funding for a "Theatre" was "Grocery Cards" so I was taken by surprise. Nevermind, she was able to convince the City and County Commissions to give her grants totaling $200,000 which is $70,000 more than the grocery card income stream!

thinkagain 5 years, 1 month ago

You can't make percentage of salary to entire budgets comparisons for all of these organizations. If you only have one fulltime employee the percentage is bound to be a larger portion of, if not the entire budget. But someone has to do the work of the organization.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.