The CEO of my favorite nonprofit earns more than $200,000. Is that outrageous?

Advice on how to make the world better.
June 17 2009 10:30 AM

Charity Fat Cats

The CEO of my favorite nonprofit earns more than $200,000. Is that outrageous?

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By setting salaries below market value, we not only risk losing talented leaders—but we also risk losing diversity. If nonprofit jobs don't pay enough to allow people to pay off their student debt, purchase a home, send their kids to college, and save for retirement—then all the "psychic income" in the world isn't going to help.

Do you have a real-life do-gooding dilemma? Please send it to ask.my.goodness@gmail.com and Patty and Sandy will try to answer it.

Patty Stonesifer is the chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents and a senior adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she was president, then CEO for 10 years. She spent the first two decades of her career in the technology business, where her last job was senior vice president at Microsoft.

Sandy Stonesifer works on issues related to adolescent girls' health at a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.