The Giving Biz: Nice Guys Finish First

Far be it for Frank to question the selfless sacrifice of our saintly friends at Canada’s leading charitable organizations, but the professional helpers sure do help themselves.

Take for example the top executives at the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
According to the 2016 Ontario Sunshine List, the top dogs collected gold plated emoluments.

Conrad Sauve, Red Cross supremo, last year made $321,299. His counterpart at the Toronto Y, Medhat Mahdy, copped $305,303, and the Salvation Army’s Paul Goodyear made $303,956.

Of course, they’re pikers compared to former United Way Toronto CEO Susan McIsaac, who stepped down last year to make way for another high-rolling philanthropist, Jacline Nyman. McIsaac made $390,905 in 2014, according to form 990 filings with the IRS (required by any tax-exempt Canadian organization doing business in the U.S.)

Defenders of the jumbo salaries note the execs are running big operations with large budgets and staff that require high-priced management talent.

The Red Cross, for example, has an annual operating budget of $313 million; the Salvation Army, $218 million and the Y is at $213 million.

But if size matters, then what the hell is going on at the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, the venerable charity that provides “fun-filled camp experiences” for yout’ from economically disadvantaged homes?

According to the CRA, the foundation had total revenue of $27,466,748 in 2014, of which management and admin accounted for nine per cent or $2,296,783.

Dave (left)

So far, so good. But then there’s the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation (US), which operates out of St. George, in southwestern Ontario.

According to IRS 990 filings for 2014, this version of the Tim’s charity had gross receipts of only $1,916,354, yet its Vice President, Dave Newnham, trousered a whopping $324,350, putting him well ahead of the high rollers at the Red Cross or Salvation Army (see above).

Obviously there’s a perfectly innocent explanation for Dave’s plush salary, and we look forward to hearing from Tim’s legalists, with their elucidations on this financial mystery.

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4 comments on “The Giving Biz: Nice Guys Finish First
  1. John MacLachlan Gray says:

    The people running these charities are not running them for charitable reasons – just more of the management cancer, a tumour spreading in North American institutions of all kinds.

  2. Patrick60 says:

    After the Sally Anne’s recent, er, embarrassment, they need to choose one of the moderately paid army rather than a cheesey member of Canada’s Corporate Neoaristocracy(TM)

  3. daveS says:

    Frank wrote:
    “Take for example the top executives of the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the YMCA of Greater Toronto. According to the 2016 Ontario Sunshine List, the top dogs collected gold plated emoluments.”

    Sunshine list?

    In the rest of the country we don’t have such rules as:
    *Charitable agencies that receive more
    than $1 million in annual funding from
    the Ontario government are required
    to disclose top salaries on the province’s
    Sunshine List of public-sector earnings.* shows how bad it really is with a comparison with the top 1 or 2 percent of the population’s payslip–well above the οἱ πολλοί (hoi-polloi) at $45,000.

    I am surprised that CharityIntelligence encourages top wages for such little work beyond attending cocktail receptions.

  4. howellmr says:

    Oh there is an easy fix to this… just make an executive officer’s salary a percentage of the money raised for the charity they run- or it that too much like capitalism?

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