Friday, August 01, 2008

DC Biz Journal: $357K AIDS Director's Pay
$150K Too Much?

This article from today's edition of Washington Business Journal, pushes the scandalous compensation story of one AIDS executive director into its third month of media interest. The Blade ran an article in June, the Washington Post picked up on it in July, and now, the first day of August, a business publication for DC weighs in on the matter, and really advances the story.

The journal asked a consultant to look at Schniderman's pay in the context of what his counterparts make, and, lo and behold, his salary is out of whack with the other salaries, to the tune of $150,000!

From the story today:

The story broke on June 27 in the Washington Blade, the must-read weekly for the local gay community. Craig Shniderman, executive director of a nonprofit that brings food to homebound AIDS patients, was earning $330,000 a year in total compensation while his organization was cutting services to lower costs.

Shniderman’s salary might have been surprising, but the story — a nonprofit executive making more than the employer’s social mission would suggest — was not.

While executive pay in the corporate world makes frequent headlines, compensation for charitable leaders, a matter of public record, seems to pop up only when someone takes umbrage at what one of them is making, as AIDS activist Michael Petrelis did in speaking to the Blade . . .

“There is the feeling that this is a public benefit we’re talking about and no one should be getting very rich providing it,” said Linda Lampkin, research director at ERI Economic Research Institute, based in Redmond, Wash.

Hiring effective leaders requires competitive pay, Lampkin said, but some people are adamant that no one working for a charity should make more than $100,000.

“People say that this is a public charity and you should be doing it to fulfill a mission,” she said . . .

Abbott, Langer, at the request of the Washington Business Journal, did an analysis of CEO pay in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. It found that executive pay in the region largely does increase as revenue increases.

For instance, considering all nonprofits, not just charities, area CEOs with a budget in the $700,000 range have an average salary of $92,277, while those with revenue in the $7 million range have average salaries of $186,483.

Using those figures for context, Shniderman’s $330,000 in total compensation at Food & Friends Inc., the nonprofit food service for AIDS patients, was about $150,000 above the average for groups with similar revenue. His organization took in $6.8 million for 2006.

Just imagine all the steaks, tofu burgers, organic juices and nutritional supplements $150,000 could buy for people with AIDS and other illnesses, if greedy Schniderman would lower his excessive compensation package. Can the board of directors of Food and Friends continue to over-pay Schniderman without shame and sorrow?

1 comment:

Jim said...


Thank you so much for researching and writing this article on the obscene compensation Craig Shniderman receives at F&F. How the board can possibly justify compensation nearly equal to that of the president of the US for a service organization is beyond me. Their constant requests for money now ring even more hollow for me.

Since he was hired I have seen the priorities of the organization move form its original intent to serve gay people with HIV/Aids and then to include anyone with HIV (OK by me), to now include those with a panopoly of diseases including Parkinson's disease. His very wealthy father suffered Parkinson's. It is my understanding that Mr. Shniderman is not gay. Fine. But don't move the priorities of the organization to your own interests to the detriment of the original intended beneficiaries. Start your own group.

Anyway...thanks for your good research and writing. DC will be better for your reporting!