Compensation At The Top

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Looking at your 2013 990, I see your new president was being paid about $420,000 which is about twice the $216,000 you paid the former president. At least 10 others at the top were making well above $200,000. This helps explain the large increase in your annual compensation budget year-over-year. What is the latest data since this 2013 report? Also, I'm very curious as to WHY this level of compensation for so many and WHY it has been necessary to raise these levels lately?
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Steve Wilson

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Posted 4 years ago

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Adam

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Hi Steve! I hope that I can help to address some of your concerns. Compassion publishes all of their annual reports, Forms 990, and audited financial statements for public inspection on their website, here, and they encourage sponsors to review those. The Form 990 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 reported part year total compensation of $419,676 for the outgoing president and pert year total compensation of $216,132 for the incoming president. I think you might have those individuals reversed. Total compensation of officers and key employees for 2013 was reported at $2,688,864. In the most recent Form 990, for the FYE June 30, 2015, total compensation of officers and key employees was reported at $2,430,928, a decrease of roughly 10% from 2013.

Incidentally, I work in public accounting and when I was doing my first research about Compassion before becoming a sponsor I was surprised to see how conservative the compensation of officers and key employees is at Compassion for an organization of it's size and scale. Keep in mind that Compassion is one of the largest charities in the United States. They have to balance offering competitive salaries to attract and keep talented individuals with being good stewards of our contributions. They do a wonderful job of that, in my opinion. I have no doubt that each of those individuals listed as highly compensated could be making much more income in the private sector.

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Jane

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Since when do Christians compare themselves to the world and use what people in the private sector make or what the organization's income as a standard for what ministers of the gospel should receive? If money is what these people are interested in, and they can make more in business, by all means, let them!  Compassion really can't find competent people to do the job as unto the Lord and not for a 6-figure salary?  
I supported 3 children through Compassion for more years than I can recall, but no more after learning where so much of the money given to help children really goes.
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Adam

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Hi Jane. I'm sorry if you were offended by my comment. If you don't use anything as comparison then it really is just quite subjective. Speaking of ministers of the Gospel, I think you might be surprised by the salaries of a lot of pastors of mid-size churches here in the US. That's not exactly what what we're talking about here though. I might just add to my comment above, I think the cost of living in and around Colorado Springs is very high compared to other parts of the country. I don't think the salaries are unreasonable, and I don't think money is all that the people employed in leadership positions at Compassion are interested in.
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Susan

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Jane, I feel like it is important to point out that over 80% of every dollar given goes directly towards the children we serve. Compassion cares for almost 2 million children around the world and a budget of $800 million. This means that the salaries of our executives is a drop in the bucket compared to the total number. If you consider the level of expertise and occupational stress that is inherent in being responsible for managing and stewarding that much money and caring for that many children, is the salary justified? I know from personal experience how difficult it is to run a quality charity when its workers are either volunteers or don't earn enough to live on long term, especially when there is so much good work to be done for children who are in desperate need. People who have to live at or below the poverty line to work for a charity often are forced to neglect their ministry just to to provide for their families. Running a quality ministry requires paying qualified people to do quality work. 
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coupon freebez

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"People who live at or below the poverty line..." The salary is over 200,000. That is 10x the poverty level.   As a volunteer who works with the poor and homeless alongside an 82 year old woman who has done this ministry for 30 years, a quality ministry requires the Holy Spirit who enables people to do the job He wants done. Jes
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Renton Willows

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After seeing the salary information about CEO's etc. in a "Charitable Foundation" it reminds me of the CLinton FOundation .... STEAL the money from the people that NEED the donations
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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i agree with this. my gosh this is more than what the president of the country earns. i am rethinking my donation.
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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Your response is typical of the corporate response used for decades. One could be making more in the private sector? If they could they would have left. To compare the Lord's work to private money making corporations is an affront to His work.

The founder didn't take a large salary to do God's work. And if the Compassion organization needs to pay its CEO and officers those kind of salaries it seriously needs to consider the needs of the children who are being used to make the organization financially successful.

Learned enough at Harvard Business School to see the same arguments used, again, by hundreds, if not thousands, of non-profits organizations to defend their high salaries using the private sector as a standard of compensation. 

I notice that the PRIVATE SECTOR NEVER USES THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR TO DEFEND THEIR ASTRONOMICAL SALARIES BECAUSE THAT'S THEIR GOD OR PURPOSE TO ENRICH THEMSELVES WHILE ON PLANET EARTH. 

IN CONCLUSION, I'M SURE GLAD THAT WE WILL ALL BE JUDGED EITHER AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE OR BY OUR LORD AND SAVIOR CHRIST JESUS. THERE THE LITTLE MONEY THAT THE CHILDREN GET WILL BE COMPARED TO THE SALARIES THE OFFICERS OF COMPASSION RECEIVED.

IF YOU ARE IN THE HUMAN CHRISTIAN SERVICES YOU NEED TO GIVE BACK AT LEASE FIFTY PERCENT OF YOUR SALARY TO THE CHILDREN. AND, BY THE WAY, MANY CEO'S IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR TAKE A SALARY OF ONE DOLLARS AS THEY ARE BILLIONAIRES OR MAYBE TRILLIONAIRES (THE ONE TENTH OF ONE PERCENT) .

THE FOUNDERS PURPOSE WAS TO FINANCIALLY HELP THE CHILDREN AND BRING THEM TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF A SAVIOR, CHRIST JESUS. THAT WAS HIS MISSION. AND I'LL BET YOU HE IS A MOST HAPPY BROTHER KNOWING THAT WHILE ON PLANET EARTH HE DIDN'T TAKE THE MONEY THAT WAS MEANT FOR THE ORPHANS IN KOREA, AND LATER IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. WHAT DO THE OFFICERS DO WITH THAT KIND OF MONEY? 

 EL CHUCK FROM CALIFORNIA; UGM PREACHER, AND TOOK NOT ONE PENNEY FOR HELPING STARVING ORPHANS IN YOUN DAK PO, REPUBLIC OF KOREA. CHRIST JESUS TOOK GOOD CARE OF MY FINANCIAL NEEDS, AND THEY WEREN'T TWO HUNDRED OR FOUR HUNDRED PLUS DOLLARS.
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Emily Smith

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Aren't we all ignoring the obvious solution here? No one is forcing anybody to donate to Compassion. There are plenty of organizations that work with children all over the world. Compassion employees have attempted to provide answers to the questions, but people are continuing to argue. If the answers given are not satisfactory, and you still feel negatively toward Compassion, then donate to another organization. It's quite simple. Or, since many of you seem extremely well-versed in how to run a non-profit, start your own. 
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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I will not stop my donation since I can't imagine my little child going without. My pastor did not let me share Compassion International for Compassion Sunday in my church. I will just continue with my commitment with donation and prayers.

 
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Allen Andringa

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Nothing can justify a salary of almost TEN TIMES the salary of the average American ($45K/year) to the head of a ministry that serves the poor.  Sadly, I will not continue supporting this ministry after the children I sponsor age-out.  Just. Very. Sad. Reminds me of the verse "the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?" We can justify anything. 
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William Blair

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I just want to add one thing to this. Compassion had a total income of 776 million dollars this last fiscal year.  Any company in the private sector that has a gross income like that will pay CEO's and top officers 5 to 10 times what Compassion pays. Some ministry leaders I know personally have left behind business opportunities for full time ministry because that's where God led them knowing their needs would be covered. Most people don't understand that especially people I know who follow these prosperity preachers who manipulate the Bible for personal gain.
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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The CEO of Salvation Army runs a 2 billion charity and he is compensated about $13,000.00 plus housing for his ministry. 
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KristenH, Champion

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Lilly, that's not true at all.  The Salvation Army is not required to File form 990 like Compassion is, but as of the last reported financial status to the BBB, this is the income info for the CEO. (It's outdated since they aren't required to provide updated info like Compassion. However, just a quick google of Salvation Army CEO salary debunks your claims.) 
  • Chief Executive

    William A. Roberts, National Commander

  • Compensation*

    $131,243

  • Chair of the Board

    David Jeffrey, Commissioner

  • Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation

    President

  • Board Size

    7

  • Paid Staff Size

    76

*2012 compensation, as reported by the charity, includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Charles Pineda

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FOR A TWO BILLION NON-PROFIT $131.243 IS COMMENDABLE!
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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Kristen I did google Salvation Army. I wouldn't make things up. In any case OK. I stand corrected. I do agree with Charles Pineda, commendable it is indeed.
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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Lilly: We are on the same page, and in line with Christ Jesus's commands.
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Allen Andringa

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It's just sad that you continue to compare Compassion with Corporate America rather than to other ministries to whom God has called people to serve.  You're comparing a ministry to American greed. It's. Just. So. Sad. 
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Charles Pineda

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When one wants wisdom the scriptures tell us to ask God for it and he will grant us wisdom in abundance. As a former peace officer and investigator I see the same kind of strategies and rational used by corporations by many non-profit corporations. For example, every non-profit whose CEO's makes over $200,000.00 dollars uses the corporate rational for making such huge salaries on a ministry that should share more of the CEO's wealth with the poor people that have no say so or voice on the salary of the non-profit. Why do you think the word CORPORATION is used after non-profit?

So, compare the CEO of the Union Gospel Mission in Sacramento, California, He earns $65,000.00 plus per year to the annual salary of the CEO of Compassion.

As the former national and state president of the Mexican American Correctional Association, a non-profit, I didn't take a single dollars for all the work with correctional peace officers, regular peace officers, and probation and parole officers. I foot the bill myself. And as I said before in our society people seem to be hungry for money all the time, yes, including Christians.

Take a look at the Internet site for non-profit corporations and see how much money goes to personnel and how much goes to the poor, hungry, third world people who really need the money to buy food, and not starve rather then the CEO who usually live in the best neighborhoods with all the amenities of the non-profit CEO's.

In conclusion, hopefully you are not an employee or minion of Compassion. Again look at the site on NON-PROFIT SALARIES AND WHAT THE CEO OF THE SALVATION ARMY GET'S AND THEY WERE AROUND LONG BEFORE COMPASSION.

My best,
Charles Pineda, Jr.
Retired Parole Board Judge; California
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hello Steve! Compassion's 2014-2015 990 form shows our CEO, Santiago
“Jimmy” Mellado’s reportable compensation from the ministry as $296,044, which
is well below other ministries within this same field. You can find our 990 form through the link that Adam graciously provided or here. This is from the time period of Jun 1, 2014 through June 30,2015. We usually
compare our CEO's compensation to World Vision’s President, who has a reportable
compensation from that organization as $447,500, because they are an
organization of comparable size and mission.

Our
statement on stewardship says the following: “The ministry of Compassion
belongs to the children, our Implementing Church Partners, our sponsors and
donors, our Supporting Church Partners and ultimately to God. Therefore, we
protect, develop, and deploy all of our resources (people, time, money,
knowledge, reputation and materials) with great care and wisdom.”

In order to develop quality staff at Compassion while at
the same time managing our financial resources with great care and wisdom, we
seek to offer competitive salaries for the various positions necessary to
successfully execute Compassion’s mission statement. Also, please note that our leaders are faithful sponsors
and donors as well, and personally and financially support the ministry.

Thank you so much, Adam and William, for jumping in to help answer Steve's question quickly :). I sincerely appreciate the time you take to go above and beyond for fellow sponsors and the significant help you are to us!
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Stephen

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Sarah why does Christian organizations get such a bad rap
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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The Salvation Army has been around much longer then Compassion. Why can't Jimmy live on the salary of the Salvation Army CEO? And they are older and bigger.
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newsponsor

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Yes, I agree, total CEO compensation of $337,667 for a non-profit organization with gross receipts of $800,269,173 would be considered at least 3 times lower compared to other non-profit organizations of similar size, particularly, non-profit health care organizations.
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Allen Andringa

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It's just sad that you continue to compare Compassion with Corporate America rather than to other ministries to whom God has called people to serve.  You're comparing a ministry to American greed. It's. Just. So. Sad.
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Jane

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I am shocked that people think it is OK for CEO's of Christian relief organizations to be earning 6-figure salaries when it comes from sacrificial gifts for impoverished people!  This is not a job.  It's a ministry.  Of course the minister needs to be adequately provided for, but if he/she is looking for riches in this world, he/she should get a job in the private sector.  There are plenty of Christian servants who would do a great job running these ministries without enriching themselves in the process.  People who want very dollar possible should go to the people it was given to help!   What a worldly mentality is expressed by the previous posts!  
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Emily Smith

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LOL, this post is hilarious! So, Christians should be working for free just because they're Christians? People who work in ministry should be dirt poor? Girl, please. I totally get where you're coming from when it comes to the pastors of the mega-churches who run around in private planes just for preaching. But we're not talking about that. We're talking about people who RUN a major charitable organization. I'm going to hazard a guess and say that you've likely never been in the business world or perhaps even in the working world at all.

I don't care what religion someone is, salary should be commensurate with the work that is performed. I expect that as an attorney, and I think a CEO of a major charity should expect that as well.

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William Blair

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I believe we all understand where Jane is coming from. I use to say things like that many years ago. I sponsor a girl in Bolivia who will study law at the university after she graduates the program. I get to go back to visit her next month. I see every boy and girl who graduates the programs prospering and sharing the Gospel more effectively than us Americans ever could in their countries.
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Hal Hancock

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In the richest county in the Midwest, the median family income (for families that have kids) is near $115,000.  This is in the richest county in 13 states. 
(Edited)
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Victor Miller

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You also think about the time he spends travelling, speaking, advocating, and time away from his family. As others have mentioned, this salary is way under average. Just because Christians are working doesn’t mean they should be underpaid. If that we’re the case employees would feel cheated. I can tell you that in a lot of fields Compassion staff are paid less than the average and know that we are working toward a mission.
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Jane

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Responding to Emily, who thinks my post is hilarious...

I find it sad that you find it laughable that any qualified person would be willing to do this difficult job out of love for the Lord and compassion the needly if they were not compensated with a very large salary. You seem clueless about what it means to follow Christ sacrificially. No wonder Jesus taught us that it's very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.

But you're right about one thing,“girl.” I’ve have little experience in the business world. I was a missionary and missionaries generally think very different from rich attorneys about what is important in life.  

By the way, if you think missionaries are losers who could not have become “successful” like you, I know many people who graduated from one of the best universities in America and then turned their backs on lucrative job opportunities to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.

Also, as an attorney, you should know better than to so mischaracterize what people said. Did I say that CEO’s of Christian organizations should work for free or be dirt poor? Hardly.

I said, “...the minister needs to be adequately provided for....” But I don’t think they should be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they need when that money was given to help impoverished children and to bring them the gospel.
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Emily Smith

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I'm not even going to dignify that with a response, Jane. You've completely put words in my mouth. I would never, ever call anyone a "loser." That was YOUR word, so perhaps that's something you believe? 

I will not address your post any further as I don't believe it's appropriate to do so here. I am sorry that you are so very angry at Compassion and at all of the polite folks here, many of whom have tried to provide you with satisfactory answers to your concerns. Very sad for you. 
(Edited)
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Steve Wilson

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I just love it when some corporate shill or politician runs for cover with the old saw that "I'm not even going to dignify that with a response."  Did you call the President a moron? I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer!  Of course, that tactic usually IS the answer.

Look, I have no doubt that your polite employees from the top down do considerable good to help the less-fortunate. And I'll even buy your claim they are all polite.  But to try to justify whopping salaries by comparing the spending of dollars (often collected from people of modest means) to provide charity and compassion with the ungodly compensation that corporate CEO's and Wall Streeters rake in these days is just a non-starter with me.  It makes it sound as though you've bought Gordon Gecko's famous argument that "greed is good."  And your claim that leaders of some other, similar organizations are doing it, too, is about as feeble as when I tried to convince my mom "everybody else does it."  She always reminded me THAT doesn't make it right, either.

Jane's point was merely that the standards in your field are different than Gordon Gecko's aim to grab as much money for himself as fast as he can grab it.  And I agree with her that anybody motivated by a desire to get as rich as they can on your compensation package is probably not the kind of soul truly called for the right reason to do this kind of work in the first place!
       
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Emily Smith

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Steve, the reason I am not going to dignify her post with a response is that she engaged in name-calling and ad hominem attacks, which is exactly what you're doing as well. No need to even bother engaging with someone like that. 
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Charles Pineda

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THAT'S WOULD BE THE LORD ALMIGHTY AND HIS SON CHRIST JESUS'S STANCE ON DOING HIS WORK ON EARTH.
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Jane

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And exactly what name-calling did I engage in, Emily? Again, as an attorney, you should know better than to post false accusations about people. Especially when the evidence is right there that I did nothing of the kind.
Nor did I put any words in your mouth or say that you called anyone a loser. But you don't seem to realize that there are many many highly qualified people who serve the Lord out of love, even in very difficult and stressful positions and don't feel the need to be paid a high salary to do so.
You feel sad for me? Please don't. I feel sad for you.
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Steve Wilson

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Emily, please take a deep breath and relax.  Nobody is attacking you.  You are probably a fine person and fun at parties.  We just have a different perspective and disagree with each other.  One of the great failures in our country in the last few years is that we've lost the ability to disagree with one another without believing we're being attacked personally.  Let's all pray that changes.  Soon. 
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Charles Pineda

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One big Amen! I love your position on a ministry vs. a non-ministry job.
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Charles Pineda

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Fully agree Jane! It's if it's God work it's a MINISTRY! How the Lord got me to Harvard Law School only He knows, and as Parole Board Judge I deal with attorney's on a daily basis. Some are sharp and know the Penal Code of California. Other's not so sharp, however, they all have pass the state's Bar Examination. 

Today, people choose careers. Medicine, law, physics, engineering, acting,etc. They are just careers. However, some people think because they have entered a field that get's a lot of television and drama that other person's need to kind of bow down a la royalty to their status, and that is just foolish, and in poor taste.

The proverbs tell me that it is better to be with the oppressed then to be with the oppressors. So, while we are on planet earth we will meet with all kinds of people. Some will like us and some won't. And if you are dealing with lawyers some will not give an inch on an argument or topic. And, of course, a Christian, non-lawyer or lawyer will always be kind, and respectful, for that is what Christ Jesus taught us or left for us in 1st Corintians 13 regarding LOVE, AND GOD IS LOVE. 
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Charles Pineda

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We are on the same page! Yes if one want to make big money get into the private sector or the NON PROFIT corporations.

The Lord has certainly given you a talent of writing for His people, the poor and helpless.

My best,
Chuck Pineda in California
(Edited)
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heather o

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Isn't that being a bit harsh and judgemental? Do you know the administration heart and how they spend their money? Do you know their family size and needs? How do you know that some of the administrators' compensations aren't being reinvested into the Compassion ministry or another ministry? It also seems to me that someone who takes a job that pays half to one fifth as much as they could make elsewhere has done so to serve Christ. People do jobs and they deserve to be paid. CEOs have very high stress levels and their compensation reflects that no matter if they are a Christian organization or a worldly organization. When you divide salaries by the number of sponsorships very little goes towards salaries. To say you won't sponsor your kiddos anymore because someone is being paid to do a job is hurting no one but those children.
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Charles Pineda

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NON OF THE NON-PROFIT CORPORATION INITIATE WHAT THEIR EMPLOYEE'S DO WITH THEIR MONEY. SO, NO ONE KNOWS WHETHER THEY HELP OTHERS OR JUST ADD TO THEIR WEALTH. AND IF ONE DOESN'T SHARE WITH OTHERS IT BETTER THAT NO ONE KNOW. BUT THE LORD KNOWS.
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Jane

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I can sponsor children through other Christian organizations who take a lot less of donors' money for their leadership so that a lot more can go to the needy.  So no one is being hurt by my changing which organization I sponsor through.  But a lot of needy people are being hurt by so much money that was given for their needs going to 20+ people making 6-figure salaries.

No, I don't think that it is being judgmental to say that what companies in the private sector pay their employees should not be the standard for what ministries pay their ministers, or that it is a very worldly viewpoint to think so.  Christian organizations that operate on the basis of donations are merely stewards of those donations.  How how they use those sacrificial gifts is a very different matter from how companies use their profits.
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Nicole Lowrey

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Did your 3 kids get re-sponsored? How did you explain to the kids why you were quitting your sponsorship? Did you not build a bond with them at all? I lost my sponsored child due to the program in India being shut down. I cried. I was so upset and you dropped three children because you didn't like the amount of money the CEO is being paid. You have to pay someone a reasonable amount to do a high stress job. Its the way the world works. You pay people crappy and you will get crappy work out of them. The people who make me sick are people like Joel Osteen who make millions, say theyre helping and then shut down their church to flood victims. Not someone who takes a small percentage of what the company makes and runs the company, because lets be honest.....he could probably be taking $500k.
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Maria Eberle

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Children's Hunger Fund is the organization I've chosen.
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Charles Pineda

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JANE: OUTSTANDING COMMENT. GOD BLESS YOU. IN MY HEART I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE LORD CHRIST JESUS GAVE YOU THOSE WORDS TO BRING HIS PERSPECTIVE INTO FOCUS.

CHUCK PINEDA IN CALIFORNIA
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Victor Miller

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https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallott...

Watch this Ted talk. It explains well what I think.
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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When it comes to a Christian organization I cannot hear the comments of a gay person...
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Alexia StClair

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Then you are no Christian. Jesus would turn away no one. As a so-called Christian you should know that. If your beloved sponsor-child grew up to realize he was gay would you cast him out? You are literally the epitome of what gives Christians a bad name. “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” -Ghandi
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Stephen

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I guess we can't change Jane's mind and she is entitled to her opinion
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Jane

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I am disappointed by this response that totally discounts the importance of the concerns I’ve raised that affect the lives of many needy people.

You imply that I continue to disagree with Heather because I am closed-minded. Truth is, Heather offered NO justification as to why hundreds of thousands of dollars ABOVE what someone would reasonably need to provide a comfortable life for his family should be given to the CEO and other top brass FROM GIFTS that were given, often from people of very humble means, to help the very needy.

Heather said that a relatively small % of money donated goes to salaries.  That's one way to look at it, but it doesn't justify paying people more than they need when it could be going to the truly needy -- for whom it was given. So here's another what to look at it:

Sponsoring a child for a year costs $456.  If the CEO were paid 200K less/yr, he would still be earning a salary of WELL OVER 200K plus benefits (not a bit shabby for ANY family) that money would pay for the sponsorship of another $438 children. Should Compassion enrich one family MORE, or change the lives of $438 destitute families?  Or if they paid him 300K less, they could change the lives of 657 families! 

And that's just for the salary of ONE of Compassion's leaders.  

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heather o

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Jane, I am not going to argue with you, you are entitled to your own opinion and judgement of what people's compensation should be. I will however point out that on the most recent 2016 990 from Compassion if the CEO cut his salary by 300k he would have like 30k to live on last year. If the others cut by 200k they would be in the negative or at the most (the VP) they would have 54k to live on for the year. I hold a degree in Business Management and Leadership, I know the stress and responsibilities that come with being in top position and Christians need to be compensated too. World Vision is the only organization close to comparison with Compassion and their president makes 130k more since they are a bigger organization. Also, the Compensation was decreased again from 2015 to 2016, which also was the case from 2014 to 2015.
My whole point is this, I don't want people not doing their research or misunderstanding what they are reading and think Compassion spends a ton of money on Executive salaries. The truth is the spend about 0.15% of contributions on these folks who keep the charity going and work hard to help more children.
(Edited)
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heather o

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Oh, I forgot to mention it is not 20+ people with 6 figure salaries it is half that. 10 people to oversee the operations of a charity as large as Compassion. That is a lot of work for 10 people and changes the amount one thinks is being used for compensation greatly. Again, not trying to argue with anyone, just trying to get the facts out there so no one is misled. If I am wrong on these please let me know. Blessings!
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Charles Pineda

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How can one compare the stress of of a non-profit CEO to a peace officer dealing with out of control persons, persons under the influence, being shot at by hard core criminals, and risking one's life on a daily basis. And we didn't make six figure salaries. 
As some of the Brothers and Sister's have stated there are plenty of qualified and experience person's who are willing to work for much less then two-hundred or three-hundred thousand dollars.
It's funny we,the regular working professionals, don't ever hear of openings in these high paying non-profit corporations. And maybe,just maybe, the term corporation should alert us to how corporation's operate, public or private. 
In conclusion, Heather O raises a good issue regarding ten employee's. Why not hire ten more and use the money from the high paid employees to lessen the stress of running a large non-profit corporation. And if these CEO's stress out quickly have them resign, and fill the position with a person who can handle the non-profit stress for it's nothing compare to what we peace officers deal with out in the streets.
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Allen Andringa

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Look at last year's 990 on Compassion's website. There are 13 executives making over $200K (look at compensation and "other" compensation) to almost $400K per year.  It's just sad that you continue to compare Compassion with Corporate America rather than to other ministries to whom God has called people to serve.  You're comparing a ministry to American greed. It's. Just. So. Sad.
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William Blair

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I know a married couple who moved from Colorado to where I live in Alabama. They did so because of the difference in cost of living. According to them it was a big difference. The salaries paid to the executives at Compassion is fair enough. I don't understand why anyone would object to a six figure salary for executives working for ministries. If God called me to work there I would take whatever salary they offered and any pay raises given to me after that. Who wouldn't? They have hard work to do and need to be well compensated for it.
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Charles Pineda

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William: What would you do with three hundred thousand dollars? But by your tone you would probably donate half of that to the needy children. And, as I've stated before, no one knows what non-profit or for profit people do with their money. Well maybe the IRS might have an idea. God continue blessing you and your love one's.
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Stephen

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I agree William it just makes me upset when someone judges a organization without fully understanding if they do donate back to Compassion or any other Christian organizations and the ceo off organization has a lot on their plate trying to make sure the organization runs effectively for the Glory of God maybe you can talk to the ceo and see if he gives back to Compassion or what does he does I didn't know a independent irs person would be saying such distasteful judgemental comments about an organization without getting the full story
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William Blair

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One thing I know for sure is God wants no one to suffer lack. This ministry exists to make sure no one else does either. How many former sponsor children are now prospering very well now? We need to take the time to look at the big picture. These executives and board members are content with their salaries knowing they could be making so much more in the business world. Most likely most of them left the business world for this. Some have been with Compassion for 30-40 years just like Wess Stafford has been. Read his story in his book Too Small To Ignore.
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Charles Pineda

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I just hope you're not a retired CEO of Compassion, but using the old saying that these Non-profit CEO's could be earning much more in the private sector is just an old argument. There isn't one sociological study that person's making hundreds of thousands in the Non-profit sector could be making much more in the private sector.

I studied at Harvard Business School with the 2nd year MBA's, and it just ruffles my feathers to read an old Non-profit argument defending one's high salary. There are hundreds of business men, and corporations who don't clear three to seven hundred thousand dollar salaries in the private sector.

And many of these Non-profit CEO's WOULD NOT BE HIRED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR, AND THAT'S WHY MANY END UP IN THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR.

My best,
El Chuck
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Susan

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Chuck, you can read more about Compassion's history, including all of our CEO's over the years here. Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado is our current President and CEO. If it matters, he has an MBA from Harvard and a heart for the world having grown up in seven countries in Latin America. I have personally witnessed his tears and heard of his passion for our organization and for people in general on several occasions. Knowing Jimmy's heart and qualifications, I highly doubt he chose to work for Compassion as a plan B because he couldn't survive in the for-profit world. 
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Charles Pineda

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SUSAN: WE WILL ALL STAND BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT THRONE OF CHRIST AND WE WILL ALL BE JUDGE BASED ON WHAT WE DID, BASED ON TRUE LOVE FOR OUR BROTHER'S AND SISTER'S. AND THEN GET OUR REWARDS FOR DOING WHAT IS CORRECT IN GOD'S EYES.

I IMAGINE THAT THOSE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS WILL, IN ALL PROBABILITY, STAND BEFORE THE WHITE THRONE OF JUDGEMENT, AND THAT IS A HORRIBLE/TERRIBLE END FOR ANY HUMAN BEING.

MY BEST,
EL CHUCK
Ps, I USE CAPITALS BECAUSE I CAN READ THEM BETTER.
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newsponsor

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"Non-profit" doesn't mean they have to work for free. It only means that company profit is not paid as shareholder distribution, but it is re-invested to business. Hence, all employees, including CEO, are entitled to compensation. Being CEO means unlimited working hours, making strategic decisions, legal responsibility for smooth operation of the charity with multi-million dollar budget. The Compassion International CEO compensation is much less compared to other non-profit organization.  Goodwill CEO was paid $712,202 with total company revenue of $44,941,304. Compassion International CEO was paid $381,073 with total company revenue of $800,169,932. Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado is already taking a big cut in his salary being a CEO of Christian charity. It would be unfair to offer a CEO a salary of an office clerk.
(Edited)
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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This is why I don't give to Goodwill.
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Charles Pineda

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NON-PROFITS ARE THE WAY TO GO TO MAKE BIG SIX FIGURE SALARIES. JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE INITIAL SALARIES OF THE "WOUNDED WARRIOR" NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. IT WENT FROM 200,000, TO 300,000, TO OVER 600,000 DOLLARS. I MAY BE  A LITTLE OFF, BUT ONE CAN SEE IT ON THE INTERNET. FINALLY THE BOARD OF DIRECTOR'S FORCE OUT THE ATTORNEYS WHO STARTED IT, AND NOW SOME REAL VETERANS ARE SUPPORTING IT. THESE ATTORNEY'S, TO MY KNOWLEDGE NEVER SERVED THEIR COUNTRY.BUT THERE IS BIG MONEY TO BE MADE IF ONE HAS A BIG POPULATION BASE, AND A GOOD PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM.

FUNNY, THE ATTORNEYS WHO STARTED THE WOUNDED WARRIOR NON-PROFIT NOW WILL LEGALLY HELP ONE START A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION.

WHAT BOTHERS US VETERANS IS HOW THESE MONEY HUNGRY PEOPLE WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOLDIERS AND USE THEM TO MAKE BIG MONEY.
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Charles Pineda

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Management 101: The owner or CEO of a company leads, and insures that the subordinates carry out the objective, or work. That's how most of our corporate, and public government systems work. It's the subordinates who do the hardest task, and get the lower salaries, sounds familiar?

So, where is all this stress, long hours, traveling, and, of course, staying at the best hotels. One can be at a village in Guatemala like Monterico in Jutapia, and be at the best hotel along the beach in twenty minutes. Oh, how stressful.

My best,
El Chuck
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Linda Hepperle

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We are uniquely and wonderfully made with intelligence and maybe hearts to stand up for what is right and some may disapprove of one's salary, and feel obligated to try to hold brothers and sisters accountable, but ultimately, and thankfully God is our judge. Money is just a number and worldly wealth is given just as it can be taken away. All things work together for good. We certainly can be the hands and feet of God and He may choose to bless us to have the means to do so. Blessed are those who choose to use His blessings according to His will and blessed are the poor who I pray will be blessed with wealth on this earth, but God may choose to bless them in other ways or in heaven. He is holy and His judgment is holy. I don't know the heart of those who hopefully work so hard to keep this ministry going, but I can only pray that they will be used in a way that God wants them to be used. Maybe their salary allows them to be in places where they encounter others who they can speak to and impact those who may not otherwise be impacted. I think of celebrities who have fame and fortune and still are broken and suicidal, because life doesn't come from money life comes from God through Jesus. I pray that the money donated will be multiplied by God to help children in need in a way that God wants. I cannot judge the heart of the people angry about salaries, maybe their conviction to speak out is justified and led by God. None of us truly know. May God shine light upon any evil, may He continue to work in the hearts of people to impact lives for Him and may we all turn from our selfishness and worldly sins that we are all guilty of. I thank God for His amazing love and grace that none of us deserve.
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Mary N Cooper

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You are right and I agree, I work in business and in comparison their salaries are actually very low, if you want good people, people who can handle and world wide organization you have to pay them something.

My concern is with the parish where the child I was sponsoring left and no one at Compassion getting back to me.

May God Bless you and thank you for your well written response.

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Charles Pineda

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May the Lord Christ Jesus continue to give you the words of love for others, for God is love.
IHS
Chuck Pineda of California
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Mary N Cooper

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What I don't understand is if Compassion is taking care of about 2 million children and they bring in (Roughly) 800 million, wouldn't every child be a millionaire ?

I must be reading something wrong.

I went to a Compassion meeting at my church, I found out that the people who are involved in Compassion hear from the churches and know what's going on with their child in the child's community. I have never once heard from my child's church or who is over seeing her. Nothing. I was very upset to find out I've been giving extra month and gifts on birthdays and holidays only to find out that they made her spend it on school cloths and she does not get the gifts I send. The pastor of her church is taking the extra money or its being given to him and they spend the money how they see fit.

That upsets me, I've tried numerous times to get a hold of someone at Compassion only to be re-routed to the Philippines. I want to speak directly with the people in Colorado.

For some reason my child left the program and without my consent they just started taking the money out of my account again, I tried to straighten it out to no avail

I logged onto my account only to see a young man who has been trying to get sponsorship for over 441 days. wouldn't it make sense if you are going to assign a child (W/O the sponsor having a say) you would go with the child who has been waiting the longest.

I pray to God someone get's back in touch with me. I don't know what esle to do. I have this bad taste about this entire situation and I do not want to feel this way I'm really upset with the way this is being handled. I really feel like no one cares about me or what I am trying or tired to do with the child I had. I am really mad that they just went a head and after several months just started taking money out so that parish the child was part of didn't lose the money especially when another child has been waiting for over 441 days for help. That's awful. I have left my real name and info in hopes someone will get back to me. I'm so close to pulling out of this organization.

Thank you

Mary N Cooper


(Edited)
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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$800 million / 2 million = $400 a child (a year).  $38/month x 12 months a year is $456/yr. 2 million children times $1 million each would be $2,000,000,000,000  dollars.  or $2 trillion.
(Edited)
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Mary N Cooper, I sincerely apologize for the confusion and frustration that Compassion has caused you in this situation. I hope to address each of your concerns in this message. I am so sorry that you weren't hearing from your child's pastor, country director, or project director over the years that you sponsored Rosita. Those letters come in an envelope marked "A Message from your child's (title of leader)" and come on an annual basis usually. The leader the letter is written by is different every year. This year's letter was from the country director, and I would be happy to send a copy of it to you. It would apply for both Rosita and your new child, Vani since they are both from the same country. With updates Compassion has gone through in the past year, you will begin being able to see messages like these from the pastor, country director, or project director on your online account as well. Once you log in, click on "My Sponsorships" on the left side of the screen. Near the bottom corner of Vani's photo, you should see a link that says "Message from my child's country director" and you can read it :). I realize that does not make up for the years that you missed Rosita's and that breaks my heart!

When you send monetary gifts to your child, the money is delivered to the project. A project worker sits down with the child and helps them decide how they want to use the gifts. In America, we consider gifts to be something like toys, candy, etc because we so often aren't in desperate need of other necessary, basic items such as clothes, food, or household items. To these children, each monetary gift you send is an opportunity to buy something that they have been in need of or have wanted and have been unable to purchase themselves. The child is the one to make the decision on what to purchase and the projects do keep very detailed records on each gift that is sent by a sponsor. The details are so great that it will include the receipt for what is purchased, a photo, and a itemized list of everything purchased. Compassion does regular audits on each project we work with and is committed to financial integrity. You refer to the gifts you send. Are these monetary gifts you are talking about or physical gifts that you've tried sending in the mail?

I do see that you have spoken to the Filipino reps on many occasions, but it does look like you've now been given the US based rep phone number and have used it already as well. We are happy to transfer you to a USA based representative when able if you feel uncomfortable speaking with one of our representatives in the Philippines.

Rosita left the program in July after she had not been attending the program regularly for two months. As part of the program, she has a required number of times she has to attend the project. Without attending, she is not able to receive the benefits of your sponsorship or the program. When a child is absent, the staff visit the home to check on the child and find out why she wasn't attending. Their intention is to encourage the child to return to the project and understand what is happening to make the child absent. In Rosita's case, they were not successful in their endeavor to encourage her return and she decided to leave the program instead. It is always sad to see a child leave the program, especially when you have developed a relationship with that child. I completely understand that! After a child leaves the program, we do send you information on another child for you to consider sponsoring. We try to find a child who has similar characteristics if possible. When the packet of information arrives, there is a letter included that states we just need to hear from you within 5 weeks if you decide you do not want to sponsor the child. Otherwise, the sponsorship is made official and donations do begin to pull. We do this, not in order dishonestly take money from you, but to find sponsors for the children who are in need of them. It sounds as though you may not have received the letter or it wasn't clear enough. I do apologize for that. I know we removed the new child, Vani, from your account at the beginning of October when you emailed about the issue. It also looks like you decided to email back the next day and sponsor her after all. From your email, I can tell that you have a heart for these children! If in the future, you would rather make the decision to sponsor another child yourself without receiving a packet in the mail and one being chosen for you, I would be happy to make that update on your account.

Like I had just mentioned, we do try to find children who have similar characteristics to the child who left the program when we send information on a new child to consider. What you may not know is that you are Vani's first sponsor and she, too, has been waiting for a long time for a sponsor to invest in her life. She was registered in the program in July 2016 and had been waiting for a sponsor since then! We do actually try to assign children who have been waiting the longest in these cases, but we also have them available online because we find that a significant portion of sponsorships begin through our website.

I hope you know that Compassion cares about you personally as the sponsor and we want this to be a good experience for you. If you still have further concerns, please let me know so that I can address them for you!
(Edited)
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Mary N Cooper

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All I asked was for someone to contact me directly instead I'm receiving email after email from all different people and its posted no less

I'm well aware of what is "Supposed" to happen

but what is "Supposed to happen vs. what IS happenings are two different things

Either way, I was caught off guard. My mail where is live is awful to say the least. (I have filed numerous complaints with the USPO) That being said, If  I did not respond to your letter about sponsoring another child you don't' just all of a sudden go into my account and starting taking money out . I was really caught off guard.

I had no idea what was going on then I was told "The parish didn't want to lose the money"

I want to s/w with one person please

I wanted the opportunity to pick another child I didn't want to be assigned one now I feel bad (again) because Compassion took it upon themselves to tell a child or let them think  she has sponsor only to be told " Oh sorry you don't have one" That's awful position to put a child in but that's exactly what Compassion did.

(There is a young 10th grader who has been waiting for 445 days for a sponsor, I can't believe if they were going to just do what they did why they haven't at least chose a child who has been waiting the longest and who is a littler older and might have chance at furthering his education if he had a sponsor)

I don't' like that I'm made to feel this way as if its my fault or I'm a horrible person

but that's exactly how I feel.

I don't understand why its so hard to contact someone in the home office this could have all been avoided

Instead I'm getting emails from all over the place telling how things work

I know what's supposed to happen.

I'm just really, really upset about this whole situation and still no call from the home office


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Sarah, Official Rep

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Mary, I just tried to give you a call, but I couldn't get a connection with your cell phone so I left a message on your home phone. We'd be happy to discuss the situation with you again via phone. Please give us a call back at 800-336-7676. Our office is open Monday through Friday between 7:00 AM and 5:30 PM Mountain Time.
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Charles Pineda

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Contact the IRS, and your Federal Senators pronto.
Chuck Pineda
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Charles Pineda

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Mary: You hit the issue on the head. That's what we have been trying to get across to all these Non-profit corporations. I cited the Wounded Veteran Non-profit corporation for the same type of behaviors.
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Sally Forrester Rich

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I run a child sponsorship program with 70 children in Uganda. Small potatoes, I know. My man on the ground just chatted with Compassion yesterday, and came back with "all kinds of good ideas." He reports they pay about $14 every term for a primary child's education, and $41 for secondary. A halfway decent secondary school often costs at least $100 per term. The parent or guardian (usually an aged grandmother often supporting many children) is required to pay the rest, plus yearly dues of $2.71. The sponsor is paying $152 per term. I know there are other expenses besides school fees, but how can it be said that 80% goes to the child? All the US salaries are at least $100,000. I may not be a great "talent," but I take no salary at all (I don't need it, my husband makes $60,000), and I know every one of those kids and most of the families. We send them to good Christian boarding schools and as they advance to secondary, they are being accepted into the best schools in their region. So, don't look down your nose at small, informal sponsorship programs. 
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Sally, 
May I just start by letting you know that what you do is truly the work of Jesus and by no means would we ever classify that as "small potatoes". Compassion is just one ministry that works towards helping to end poverty, but we know that we alone could never change life for all of these families in need. We need other organizations, other ministries, and other hearts who want to help, and we appreciate and have so much respect for each and every one of you. What you do is important. 
Please know that although we may have the same end goal, our plan on how to get there may vary. I think it is truly wonderful that you and your husband are well off enough that you do not need to make a second income for your family, and in turn can volunteer your time. However, that is not always the reality in all homes here the United States. I can assure you that the vast majority of employees at Compassion make well below $100,000 and many of which make less than $60,000. However, there are many people who are in a place where they are able to donate their time and can volunteer with Compassion. We are very thankful for both. 
I also feel that the programs we support are a bit different from each other, which makes it quite difficult to compare them. It sounds like from your explanation that you are able to help these families with schooling as a number one priority. However, at Compassion, we choose to set the stage a little differently. Compassion does not provide formal schooling for our children. Many children may attend local public schools. When needed, part of the $38 for sponsorship may go toward paying for the child’s school fees such as books or uniforms. However, the children do attend the Compassion child development center for a variety of activities. The Compassion development center may enhance what the child is learning in school and it focuses on the most important areas of growth while promoting life skills. 
If the child is not in public school, that child is taught reading, writing and mathematics while at the student center. Children are also taught health and social skills to prepare them if and when the opportunity to attend school arises. The student center also gives them Christian training, providing a hope for the future that is only available through knowledge of God’s love for them.
Throughout the years, Compassion has consistently averaged more than 80 percent of total expenditures being used for program activities, with less than 20 percent being used for fundraising and administration. We commit that this will never, ever drop below 80%. This is one of the highest percentages for an organization like ours. Monthly sponsorship helps provide children with life-changing benefits that include: nutritious snacks or meals, educational opportunities, health and hygiene training, medical checkups, the caring embrace of a local church, and the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ.
Once again, I am so sorry if you got the feeling from Compassion that we think what other ministries do is not important, or that if you don't reach as many kids that what you do is somehow less worthy. This is not the case. We are thankful to know that other programs run things differently, as a different approach may help some children better than others. And we are truly thankful for all those who give their time and love to help others. May God bless you in all that you do, always! 
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Charles Pineda

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Anytime I see a dissertation to address shortcomings of a large financial entity whether private,public, or non-profit I know it's a staff response. Wow, eight hundred million plus per year and an unemployed Grandmother has to pay the rest of the child's cost,plus a membership fee?  

My best,
El Chuck
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Susan

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Chuck, respectfully, if you read through this thread, there are many posts from non-employees who believe in Compassion and our mission. It is not always employees who are defending our organization. Also, can you clarify what you are speaking about when you mention the "unemployed grandmother has to pay the rest of the child's cost plus membership fee?" Our sponsorships are $38 per month and are voluntary. Supporters can cancel anytime and are not required to pay missed months. As our company name suggests, we seek to be compassionate in everything we do, including dealing with cancels. Anyone you talk to here would completely understand an unemployed grandmother not being able to continue giving to our charity and would kindly honor her request. If she called in, we likely would pray for her over the phone as well.
(Edited)
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Charles Pineda

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It was on a Compassion information presentation. It's the one where the narrator is talking about the a fee the family pays. I figured you have probably seen and heard it. Or you may have many different presentations. Your media staff do discuss the Grandmother; I just added what if the Grandmother has no income. How can she call in if she doesn't have a phone. She could be in a fifth world country.
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Rowena Fan

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See if you agree with this article

Are Charities Wasting Your Money On Admin?

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/susan-pascoe/are-charities-wasting-you_b_8353694.html

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Jim Darius

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Wait until you guys find out who Ken Calwell is.  Bad, bad move on the part of this company.
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Allen Andringa

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled SALARIES OF TOP EXECUTIVES IN COMPASSION?.

I just looked over Compassion's financial 990 and see that 13 employees are paid from just over $200,000 a year (base plus "other" compensation) to almost $400,000 for the President. The average American makes $45,000/year!  My heart is saddened as I always believed that Compassion was one of the few "above the board" ministries, but I see, sadly, that the pockets of the elite are being lined, just as many other leaders in other ministries are laying up for themselves treasures on earth.  I'm suppose this post will be deleted by someone who wants to keep this quiet.  Compassion was the primary beneficiary of my estate.  That will change tomorrow, but I'm not sure to what ministry I'll leave my estate.  I'll continue to sponsor my children, but will cease my support of Compassion when they age-out. Just.  Very. Sad. 
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Lilly Lucas Miesing

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i agree. i too will not stop my support until my kid ages out. i make less than 40 thousand a year. 
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Charles Pineda

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I've been preaching at the Union Gospel Mission of Sacramento, Ca. for twenty-two years with the assistance of Grace Church of Sacramento, and Grace Trinity Church of Del Paso Heights in Sacramento, on fifth Mondays.

We start the service at 7:30 sharp and end at 8:30 sharp, and we feed, every day, one hundred and fifty to one hundred and ninety homeless men, woman, and sometimes children with their homeless parents. The Mission serves a four course meal, and community churches provide the desserts.

So, as the Scriptures tell us, in my words, When you meet a cold and starving person don't tell that person things will get better and go find food and shelter when one has the ability to assist that person. And that is where the Union Gospel Mission steps in and feeds the homeless, and hungry people of Sacramento EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR, AND THAT IS ONE REASON WE HELP FUND THE MISSION. FOR EVERYONE THAT COME TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS OF CHRIST JESUS, AND SALVATION THROUGH HIM,ALSO IS NOURISHED PHYSICALLY.  

Pastor Tim Lane is the Dirctor of the Mission and his phone number is (916)447-3268.

In conclusion, thanks for following up on this very important issue.

My best, IHS
Charles "Chuck" Pineda, Jr. of Sacramento and Los Angeles, California

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