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July 28, 2019


Executive Compensation at United Way (2017)

by Anne Paddock

United Way may refer to a number of charitable organizations throughout the world but in the United States, United Way generally refers to United Way Worldwide (formerly United Way of America) and/or one of the 1,800 offices in 40 countries and territories.

United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the whole network which includes approximately 1,200 local offices (approximately 67% of the total number of offices) in the United States (including DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). A non-profit 501 (c) (3), United Way Worldwide is required to submit an IRS Form 990 (a tax return that provides details on revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, and more) annually, as does each of the local offices.

260 people were employed and compensated $30 million by United Way Worldwide in 2017, which equates to an average compensation of $115,400, although only 97 staff received a compensation package greater than $100,000.

The IRS Form 990 (2017) reports $6 million in compensation to 15 executives – an average of $400,000 each – at the national level which is summarized as follows:

  • $1,663,398:  Brian Gallagher, President and CEO
  • $ 386,882:  Lisa Bowman, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer
  • $  363,539:  Paul DeBassio, EVP, Investor Relations
  • $  341,972:  Mark D Sutton, EVP and CFO
  • $  340,325:  Jose Ferrao, International President
  • $  325,672:  Lori Malcolm, EVP, Chief Culture Officer
  • $  313,499:  Steve Taylor, SVP, Counsel, Public Policy
  • $  311,750:  Brian LaChance, SVP, Chief of Staff
  • $  308,801:  Dana Brown, Former SVP and Chief Digital Officer
  • $  277,873:  Patricia Turner, SVP and General Counsel
  • $  269,695:  John Taylor, SVP, Chief Technology Officer
  • $  248,725:  Mary Sellers, United Way US Network, US President
  • $  227,653:  Robert Berdelle, Former EVP and CFO
  • $  225,596:  Evan Hochberg, Former EVP, Impact Strategy and Innovation
  • $  225,522:  Darlene Slaughter, VP, Chief Diversity Officer

9 of the 15 (60%) most highly compensated employees are male while 6 (40%) are female. Of the 10 most highly compensated employees, 6 are male while 4 are female.

Brian Gallagher, President and CEO received total compensation of $1,663,398 in 2017.  It is important to note there are two additional non-qualified benefit plans in place for the CEO only. These include:  1)10% Plan – provides 10% of cash compensation annually on a deferred basis with an initial vesting period of 3 years, and annually thereafter. 2)Deferred Compensation Plan – provides $180,000 annually on a deferred basis, vesting after 3 years, and two years thereafter. The CEO vested in the first three years of the benefit and received a payment of $540,000.  The annual benefit of $180,000 was accrued and reported in each year earned.  The requirement to report the actual payment constitutes a double reporting requirement. So, the question becomes:  How is Brian Gallagher worth nearly $2 million a year to run an organization whose basic mission is to award and monitor grants?

It is also important to note “The President and Chief Executive Officer, Brian Gallagher, and a small number of other employees who routinely travel overseas, may be reimbursed for business class air travel (first class if there are only two classes) when traveling for business purposes on flights loner than four hours.” So, the question is how is first class or business class ever justified given the highest and best use of revenue is to be awarded in grants to worthy organizations in the community?

To read the IRS Form 990 (2017) for United Way Worldwide, click here.

Click on “Executive Compensation at United Way (2018)” for an update.

  1. Apr 11 2020

    …..”and all are treated equally…..” You have to be joking……

  2. Daniel Bardawill
    Apr 11 2020

    It is important for top charity executives to fly 1st class in order to illustrate that our charity organizations aren’t just for the poor people, but that everyone can share and all are treated equally unless they of course are donating large amounts in which case we elect them.

  3. David
    Mar 2 2020

    Are you kidding? The sole purpose of a giant charity like UW is to serve as ATM for executives. Try to ask a homeless guy to call those so called charities up. They will be refered to call another 20 numbers and spent 5 hours on the phone (if ever answered) to get connected to a shelter, just to be told that there is no vacancy and the wait time to service is 2 years. Then his name and info is recorded so those service providers can use that info and data to pledge to the government and public for more funding and donations. That way they can secure their jobs by proving demands, as funding increases so will their wages and benefits.

    Don’t ask me how I know. I used to work in social service sector, until one day i realise we are just like pimps, preying on others misfortune abd sobbing stories to benefit ourselves.

    Of course not all charities and non profits are like that. There are small ones operating on small budget and a big heart to serve, but definitely not ones that pays heir CEO $2 million a year and first class air tickets.

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