Controlling Overhead: Finding an Unpaid Nonprofit CEO

by George Weiner, Chief Whaler at

December is the time of year that brings companies into the black, and also starts the engines for end-of-year giving appeals. With each day, we are bombarded by hordes of product reviews and the overpowering onslaught of deals – and with it the annual evaluation of charity overhead begins.

Here we go again.

By now your friend's brother's aunt has shared the link to the frequently emailed article about why you shouldn't donate to charities that pay their CEOs a fair wage (the list isn't even accurate). You know, the one that starts with:

"Keep these facts in mind when 'donating.' As you open your pockets for yet another holiday season or natural disaster, keep the following facts in mind; we have listed them from the highest (worst paid offender) to the lowest (least paid offender)... read more."

This season I am too tired to fight the argument that percentage overhead is a useful measure of nonprofit efficacy. An organization that avoids overhead by paying employees nothing, avoids program evaluations and spends close to zero in technical infrastructure can't possibly be the best social investment. So, instead of attempting to deflate these tired arguments, I have decided to offer a solution for reducing overhead with a sample CEO job posting and one-year plan nonprofits can use for recruiting.


Source: The Huffington Post