Salaries for executive directors and CEOs at North Carolina’s LGBT non-profits and AIDS service organizations (ASOs) are below statewide medians, according to a survey of non-profits undertaken by qnotes this spring.

In its first Community Assessment Survey, qnotes gathered data and information from 22 non-profit organizations across the Carolinas and reviewed their most recent 990 forms, the tax returns 501(c)3, 501(c)4 and other tax-exempt organizations submit to the IRS each year.

Of the 21 organizations still in operation (one had merged with another survey participant), 12 North Carolina groups currently employed an executive director or CEO. Salaries for those positions ranged from $30,000 to $132,455, according to 2008 990 data or more recent numbers as self-reported by the organizations surveyed. The median salary for LGBT and ASO non-profit CEOs was $53,163.

In a recent study, released in March, by the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, North Carolina’s statewide median for total non-profit CEO compensation was $60,000. For organizations with budgets below $300,000, the median was $40,453. For non-profits with budgets of $10 million or more — which includes no LGBT non-profits in the state — the median executive salary was $151,197.

At a glance

Community non-profits, at a glance: qnotes drills down 22 non-profit organizations’ expenses, revenue, top officers and employees and their salaries. Click on the image at right to download (PDF) our “At a glance” table.

Greensboro’s Guilford Green Foundation, with expenses of $110,586 in 2008, employed the lowest paid executive director. Luck Davidson self-reported a salary of $30,000 with $5,000 in health coverage/benefits.

In comparison, 2008 990 filings showed Belmont’s House of Mercy President and CEO Stan Patterson making a $132,455 salary with an additional $16,578 retirement fund contribution and/or other deferred compensation. House of Mercy’s 2008 expenses totaled to $703,979.

At nearly $150,000, Patterson’s salary plus benefits/retirement fund contributions accounted for 21 percent of House of Mercy’s total expenses, and was nearly twice as much as the next highest paid ASO executive director — Triad Health Project’s Addison Ore, who earned a total of $75,682, including benefits. The state’s lowest paid ASO executive — AIDS Care Service of Winston-Salem’s Christine Jolly — took home $57,352 in salary and $4,693 in benefits, almost a third of Patterson’s.

At first glance, Patterson’s salary and benefits package seems out of line, but Patterson told qnotes his organization was unlike other ASOs in the state.

“What differentiates House of Mercy and probably results in a difference of compensation levels is that we are a licensed facility that has a medical orientation,” he said. “We are competing in terms of staffing with medical facilities, not residential facilities and not AIDS service organizations that are 9-to-5 operations. It’s an entirely different animal altogether.”

Patterson, who holds a masters in public administration and has 15 years experience in a hospital setting, said his salary had been reviewed by the House of Mercy board and was comparable to other similar positions.

One organization, Faith in America, did not directly employ its executive director, Brent Childers. The organization contracted with Childers’ DB Consulting, Inc., for consulting services and paid it a total of $86,756. That figure was not included in qnotes’ calculations for median LGBT CEO compensation. : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.