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June 25, 2022
Top Compensation for Mass. Nonprofit Leaders Now $710K

May 28, 2022 — Total annual compensation for the 25 highest paid chief executives at Massachusetts nonprofits rose to an average of $710,521 in the last year, up 1.5% from a year ago, according to a newly published listing.

Compensation ranged from a high of $1,297,180 for James Moses, president and CEO of Road Scholar, formerly Elderhostel, to a low of $461,176 for Gerald Chertavian, CEO of Year Up, both based in Boston.

The ranking, published this week by the Boston Business Journal, was compiled from form 990 filings for Massachusetts-headquartered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, primarily for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The list excluded universities and hospitals and their affiliated organizations, as well as 501(c)(6) business-advocacy organizations and charitable foundations.

Included on the listing were some of the most prominent Massachusetts nonprofits, located primarily in the Greater Boston area.

The top 10 were as follows:





Total Compensation


James Moses

President & CEO

Road Scholar



Louis Woolf

President & CEO

Hebrew SeniorLife



Kaigham (Ken) Gabriel

Former President & CEO

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc.



Mark Volpe

Former President & CEO

Boston Symphony Orchestra



Matthew Teitelbaum


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



Jill Medvedow


Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston



David Jordan


Seven Hills Foundation



James Poterba

President & CEO

National Bureau of Economic Research



Mark Abbott

Former President/Director

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution



Jonathan Abbott

President & CEO



Total compensation includes base compensation, bonuses and incentives, other reportable compensation, retirement and other deferred compensation, and nontaxable benefits. See the full listing.

The compensation figures highlighted in the newly released data stand in contrast to average compensation for nonprofit leaders in Massachusetts.

In a report issued in September 2020, Candid, an organization formed by GuideStar and the Foundation Center, said average compensation for women CEO/executive directors in Massachusetts in 2018 was 88.5% of what their male peers received – $58,738, compared to $66,361 for men at organizations with an annual budget less than $500,000, which comprises the majority of all nonprofits in the state.

For organizations with an annual budget between $500,000 and $1 million, the analysis found that women earned $93,566, or 87.7% of the $106,732 earned by men.

However, the gap increased for organizations with an annual budget between $1 million and $5 million, where women CEO/executive directors earned compensation totaling $130,268, or 79.5% of the $163,779 earned by men.

That gap mushroomed for organizations with an annual budget greater than $5 million: women CEO/executive directors on average received compensation of $271,700, or 60.5% of the $448,784 compensation given to men.

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