In Thursday’s (7/2) Chronicle of Philanthropy, Suzanne Perry and Grant Williams write, “Top officials at numerous charities nationally have volunteered to reduce their pay to help their organizations cope with recession-induced budget shortfalls. In some cases, top executives donate a portion of their salary back to their charity, while others decline bonuses that are offered to them. Other charities, however, have avoided pay cuts, arguing that top executives are underpaid and are now seeing their workload increase. … Michael Pastreich, chief executive officer of the Florida Orchestra, in St. Petersburg, says he is taking a voluntary cut of 10 percent of his $175,000 salary as the organization attempts to trim $800,000 from its budget of nearly $10-million.” Other staff at the orchestra took 5 or 7.5 percent cuts. “ ‘It was only right that the people who could afford the cuts the most took the largest and the people who could least afford the cuts took the smallest,’ says Mr. Pastreich. He acknowledges that his pay cut and the other steps aren’t a silver bullet that solves all his organization’s budget problems. ‘The total effect of my salary reduction is a drop in the bucket,’ he says. ‘But you find enough of those and they start to add up.’ ”

Posted July 2, 2009