Yearly Revenues and CEO Salaries For Mental Health Groups: NAMI Largest Grassroots: $17.6 million

(12-16-19) All of us receive requests at year end from mental health organizations seeking much needed charitable donations. Before writing a check, I always find it helpful to examine each charity’s IRS Form 990, which is available on the Guidestar website.

I check three numbers: the amount of revenues that were received, the amount of net assets that the organization lists at year end, and how much a nonprofit group pays its CEO. Mental health groups must be competitive so it is not surprising that most CEO salaries are in the same $200,000 range here in Washington D.C.. That is higher than the national average. CEOs who manage organizations with multimillion dollar budgets are generally better compensated.

A quick Internet check found this thumbnail guideline:

An operating budget of a nonprofit organization under $500,000 corresponded with a CEO salary of $60,206. The highest category matched an operating budget of $50,000,000 with a CEO salary of $317,024. The average nonprofit CEO makes a little more than $120,000 a year, according to the 2016 Charity CEO Compensation Study by Charity Navigator.

Of course, there is other useful information on the tax forms. Forms reported in this blog are from the latest available reports on Guidestar.

So how do mental health nonprofits compare?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness remains the dominant player for grassroots mental health organizations reporting $17.6 million in revenues with net assets or fund balances at the end of the reporting year of $15 million. Before CEO Mary Giliberti abruptly resigned earlier this year, she was paid $202,095 in salary and received $39,583 in additional financial benefits. It also spent the most among grassroots’ groups to raise charitable contributions. (See below) NAMI’s report only covers what its national office reports. State and local affiliate income and expenses are not listed in this blog.  

NAMI’s main grassroots rival, Mental Health America, reported revenues of $4.5 million with net assets or fund balances of $4.6 million. Although MHA had less revenues and assets, it paid its CEO, Paul Gionfriddo, $228,992 with $7,026 in additional benefits or roughly the same as NAMI.

Although it is considerably smaller than NAMI and MHA, the Treatment Advocacy Center is a major influencer in Washington DC and nationally when it comes to issuing reports about the lack of available services for the seriously mentally ill and the shameful incarceration of SMI individuals in America whose only real crime is that they became sick. TAC had revenues of $2.1 million and ended the year with net assets and funds of $718,155.  CEO John Snook was paid $175,000 with $36,307 in other financial compensation. TAC is unique among mental health groups because it is funded by a host of individual donors, foundations and grants. It does not accept funding from companies or entities involved in the sale, marketing or distribution of pharmaceutical products.  NAMI, MHA and DBSA all accept funds from such groups.

DBSA – Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, reported revenues of $2.6 million, with year end net assets and fund balances of $2.1 million. It paid CEO Michael Pollock $135,716 in salary and $7,220 in other financial benefits.

Although it also operates on a shoestring budget, the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) also is a player. It reported revenues of $189,192 in 2017 with final net assets of $334,395, with CEO Linda Stalters being paid $70,000.

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, which often opposes TAC’s agenda, reported about the same revenue as TAC’s. It listed $2.1 million in revenues and ended up with net assets and funds for the year of $4.8 million. It paid CEO Robert Berenstein $195,280 in salary and $37,267 in other financial benefits before he resigned.

While vocal activists, Mindfreedom International and Mad In America both operated on small budgets. Mindfreedom reported revenues of $115,122 with net assets or fund balances at year end of $100,646.  It listed only an office manager as being on its payroll with a salary of $4,530. Mad In America reported $265,701 in revenue in its last Form 990 with net assets or fund balances of $100,800. It paid its founder and president Robert Whitaker $19,600, according to the report.

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, one of the nation’s premier peer/consumer groups, reported revenues of $3 million with year end net assets and funds of $683,162 . Its director, Harvey Rosenthal, received $137,000 in salary.

Curious,  I checked other groups that play important roles in the mental health world, although this list is a mixed bag of apples and oranges.

Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, who heads the National Alliance For Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (formerly NARSAD), was paid a salary of $496,923 based on that group’s revenues of $17.3 million and final year assets of $9 million.

The National Council for Behavioral Health brought in the most revenue – some $47 million – and ended the year with net assets and funds of $22 million. Before she retired, CEO Linda Rosenburg earned $655,295.

The Stanley Medical Research Center, which Dr. E. Fuller Torrey helped found, reported revenues of $8.4 million with year end net assets and funds of $78 million – the highest amount of assets on my informal list. It paid its director, Maree Webster, $210,000 plus $31,345 in other financial benefits.

Fountain House had revenues of $31 million and year end net assets and funds of $45 million. It paid its CEO Ken Dudek, who retired this year, $275,716 with $68,700 in additional benefits.

Bring Change To Mind, the organization founded by Actress Glenn Close, reported revenues of $1.1 million, and net assets and funds at year end of $1.6 million. It paid its CEO, Pamela Harrington, a salary of $179,166 with $26,040 in other compensation.

The Kennedy Forum: Mental Health Leadership Initiative, launched by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, reported revenues of $2.7 million and net assets and fund balances of $11.2 million. It paid Kennedy a salary of $490,476, with additional compensation of $45,921.

How Much Did These Groups Pay To Bring in Contributions?

(Addendum: After initially posting this, I decided to report line 16b on the Form 990s, which lists how much each group spent fundraising.)

Total Fundraising expenses:

NAMI – $2.3 million.

MHA: $372,943

TAC: $133,911

DBSA: $414,538


Bazelon: $284,276

Mindfreedom and Mad In America: zero

National Alliance for Research On Schizophrenia and Depression: $924,171

National Council for Behavioral Health:  zero

Stanley Medical Research Institute: zero

Fountain House: $557,750

Bring Change 2 Mind: $169,695

Kennedy Forum: $370,102





About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.