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March 10, 2023

Executive Compensation at the ASPCA (2021)

by Anne Paddock

The ASPCA is a non-profit tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) based in New York City, New York. As such, the organization submits a Form 990 to the IRS annually and makes a copy available to the public. The most recent IRS Form 990 (2021) reports the ASPCA:

  • Raised $390 million in 2021,  mostly through contributions, gifts, and grants
  • Spent $301 million in 2021, allotting $88 million to the general fund
  • Has $508 million in net assets as of year-end 2021
  • Spent $115 million (29% of revenue) to compensate the 1,279 staff
  • Spent nearly half of revenue ($184 million) on staff, office-related expenses, and travel and conferences
  • Spent $57 million on advertising and promotion (does not include professional fundraisers)
  • Spent $11 million on veterinary medical services and operating supplies
  • Spent $10 million on grants to other animal rights organizations

In terms of compensation, the average compensation was $90,000 ($115 million/1,279 staff). The 13 most highly compensated employees were:

  • $990,525:  Matt Bershadker, President and CEO
  • $506,696:  Todd Hendricks, SVP, Development
  • $468,053:  Bert Troughton, SVP, Shelter and Veterinary Services
  • $450,392:  Cheryl Bucci, SVP, Ops and People
  • $442,154:  Elizabeth Estroff, SVP, Communications
  • $403,583:  Beverly Jones, SVP, Chief Legal Officer
  • $389,713:  J’Mai Gayle, Director, Surgery
  • $382,880:  Stacy Wolf, SVP, Policy, Response, and Engagement
  • $315,510:  Camille Declementi, VP, ASPCA Animal Hospital
  • $307,728:  Nancy Perry, SVP, Government Relations
  • $300,539:  Jennifer Chin, VP, Legal Advocacy/Investing
  • $287,544:  Amy Berkowitz, VP, Information Technology
  • $251,906:  Gordon Lavelette, SVP, CFO (as of 3/15/2021)

As illustrated above, the 13 most highly compensated employees received $5.6 million in compensation.  9 of the 13 most highly compensated employees are female while 4 of the 13 are male.

The most highly compensated employee was Matt Bershadker, the President and CEO who received $990,525 in 2021.  Over the past 5 years, Mr. Bershadker received nearly $4.5 million in compensation:

  • 2021:  $990,525
  • 2020:  $966,004
  • 2019:  $824,539
  • 2018:  $769,526
  • 2017:  $852,231

In 2020, the ASPCA adopted a 457 (F) Deferred Compensation Plan for the President/CEO.  The plan accrues an annual employer-provided amount of $50,000 that is vested after a 5-year employment term, at which point the plan renews in 5-year increments conditioned on continuous employment.

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

  • $30 million:  Eagle-Com, Inc, of Toronto, Canada for media broadcast
  • $14 million:  Laughlin Constable, Inc, of Milwaukee, WI for digital media
  • $14 million:  Ascenta Group, of NY, NY for “donor engagement”
  • $12 million:  Edge Direct, of Baltimore, MD for “donor engagement”
  • $ 4 million:  Patton Kiehl, of Woodford, VA for “donor engagement”

As illustrated above, the ASPCA spent $74 million on advertising and fundraising with just the 5 most highly compensated independent organizations.

In summary, the ASPCA raised $390 million and spent $302 million in 2021 with the largest expense reported to be compensation.  1,279 employees received $115 million in compensation with the 13 most highly compensated employees receiving more than $5 million.  During this same period (2021), the ASPCA spent $11 million on veterinary care and operating supplies and $10 million on grants, primarily to other non-profits while spending at least $74 million on fundraising.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2021), click here.

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