In North Carolina, more than 50 nonprofit executives and employees enjoy pay packages of $1 million or more.
Most of the top-earners work for hospitals or hospital chains. But Duke basketball coach Michael Krzyzewski topped the list, with total compensation approaching $6 million in 2016. A number of other university football and basketball coaches also made the cut.
The majority of nonprofits in North Carolina pay their top executives less than $100,000 annually, data suggest. But among the largest nonprofits — those with budgets of more than $50 million — the average compensation for nonprofit CEOs in North Carolina was about $497,000, according to a study by Guidestar, a group that publishes financial data from nearly 2.7 million nonprofits nationally.
Federal law prohibits nonprofits from awarding excessive compensation. But the federal government does little to monitor nonprofit pay, leaving charities free to pay almost any compensation they see fit, experts say.
Although the term “nonprofit” is often associated with charities and community organizations that help the less fortunate, the category of nonprofits in a legal and tax sense actually includes a broad range of entities from private schools and universities to business trade associations and local hospitals.