Does This Charity CEO Earn $1.9M???

is charity fraud a real issue?

We All get Emails Featuring Outlandish Cases of Charity Fraud

Got an email recently warning me about inefficiency and excessive executive compensation at some well-known charities. Here’s an excerpt:

“As you open your pocketbooks for the next natural disaster, or the Christmas season, please keep these facts in mind:

The American Red Cross President and CEO Marsha J. Evans’ salary for the 2011 was $951,957 plus expenses.

The United Way President Brian Gallagher receives a $675,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits .


UNICEF CEO Caryl M. Stern receives $1,900,000 per year (158K) per month, plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.

Less than 5 cents (4.4 cents) per donated dollar goes to the cause.”

What??? A Rolls Royce???

When you get an email like this it’s a good idea to check a site called to get the scoop. When I went to this page, here’s a bit of their detective work:

UNICEF: The e-mail is not specific about which executive is being referred to here, as UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) is a global organization with offices in 190 countries. We’re assuming the reference is to the President and CEO of the United States Fund for UNICEF, Caryl M. Stern, whose last reported total yearly compensation was $472,891, not $1,200,000. Both Charity Navigator and Forbes rate this organization’s efficiency at 91%, far greater than the 14% claimed in the e-mail cited above. In response to the claim that UNICEF’s CEO receives “a Royal Royce for his exclusive use where ever he goes,” UNICEF told us that “There is no Rolls Royce or company car provided for any staff member at UNICEF or the U.S. Fund, including the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund or UNICEF’s Executive Director.


Should You Change Plans to Avoid Charity Fraud?

With all the charitable confusion what should you do? You could use the resource mentioned on Snopes called CharityNavigator and check for charity efficiency. Or if you’re really worried about wasted money you could donate locally. If you’re donating canned goods it’s likely not going to the CEOs supposed Rolls Royce expense account!


There has been a move over the last 10-15 years, especially with younger entrepreneurs, who because they must work efficiently to succeed, to expect charities to run efficiently and effectively. And these people are either taking an active involvement in the charity or starting their own charity effort. Today there are simply more options to the giver than there ever was.

Just be sure that if you get the emotional tug to donate this holiday season, that you do it with your heart AND your head.