GREENSBORO, N.C. -- "How much money do you make?" It's one of those topics you were told to stay away from, almost like politics or religion. But when it comes to someone who may get part of their salary from tax money - it's something we all want to know. So 2 Wants To Know is digging into the salaries of 16 non-profit organizations that get state money.
Using IRS 990 forms, we compared area salaries to the average found by the national watchdog group Charity Navigator. They found the average pay for a small, Southern non-profit is $89,000. But we discovered directors for two small economic development groups make triple that average.
"That would raise some real red flags for us," charity Navigator Director Ken Berger said.
David Powell of the Piedmont Triad Partnership rakes in $317,789. And Ronnie Bryant of Charlotte Regional Partnership earns $274,924. Both also make more than the average large non-profit director's $235,000 pay.
A spokesperson for the Piedmont Triad Partnership wrote: "Our Board of Directors is confident that the salary is a wise investment for the future success of the Piedmont Triad Region."
And in email, the Charlotte Regional Partnership wrote: "To get the right person, they offered a competitive salary."
In all, 2 Wants To Know looked at 16 nonprofits getting state grants. The other 14 charities fall within the expected salary ranges. According to Charity Navigator the size of the nonprofit is determined by how much their annual expenses are. A small nonprofit average is $89,000. Medium is $130,511 and large is $235,159.
Here's how much the area charities paid.
Piedmont Triad Partnership, Small, David Powell, $317,789
Charlotte Regional Partnership, Small, Ronnie Bryant, $274,924
NC Community Development Initiative, Small, Abdul Rasheed, $146,470
Western North Carolina Regional Economic Development, Small, Scott Hamilton, $122,285
The Support Center, Small, Lenwood Long, $106,080
Land Loss Prevention, Small, Savonala Horne, $90,000
North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, Small, Susan Cole, $89,641
Greensboro Children's Museum, Small, Marian King, $83,575
Sci Works Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, Small, $74,634
Partnership for Defense Innovation, Medium, Scott Perry, $224,965
Greensboro Science Center, Medium, Gleen Dobrogosz, $188,363
High Point International Home Furnishings Market Authority, Medium, $183,240
Discover Place, Medium, John Mackay, $181,643
NC Institute For Minority Economic Development, Medium, Andrea Harris, $115,510
NC Rural Center, Large, Billy Hall, $221,000
NC Biotech Center, Large, E Norris Tolson, $284,553
In addition to director pay, Charity Navigator has a top ten list of other things to consider when making a donation. At the top: don't give money as a knee jerk reaction to the first group that asks.
Instead, focus your giving on well researched non-profits that matter to you. See the other nine hints.