SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Blogger and activist Michael Petrelis, long known for his criticisms of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other national LGBT organizations, is now pointing out the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization for its executive pay.
HRC recently released its 2012 Form 990, the annual tax return non-profit organizations file with the IRS. The group and its related foundation reported a combined revenue of about $49.5 million. The forms also included information on the organization’s top-paid employees. New Executive Director Chad Griffin earned $250,061, including base salary, retirement and other benefits. Additionally, Griffin received a $20,000 incentive bonus and a later $50,000 bonus. An additional $40,108 from HRC’s related foundation gave Griffin a total compensation of $360,169. Other top employees earned salaries ranging from approximately $172,000 to $277,300.
“Are these salaries and bonuses justified,” Petrelis asked on his blog. “No, not in my opinion and I say that because I believe HRC’s leaders are part of the 1 percent, and addressing the economic disparities and concerns of the 99 percent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is not on their agenda.”
Petrelis’ criticism has resulted in some commentary from other activists and bloggers. Some have said HRC’s executive pay is too high and others have defended HRC.
The salaries seem comparable with other national LGBT non-profits, though the share of salary expenses is much lower for HRC’s budget. The New York-based Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network reported 2012 income of about $6 million; Executive Director Eliza Byard earned a total $251,750 in compensation. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation and its action fund had a combined 2012 income of nearly $7.9 million; Executive Director Rea Carey earned a total of $253,556 in compensation.
Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president of communications and marketing, said the organization had no comment. : :
more: Be sure to pick up qnotes’ upcoming Oct. 25 print edition for our annual review of local LGBT non-profit community organizations.