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July 24, 2020

Executive Compensation at the National Urban League

by Anne Paddock

The National Urban League (NUL) is a nonpartisan civil rights organization that advocates on behalf of African Americans for economic and social injustice and against racial discrimination. A non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) headquartered in New York but with an office in Washington, DC, NUL has 90 affiliates serving 300 communities in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Key facts about NUL include:

In 2018, NUL raised $50 million (down from $60 million in 2017), $21 million of which came from government grants and $19 million from contributions, gifts and grants.

Expenses totaled $56 million with the two largest expenses being grants ($22 million) and compensation ($16 million).

Net assets were down to $40 million at year-end 2018 (compared to $49 million at the beginning of the year) because of the excess spending and net unrealized losses on investments.

134 employees received $16 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $119,400. However, only 37 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the most 6 highly compensated employees listed below:

  • $1,177,156:  Marc H Morial, President and CEO
  • $  395,767:  Donald Cravins, SVP, Policy and Executive Director
  • $  370,200:  Paul Wycisk, SVP of Finance, CFO
  • $  354,170:  Dennis Serrette, SVP of Development
  • $  332,643:  Wanda Jackson, SVP of Talent Management
  • $  319,869:  Herman Lessard, SVP of Affiliate Services

The above 6 employees received $3 million, which equates to an average compensation of $500,000.  However, only one employee received more than $500,000 and that was the President and CE, Marc H Morial who received nearly $1.2 million in compensation.

5 out of the 6 (83%) most highly compensated employees are male while 1 (17%) is a female. Of the 47 trustees listed on the Form 990, 35 (74%) are male while 12 (26%) are female.

NUL paid for first class or charter travel and companion travel. The President and CEO’s spouse traveled first class for any of the league’s out of town events. How can this ever be justified?

12 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 most highly compensated listed below:

  • $712,500:  TV One of Chicago, IL for TV production services
  • $638,394:  Constructomics, LLC of New York, NY for construction services
  • $524,749:  Fern Expo Services LLC of Cincinnati, OH for event decorating consultant
  • $450,955:  Community Counseling Service Co. LLC of Philadelphia, PA for fundraising services
  • $183,511:  Rackspace Managed Hosting of Dallas, TX for network services

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018), click here.

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