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City's Nonprofit CEOs Top Nation in Fund-raising

Chicago Sun-Times

July 7, 2003


Chicago is the city that shoulders the big freight, charitywise--and pays nonprofit CEOs the most to bring in the bucks, according to a new national study.

The largest nonprofits here attract more cash than those in other major U.S. cities, according to Charity Navigator, which sifted data from 2,500 big nonprofits in 20 metro areas.

Chicago nonprofits also pay their CEOs the most--a median of $184,753 a year for bosses of the 88 local charities in the sample.

The Chicago list included cultural institutions such as Lincoln Park Zoo and Lyric Opera, service groups such as America's Second Harvest and the Lions Club, and educational organizations that include Northwestern University and the Newberry Library.

The survey compared average and median performance and size. Chicago was the fifth most-represented market.

Median revenue--from grants, dues, investments and earnings--in Chicago was $19.2 million for the most recent year available, compared with $17.4 million for the second-ranked market, Baltimore. The median among all 2,500 nonprofits evaluated in the 20 markets was $9.6 million.

No. 2 in CEO median salary was New York, with $181,859 median pay. The overall median was $140,000.

"You have to conclude that the nonprofit sector in Chicago is exceptionally healthy and highly effective,'' said Charity Navigator executive director Trent Stamp.

The figures also are the result of a concentration of large nonprofits in Chicago, said Kyle Waide, deputy director of Charity Navigator.

Charity Navigator uses data from Internal Revenue Service forms.

The 10 Chicago nonprofits with the most total assets were: Northwestern, $4.1 billion; University of Chicago, $4.1 billion; Art Institute of Chicago, $592 million; Loyola University, $467 million; Rotary Foundation, $466 million; Illinois Institute of Technology, $353 million; Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, $341 million; Field Museum, $278 million; DePaul University, $277 million, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, $262 million.

The top-paid CEOs were: Robert Fitzpatrick, Museum of Contemporary Art, $555,000; Robert A. Stein, American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education, $492,000; Don Randel, University of Chicago, $455,000; Harry S. Bienen, Northwestern University, $441,000; Jeffrey H. Hillebrand, ENH Research Institute, $438,000; John W. McCarter, Field Museum, $414,000; James E. Williams Jr., Easter Seals (National Headquarters), $374,000; Alan Stone, Alzheimer's Association, National Office, $368,000; Ted A. Beattie, Shedd Aquarium, $367,000, and David Mosena, Museum of Science and Industry, $366,000.

The Jewish Federation is the only Chicago group that appears in the overall top 10. It is the eighth-highest-ranked nonprofit among the 2,500 evaluated.

The study is the first done by Charity Navigator, a two-year-old not-for-profit. The group is on the Web at charitynavigator.org.

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