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June 14, 2021


Executive Compensation at Disabled American Veterans (DAV) 2019

by Anne Paddock

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is a 501 (c) (4) – a social welfare organization – that was created by Congress in 1920 to assist disabled military veterans and their families.  Based in Cold Spring, Kentucky, DAV provides services nationwide to disabled veterans through staff, national service offices and more than 1,300 local chapters.

With more than a million members (who pay $0-$300 for a lifetime of assistance and benefits), DAV is the largest disabled veteran assistance organization in the country.

In 2019, DAV reported total revenue of $145 million (compared to $151 million the prior year) although only $7 million (about 5% of revenue) came from membership fees.  $122 million (85% of revenue) came from contributions. $15 million (10% of revenue) came from investment income and the gain on the sale of assets while $1 million came from royalties and other sources.

Expenses totaled $142 million (not including $2 million in depreciation) with the second largest expense reported to be compensation. 712 employees received $55 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $77,000. 47 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 10 most highly compensated employees reported to be:

  • $585,906: J Marc Burgess, National Adjutant, CEO, and Secretary
  • $463,391: Edward R Reese Jr, Executive Director, National HQ
  • $461,454: Barry A Jesinoski, Executive Director, National LHQ
  • $387,921: Susan Loth, Senior Chief Development Officer
  • $362,255: Anita Blum, Comptroller
  • $347,981: Brian Cowart, Chief Development Officer
  • $320,114: Christopher Clay, General Counsel
  • $253,633: Peter A Dickinson, Senior Executive Advisor

6 of the 8 (75%) most highly compensated employees are male while 2 (25%) are female. The Form 990 reports DAV has a governing board of 7 members, 6 of whom are independent but the Form 990, Part VII, Section A lists 10 directors (which appears to be due to timing differences). 9 of the 10 listed are male while 1 is a female.

DAV reports paying for first class or charter travel, travel for companions and providing discretionary spending accounts. To read more about these expenses, go to the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

  1. Wayne
    May 26 2022

    Sad sounds like a ripoff of the vet’s.

  2. Porter H J Hoyt
    Mar 21 2022

    I am a life member and held two jobs to raise 11 children. I don”t know why they need such an exorbitant salary. Porter H. Hoyt

  3. Mary E. Kelley
    Jan 22 2022

    How do I remove myself from your mailing list. I have given all I intend to Disabled American Veterans. I would think if some the money from your outrages salaries, you wouldn’t have to beg from a person that makes $20,000.00 a year. You people are a disgrace to the human race.

  4. Ret Eugene
    Jan 13 2022

    Who vote on this high salary

  5. Jan 12 2022

    If you are interested in helping veterans, you may want to consider Homes For Our Troops…they do a great job with building homes for injured veterans, getting them financially stable, while keeping their salaries low.

  6. G New
    Jan 12 2022

    This is such a slap in the face to all veterans….Any body claiming to help someone, should not be getting this kind of salary from donations given to help those who need help….I’ve been researching all of these organizations to find the best one to leave all I have to help veterans….I have to rethink everything now, I refuse to give to any of the over paid idiots….Veterans should get at least 95% of the donations sent in, it shouldn’t be this complicated to help those in need…These office people sure won’t be getting one cent from me……

  7. Ellis Autru
    Jan 8 2022

    These salaries are to high for a non profit organization.

  8. William RicZo
    Dec 30 2021

    How much of my dollar goes to help the vets? I’m not giving for some executive director to live the good life. I really don’t expect an answer. A six figure income is unacceptable. You people are pathetic. You are supposed to be helping as many of our vets as possible. Not lining your pockets with donations.

  9. Ben Moll
    Dec 26 2021

    The salaries listed are obscene and proof positive that too many donated $ end up fattening the pockets of bureaucrats instead of helping veterans. Average workers’ salaries around $40K per annum are a tiny fraction of the listed salaries; that is unconscionable for a charity organization!

  10. Christine Scialfa
    Dec 24 2021

    I agree with Edward Seward, I do not know him but after reading the over paid salaries, I decided my donations will not help the disabled Veteran but only enrich those who are suppose to be helping our injured veterans. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  11. Dec 16 2021

    The post is about compensation. Contact the VA for information on vet benefits.

  12. joseph
    Dec 16 2021

    whata are the increase for 1/2022 for vet disability

  13. Nov 16 2021

    You may be interested in this organization…they do a great job…

  14. Edward Seward
    Nov 16 2021

    I appreciate this information. I was planning on donating to DAV on a monthly basis but after reading this post I will find and donate to a local disabled veteran’s association where the leaders do not take exorbitant salaries and travel first class with dependents and have discretionary spending accounts.

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