Sign in or Register   |    0 Donation(s), $0.00 total

Charity Navigator 2014 CEO Compensation Study

October 3, 2014


At Charity Navigator we receive numerous inquiries from donors, reporters and nonprofit board members asking “how much compensation is too much for a charity’s CEO?” And they aren’t the only ones asking this question. CEO compensation has become such a hot-button topic that several states ---including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Illinois --- have considered regulations that place limits on compensation for charity CEOs. And the IRS, the entity responsible for regulating charities at the federal level, continues to prioritize CEO compensation as one of its main areas of focus in uncovering fraudulent nonprofit practices. In recent years, the IRS has even redesigned the Form 990 (the informational tax returns charities submit to the IRS annually), in part, to force greater transparency around nonprofit compensation.

Video: Evaluating Charity CEO Compensation


IRS rules state that nonprofit CEOs should receive ‘reasonable compensation.’ This is obviously not an especially helpful yardstick for the average donor. Yet, the procedure behind this terminology is useful. In determining ‘reasonable compensation,’ the IRS encourages a charity’s board of directors to collect data on the compensation practices of similar nonprofits.In the process of evaluating thousands of charities, over the past eleven years, Charity Navigator has collected a wealth of data on CEO salaries. Our analysts have examined tens of thousands of nonprofit financial documents, giving us insight into the real-world financial practices of America’s mid to large sized charities. We know how CEO salaries vary by the charity’s location, budget and type of work. Since 2005 we have published our findings in an annual CEO Compensation Study in an effort to help donors, nonprofit leaders and regulators make educated decisions about the appropriateness of a nonprofit executive’s pay.*


Charity Navigator's 2014 Study
Download a PDF copy

See our corresponding Press Release: Are Nonprofit CEOs Overpaid?

Download copies of our prior studies:
* Due to the launch of an expanded rating system in September 2011 (which we call CN 2.0), that was the one year we did not publish a CEO Compensation Study.
CharityTotal Cash Raised CharityTotal Cash Raised
All Hands Volunteers
4 stars


4 stars


3 stars


  Catholic Relief Services
3 stars


Children's Hunger Fund
3 stars


  Church World Service
3 stars


Concern Worldwide US
3 stars


  Convoy of Hope
4 stars


Direct Relief
4 stars


  Giving Children Hope
4 stars


Global Links
3 stars


4 stars


Handicap International US
4 stars


  Helen Keller International
4 stars


Helping Hand for Relief and Development
4 stars


  International Relief Teams
4 stars


Islamic Relief USA
4 stars


  Lutheran World Relief
3 stars


Matthew 25: Ministries
4 stars


  Mercy Corps
4 stars


Operation Blessing International
4 stars


  Operation USA
3 stars


Oxfam America
3 stars


  Plan International USA
4 stars


Project C.U.R.E.
4 stars


  Samaritan's Purse
4 stars


Save the Children
4 stars


  Seva Foundation
4 stars


SIGN Fracture Care International
4 stars


  SOS Children's Villages-USA
4 stars


United States Fund for UNICEF
4 stars


  VisionTrust International
4 stars


Water Mission
4 stars


  WaterAid America
4 stars


World Education
3 stars



Join Our Mailing List

Join over 230,000 other informed givers and get updates on charity ratings, new features, hot topics, and tips for donating.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS Managed Cloud Hosting from INetU 3Scale IdeaScale QuestionPro
Help & Support