Blade Reveals Salaries For Heads Of Major LGBT/HIV Activism Orgs

The Washington Blade has published the responses to a salary survey it sent the heads of the nation’s top LGBT and HIV activism organizations in the country. (Embiggen the chart at left for a look.)

Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends, which provides meals and nutritional services for homebound people with HIV/AIDS in the Washington, D.C. area, had the highest salary among the heads of the nation’s most prominent LGBT advocacy groups and groups that provide AIDS-related services in Los Angeles, New York and D.C. A survey of the compensation paid to heads of 30 LGBT and AIDS organizations, conducted by the Washington Blade, shows that Shniderman had a total salary and benefits package of $382,200 in 2008, the latest period for which the organizations’ salary and annual revenue data could be obtained for a completed fiscal year. Shniderman’s earnings placed him ahead of Joe Solmonese, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT political advocacy group. Solmonese, who ranked second in the salary survey, received a total compensation package of $338,400 in 2008.

Shniderman’s salary also topped that of Lorri Jean, executive director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, which had revenue of $48.5 million in 2008 and had nearly 300 employees compared to Food & Friends’ annual revenue of $7.9 million and 50 employees. The L.A. Center provides HIV/AIDS-related services as well as a host of social and recreational services for the LGBT community. The L.A. Center’s $48.5 million was the highest among all the LGBT and AIDS groups in the survey. HRC had the second highest annual revenue among the 30 groups: $41.4 million. Equality California, the statewide group that coordinated the unsuccessful effort to oppose an anti-gay marriage amendment, came in third, with a 2008 figure of $24.5 million.

Only four groups declined to participate: Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Empire State Pride Agenda, NYC’s LGBT Community Center, and Log Cabin Republicans.

Pam Spaulding notes:

Before tossing off snark statements like “they aren’t worth 2 cents” or “I wish they’d pay me to be as ineffective,” take a few seconds to think about 1) what do we expect leaders in our community to be paid, relative to the heads of other non-profit organizations, 2) the number of FT staff onboard and the annual revenue generated by the org. The figure to look at is the percentage of compensation relative to that annual revenue; and 3) most of these orgs are in large cities in higher-paying markets, so compensation is relative to the local cost of living