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September 8, 2022

Executive Compensation at the Girl Scouts (2021)

by Anne Paddock

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (Girl Scouts) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) (3) based in New York, NY. With more than 2.5 million members (an estimated 1.8 million girl members and about 700,000 member volunteers) the Girl Scouts works to build “courage, confidence, and character” in young girls.

There are 29 independent voting members (board members) of the governing body (board), although 41 are listed on the Form 990 (2020 for the year ending September 30, 2021) – 36 of the 41 (88%) are female while 5 of the 41 (12%) are male.

In 2021, the Girl Scouts reported total revenue of $131 million out of which came from investment income, royalties, and gains on sales of assets ($45 million), memberships dues ($35 million), contributions, gifts, and grants ($26 million), and the sale of inventory ($16 million).

Expenses totaled $100 million (not including $11 million in depreciation) in 2021 with the largest expenses reported to be compensation ($42 million) and office-related expenses ($256 million). 478  employees received $42 million in compensation (compared to 558 employees who received $59 million in compensation in 2020) – or an average of $88,000 each. In addition, it is important to note the PPP program provided more than $9 million to the Girl Scouts to retain their employees and yet the organization has 80 employees less than the year prior.

191 employees received more than $100,000 with the 16 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $1,576,925:  Sylvia Acevedo, Former CEO and Ex-Officio BD (to 8/20)
  • $  452,193:  Angela Olden, Chief Financial Officer
  • $  434,894:  Lynette McKay, Chief Customer Officer (thru 12/20)
  • $  412,667:  Barry Horowitz, Chief Revenue Officer (thru 5/21)
  • $  408,627:  Annette Freytag, Former Chief of Staff
  • $  401,360:  Jennifer Rochon, General Counsel
  • $  379,943:  Sapreet Kaur Saluja, Chief Str/Ptrnshp/New Vent Officer
  • $  346,573:  Maureen McNerney, Chief People Officer
  • $  290,478:  Robert O’Connor, Sr Director, Tech Operations (thru 9/2020)
  • $  271,098:  Amy Bodin, Chief Admin Officer
  • $  259,673:  Philip Kagan, Executive, IT and Security Officer
  • $  257,642:  Daniel Schultze, Sr Director, Products, Platforms, and Services
  • $  223,237:  Wendy Lou, Chief Revenue Officer (as of 5/2021)
  • $  219,205:  Judith N Batty, Interim CEO and Ex Officio BD
  • $  213,459:  Amy Berkowitz, Former Chief Investment Officer
  • $  150,428:  Anthony Doye, Former Chief Operating Officer

The most highly compensate employee was Sylvia Acevedo, CEO who received $1.6 million in 2021 although she departed in August, 2020.  Over the past 3 years, Sylvia Acevedo received nearly $3 million in compensation.

  • $1,576,925:  2021
  • $  732,132:  2020
  • $  598,527:  2019

As illustrated above, many of the most highly compensated employees are former employees who were employed by the organization in previous years or worked just part of the most recent year.  11 of the 16 (69%) most highly compensated employees are female while 5 of the 16 (31%) are male (note: Gender is not disclosed on the Form 990; determinations were made based on name and google searches).

It is important to note the Girl Scouts had $188 million in net assets at the beginning of 2020.  In April, 2020 the Girl Scouts received $7.3 million as a payroll protection program (PPP) loan, which was accounted for as deferred revenue but was reclassified as grant revenue when the conditions for the loan were met and the loan forgiven by the Small Business Loan Administration in July, 2021.  In May, 2021, the Girl Scouts received a second PPP loan in the amount of $2 million which was treated as deferred revenue (and forgiven in 2022). By the end of 2021, net assets were $219 million – more than $30 million higher than before the pandemic.

The question begs:  Why  does a non-profit with more than $200 million in net assets get loans of $9 million loan from the government that will be forgiven? The organization could clearly absorb the costs of keeping their employees (as they were also able to pay for first class or charter travel and make gross up payments and provide tax indemnifications in 2020; note these expenses were discontinued in 2021).

119 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five (5) highest reported to be:

  • $4.7 million:  Salesforce, of San Francisco, CA for technical services (staffing)
  • $2.5 million:  Ernst and Young, of Pittsburgh, PA for IT development
  • $1.8 million:  Dorsey and Whitney, of NY, NY for legal services
  • $1.6 million:  Adobe Systems, of Chicago, IL for IT development
  • $1.5 million:  Visionit, of Detroit, MI for IT development

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020 for the year ending September 30, 2021), click here.

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