NC Goodwill husband-wife team paid nearly $800,000

  • Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 1:24 a.m.

DURHAM (AP) — The married couple who run 36 Goodwill secondhand stores stretching from Durham to Jacksonville are taking home a combined compensation of nearly $800,000, a sum raising eyebrows for a nonprofit that sells donated clothing and books.

Goodwill Community Foundation president Dennis McLain is paid $430,000 a year in salary and benefits, including membership at Raleigh’s exclusive Capital City Club, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday. Human resources consulting firm Total Compensation Solutions of Armonk, N.Y. said the average compensation for a nonprofit CEO in the Southeast is $251,900.

A 2012 audit report shows that Goodwill also approved a tax-free retirement housing allowance for the president of $2,500 a month until his death and a retirement medical plan paying up to $9,000 a year.

McLain’s wife, Linda, is paid $365,000 as executive vice president of the local affiliate of more than 150 independent regional Goodwills operating nationwide. Four other local employees earn six-figure salaries.

Goodwill’s 12-member board determines executive pay using a national survey that includes private, for-profit firms, according to the nonprofit’s disclosure forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Compensation for the McLain’s rose 20 percent since 2008.

Dennis McLain, a 70-year-old Methodist minister, declined to comment. He is working for Goodwill overseas. Spokeswoman Jenny Martin said she did not know in which country.

Goodwill’s board of directors said in a statement it is proud of the organization’s growth in the three decades that the McLains have led the organization.

“The board thanks the president, executive vice president and their team for their vision and leadership over the last 30 years and look forward to their continued leadership creating a new future for GCF so that all can have a better life,” the statement said.

McLain has served as Goodwill’s local president since 1982. When he took over, the group had little money in the bank and its net worth was less than $300,000.

The nonprofit now employs more than 600 people and has more than $63 million in assets. Goodwill’s IRS documents for 2011 show that most of the organization’s revenues came from the $32.6 million in donated clothes and household goods it received.

While salaries are a subjective measure of performance, people working at nonprofits generally are paid less than in private business, said Todd Cohen, editor and publisher at Philanthropy North Carolina. The salaries paid the Martins seem high, Cohen said.

“There are people at the top of their fields running large organizations that don’t make that much,” Cohen said. “The fact that two people are married and getting a lot of money on its face isn’t right or wrong, but it certainly is something that would lead one to ask questions, especially in this environment where everyone is struggling.”

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