Charity chiefs don’t get quite as much flak for their pay as their opposite numbers in banking, but still get put under the microscope on a regular basis. It’s an enduring question: how much is too much - pay people who the public expects to be motivated by working towards a good greater than themselves.
The magnifying glass will be directed their way again today, with the release of research by MT’s sister magazine Third Sector into pay at the pinnacle of Britain’s top 150 charities by income. Of the 100 highest-paying charities, 12 paid their top-earning staff member more than £300,000 and 32 more than £200,000, up from nine and 30 the last time the study was done in 2013.
London Clinic, a private Harley Street hospital, was the highest payer again, with an unnamed employee raking in as much as £860,000 a year. Nuffield Health, which runs private hospitals and gyms, paid out as much as £780,000 to an anonymous ex staff member, including redundancy payments. Neither are your typical 'charity'.
Across the top 100 charities, median pay was £165,000. But many international aid charities that have felt the populist heat in recent years over executive pay didn’t make the list. Oxfam and Christian Aid, for example, both paid their top earner less than £125,000. No doubt, though, the debate will rumble on.
The top 10 highest-paying charities
1. London Clinic £850,000 - £860,000
2. Nuffield Health £770,000 - £780,000
3. St Andrew’s Healthcare £750,000 - £760,000
4. Wellcome Trust £590,000 - £600,000
5. Royal Opera House £566,000
6. Anchor Trust £420,000 - £430,000
7. City & Guilds £400,000 - £410,000
8. Legal Education Foundation* £360,000 - £370,000
9. Children’s Investment Fund Foundation £350,000 - £360,000
10. Church Commissioners for England £330,000 - £340,000