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January 24, 2020

Executive Compensation at Make-A-Wish (2018)

by Anne Paddock

The Make-A-Wish Foundation (MAW) was established in 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona to grant the wishes of children diagnosed with critical illnesses. Today, the national headquarters and founding chapter is still in Phoenix but the organization has 62 chapters throughout the United States and 39 affiliates in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Although each of the affiliates raises funds for their respective chapter, the MAW headquarters also makes a grant annually to the affiliates, along with setting policies and assisting the chapters in making their wishes.

The MAW headquarters raises about $100 million annually, spends about $100 million annually of which $55 million is spent on grants to affiliates, and has about $43 million in their general fund, which is often referred to as their endowment.  The single largest expense at MAW headquarters (after grants) is compensation ($21 million) for the 271 employees, which equates to an average compensation of about $75,000.

35 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 14 most highly compensated employees listed below:

  • $614,337:  David Williams, President and CEO (through 10/18)
  • $338,742:  Leslie Motter, Chief Operating Officer
  • $311,628:  David Mulvihill, VP and General Counsel
  • $280,307:  Kathleen Forshey, VP Corp Alliances (thru 10/18)
  • $268,145:  Todd Shellenberger, VP of Development
  • $261,638:  Paul Mehlhorn, CFO (through 5/4/18)
  • $258,879:  Deborah Thompson, VP of Chapter Initiatives
  • $222,759:  Bill Baumbach, Former Vp and CIO (thru 4/2017)
  • $216,894:  Patricia Clemency, Diversity & Dev Officer (thru 8/2018)
  • $209,319:  Thomas Parker, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • $170,044:  Ryan Hegseth, VP of Strategic Planning
  • $160,014:  Stacy Owen, Director of Corporate Alliance
  • $157,626:  Jonathan Smith, Director of Brand Marketing
  • $154,478:  Rebecca Cooner, Dir of Medical Affairs (thru 6/2018)

The above 14 most highly compensated employees received $3.6 million, which equates to an average compensation of $257,000.  8 of the 14 (57%) of the most highly compensated employees are male while 6 of the 14 (43%) are female.

It is important to note MAW did NOT pay for first class or charter travel, travel for companions, tax indemnification or gross up payments, discretionary spending accounts, residences for personal use, health or social club dues or initiation fees, or personal services.

The Form 990 reports 32 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five highest listed below:

  • $1.8 million: True North of New York, NY for marketing/online services
  • $1.7 million:  Webb Mason of Baltimore, MD for marketing services
  • $1.3 million:  Southwest Publishing and Mailing of Topeka, KS for printing and postage services
  • $1.3 million:  Clifton Larson Allen of Phoenix, AZ for accounting
  • $1.0 million:  Metasoft Tech Solutions of Chandler, AZ for IT services

To read the IRS Form 990 (2017), click here.

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