As we first told you last night, the executive director of the Cameron Art Museum makes $127,000 a year. While the museum board maintains her salary is appropriate for her position, some people say it's excessive for a non-profit museum requesting taxpayer money to help cover operating expenses.
We didn't want to single out the CAM, though. There are half a dozen local non-profit executives making six-figure salaries while asking for your tax dollars.
Coastal Horizons provides crisis counseling for people with substance abuse problems, victims of sexual abuse and anyone with mental health problems. It's received money from the City of Wilmington for years, and this year, it's asking for another $60,000, so you may be surprised to hear that four different executives at Coastal Horizons make more than $100,000 a year. According to 990 tax form, which are public records non-profits are required to file, President and CEO Margaret Weller-Stargell makes $136,000. Her Vice President of Operations makes $104,000, while the Vice President of Medical Services makes $108,000 and the Vice President of Clinical Services makes $102,000.
The city also supports the Brigade Boys & Girls Club. The director there, Derrell Clark, was fired about a year ago, but was paid almost $100,000 the same year the group received $50,000 in assistance from Wilmington city taxpayers.
Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin gets $111,000 a year, including benefits, almost the exact same amount the agency received in funding from the City of Wilmington. That's nothing compared to the $324,000 in compensation Scott Satterfield got last year for running Wilmington Industrial Development. Some find that a shocking amount of money to pay a person who runs a non-profit organization that also gets about $80,000 from the City of Wilmington each year.
Whereas for-profit organizations exist to make money for employees and shareholders, a non-profit corporation exists solely to provide programs and services that benefit the community. Non-profits can have paid employees, but must compensate their directors within reasonable bounds. These organizations don't pay taxes and enjoy access to grants, donations and, sometimes, public funding.
Last year, the City of Wilmington gave out about $1 million to non-profits. City Council will consider requests again this spring, but things will be different this year due to the city's budget shortfall.
"There's an interview process, and it's much more structured this year than in years past," council member Kevin O'Grady said. "And then we're going to see the results of those reviews, and then we're going to have the hard decisions if there's any money for non-profits, and if there is, how it gets divided up"