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Compensation

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Expert panel at CEO Update Live: Personal Financial Strategies advises CEOs to consider job risks, establish a commitment to the hiring organization, get severance package and make a long-term financial plan when negotiating a contract with an employer.

Working without a contract is familiar to many association chief executives, especially at smaller groups, and even many of those with contracts do not have severance clauses.

May 30, 2014

While negotiating a contract is a lonely pursuit, there are resources available—starting with your peer network, but also including websites, executive recruiters and attorneys who specialize in association employment law.

In the latest Inside Compensation report, CEO Update looked at the 100 highest-paid staffers in tax-exempt organizations who were registered as federal lobbyists during the latest available tax year. Just to make the list, a lobbyist had to earn more than $400,000. Median compensation was $533,631 and six lobbyists earned more than $1 million.

CEO Update’s analysis of compensation at the largest groups found 73 top executives earned base plus bonus pay of $1 million or more in fiscal years 2012 or 2013. If retirement plan payments and other compensation are included, the number grows to 90 members of the million-plus club. For the very largest trade associations, paying the CEO $1 million “was a barrier they went through some time ago,” said Brian Vogel, a nonprofit compensation consultant.

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