The Chronicle of Philanthropy published its annual survey of nonprofit CEO salaries this week. The compensation of Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is discussed and he is featured in a sidebar story about deferred compensation.
Dr. Beall's compensation, as reported on IRS Form 990, had an anomaly. It included a one-time payment of deferred compensation. This is compensation and interest that was earned over more than a decade, most of which was already reported on Forms 990 in prior years. The deferred compensation leaves the impression that Dr. Beall's salary is significantly higher than it really is.
The practice of paying deferred executive compensation is common among many nonprofits of the size of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Dr. Beall's compensation is set by an independent, unpaid Committee of the Board of Trustees. The Board's goal is to pay competitively in order to attract and retain top talent who will fulfill the Foundation's mission to develop therapies that will ultimately cure cystic fibrosis.
The Committee uses a thorough and careful process specified by the IRS to determine compensation. The Committee reviews detailed information from market peers with whom the CF Foundation competes for talent, and assesses the short- and long-term executive performance in meeting definitive and quantifiable objectives.
Under Dr. Beall's leadership, the median predicted age of survival for people with CF has risen from 18 -- when he joined the Foundation -- to the mid-thirties today. Over this period, the CF Foundation has made ground-breaking progress in advancing a cure for cystic fibrosis, including the discovery of the CF
In addition, virtually every approved CF drug available to patients today was made possible because of CF Foundation support.
The CF Foundation is one of the most efficient organizations of its kind, with nearly 90 cents of every dollar going to support research, care and education programs. The Foundation reports all required details of historical and current compensation on its annual Form 990 to the IRS, and this information is available to the public.