INSPIRATIONAL: I think I am a Savvy Donor

Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors

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7. Review Executive CompensationSophisticated donors realize that charities need to pay their top leaders a competitive salary in order to attract and retain the kind of talent needed to run a multi-million dollar organization and produce results. But they also don’t just take the CEO’s compensation at face value; they benchmark it against similar-sized organizations engaged in similar work and located in the same region of the country. To help you make your own decision, Charity Navigator’s analysis reveals that the average CEO’s compensation of the charities we evaluate is almost $150,000. In general, salaries tend to be higher in the northeast and at arts and education charities. Sophisticated donors also put the CEO’s salary into context by examining the overall performance of the organization. They know it is better to contribute to a charity with a well-paid CEO that is meeting its goals than to support a charity with an underpaid CEO that fails to deliver on its promises. (Check out our CEO Compensation Study for more benchmarking data.)

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That’s one thing that stops me from donating — “Big Charity”.

When the CEO makes more than I do, I’m not needed. Neither is my money.

When the “Charity” spends more on “administration” than “services”, then I’m done.

When the “Charity” shifts it mission to something “eternal”, I’m “mortal”. Example, Mach of Dimes cures polio and shifts to “birth defects”.

When the “Charity” uses funds for things I morally oppose, I’m outraged. Example, Susan B. Koleman funds Planned Parenthood which in turn funds abortions. 


I like the Salvation Army. The General makes peanuts! That’s charity.

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