Charity executives in Boston and New York raked in an average salary around $200,000 this year as pay for CEOs of charitable organizations across the country saw an average raise of 6.1 percent.
Top executives at the country's mid- to large-size charities made an average salary of $158,075 this year, an increase of 6.1 percent over the previous year, according to the Charity Navigator 2009 CEO Compensation Study.
Charity CEOs in the Northeast earned the greatest salaries, slightly less than $200,000. CEOs in the Mid-Atlantic states also earned above average pay, about $164,000.
The average pay of a charity CEO in Boston is $195,535. In New York, the average is $220,735.
However, salary growth for charity CEOs was greatest in the Midwest, where pay has grown 14.2 percent since 2006. During that period, only the South has seen charity CEO compensation grow by less than 10 percent.
Organizations that focus on education, arts, culture and humanities, public benefits or health tend to pay above average salaries. CEOs earn below average pay, and as little as $101,872, in organizations that concentrate on religion, animals, the environment, human services or international work.
Charity Navigator said, "many donors will be appalled" by the salaries being earned by charity CEOs, but that the job of running a charity is very similar to running a for-profit corporation and requires the same kind of business management skills.