Executive pay at nonprofits can be a somewhat controversial topic. Some believe that those who work at nonprofits should be paid minimally, keeping overhead low and allocating more resources for the nonprofit’s mission. Others recognize the struggle to maintain adequate staffing and attract the necessary top-end talent to keep the organization running effectively and efficiently. In either case, CEOs tend to be the highest paid executives at any organization.

With that in mind, below is a list of the top 10 highest paid CEOs at nonprofits for the most recent complete fiscal year: 2016.

  1. Anthony R. Tersigni – President/CEO, Ascension Health Alliance
    • $13,559,831 in salary. $67,855 in additional “other” pay.
  2. Patrick Fry – President & CEO, Sutter Health
    • $13,161,450 in salary. $279,177 in additional “other” pay.
  3. Gary Kaplan – Chairman, CEO, Virginia Mason Medical Center
    • $11,562,939 in salary. $154,309 in additional “other” pay.
  4. Laura L. Czelada – CEO, President, Delta Dental Plan of Michigan Inc
    • $9,213,107 in salary. $2,693,718 in additional “other” pay.
  5. Lloyd H. Dean – President/CEO, Dignity Health
    • $8,712,814 in salary. $1,547,801 in additional “other” pay.
  6. Bernard Tyson – Chairman & CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc
    • $8,529,498 in salary. $1,509,737 in additional “other” pay.
  7. Richard Breon – President/CEO, Spectrum Health System
    • $7,945,374 in salary. $1,522,626 in additional “other” pay.
  8. M. Austin – President & CEO, The Aerospace Corporation
    • $7,941,497 in salary. $1,824,683 in additional “other” pay.
  9. David L. Bernd – Director/CEO, Sentara Healthcare
    • $7,825,434 in salary. $81,327 in additional “other” pay.
  10. Kenneth A. Samet – CEO and President, Medstar Health Inc
    • $7,675,042 in salary. $76,815 in additional “other” pay.

It should be noted that payments in the high millions for CEOs are not the norm, with only the largest organizations typically paying executives in that vicinity. Average CEO pay for the year was much lower, coming in at $146,653.

Of particular interest in this list is the high percentage of healthcare and health-related organizations represented here. ERI’s recent whitepaper on nonprofit executive compensation, “CEO Pay Trends in the Nonprofit World 2018,” found healthcare to be one of the highest paying nonprofit industries as a whole.

Looking for more information?

Detailed nonprofit executive compensation data, including source documents and historic data, can be found in ERI’s Nonprofit Comparables Assessor.

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