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January 27, 2021


Executive Compensation at Paralyzed Veterans of America

by Anne Paddock

The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 based in Washington, DC (although the organization has 70 offices and 33 chapters throughout the country).

Established in 1947, PVA has a core mission of vets serving vets, funding spinal cord research, and advocating for disability rights, according to their website. So, the question most donors want to know is:  how much of my donation goes to the organization’s core mission?  The answer:  less than half because the organization spent more than $45 million (out of the $92 million in revenue) on a mail program to raise funds.

Key financial information reported by PVA to the IRS on the Form 990 (for the year ending June 30, 2019) include the following:

$92 million in total revenue was reported (compared to $112 million the prior year), most of which ($88 million) came from contributions, gifts, and grants.

Expenses totaled $88 million (95% of revenue) with the two (2) largest expenses being the “mail program” ($45 million) and compensation ($23 million) for the staff.  301 employees received $23 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $76,400.  32 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 10 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $236,828:  William Blake, Executive Director
  • $198,777:  David Fanning, Sr Director, Planned and Strategic Dev
  • $195,094:  Leonard Selfon, General Counsel
  • $185,683:  Peter Gaytan, AED of Veterans Benefits
  • $184,964:  Mark Lichter, Director of Architecture
  • $184,150:  Shaun Castle, Deputy Executive Director
  • $179,714:  Scott Pearl, Chief Development and Marketing Officer
  • $164,855:  Leslie Zupan, Director of IT (until 1/19)
  • $151,197:  Cheryl Topping, CFO
  • $150,954:  Heather Ansley, AED of Gov’t

7 of the 10 most highly compensated employees are male while 3 are female.

PVA paid for companion travel. Specifically, PVA paid for an attendant to accompany board members and corporate officers for their medical needs.

John Ring, the former CFO received $110,000 in severance.

53 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation. The five (5) most highly compensated independent contractors were reported to be:

  • $19 million:  Edge Direct, of Baltimore, MD for gifts/mail program
  • $ 6 million:  US Postmaster, of Washington, DC for mail delivery
  • $ 4 million:  Grant Mail Direct Marketing, of gifts/mail program
  • $ 3 million:  Heartland Direct International, of Tulsa, OK for gifts/mail program
  • $ 3 million:  Target Market Team, of Atlanta, GA for gifts/mail program

As illustrated above, PVA spent significant revenue ($35 million with the top 5 independent contractors and $10 million more on other gift/mail program expenses).

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018 for the year ending June 30, 2019), click here.

  1. Mike
    Nov 29 2021

    Top Heavy as always. I will not donate so others can make 280k a year.. for what….. I won’t donate to this fund.

  2. Na Luisa sumabat
    Oct 16 2021

    I don’t object to giving salaries to executive members & staff but spending $23,000,000 out of 92,000,000 income (25%) is bit too much especially when the top officers make more than $200,000.00. This is a charitable organization.

  3. Larry Riley
    Oct 4 2021

    So very true Mary Ann. Very disappointed!

  4. Mary Ann Frany
    Jul 19 2021

    I can’t imagine what the Executive director down to AED is doing to receive their high salaries! To me a non profit is NOT FILLING their own personal pockets but donating to the people who need the money. NOT TO MENTION THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT

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