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This article has been corrected to reflect the removal of Abraham H. Foxman from the list as it was brought to our attention that his compensation was miscalculated.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The words "nonprofit" or "charity" typically have a positive ring to it. When donating to a nonprofit, we tend to think we're giving money to those in need andonly for those in need.

Just because someone works for a nonprofit, doesn't necessarily mean they're doing it for free. A structured organization has a board of directors and a chief executive officer -- and for that tip-top management, it means paying up for the high quality work.

How far will some go to get a very talented executive with a proven track record to run their organization? Pretty far. All of the nonprofits on this list pay well over the seven figure mark in annual compensation.

Can you guess a CEO of a nonprofit that's on this list?

We'll give you some hints. One is a woman in love with art form, another is holding a snake in his photo, and three are heads of universities.

We used data from the 2013 CEO Compensation Study, compiled and published by Charity Navigator to come up with this list of 9 highly paid executives of a nonprofit in the U.S.

Charity Navigator's research shows that nonprofit CEO compensation is often six-figures, although it varies significantly by location, mission and the size of the organization. So donors shouldn't judge a CEO's compensation without considering benchmarking data. Nor should donors judge a charity's worth solely based on the CEO's pay. This is just one metric among many - including the organization's overall financial health, its commitment to ethical best practices and ultimately its impact - that donors should consider when deciding which charities to support. Furthermore, donors should keep in mind that nonprofit CEOs are nearly always paid far less than private sector firms for similar competencies." To read more on this topic, see Charity Navigator's latest on CEO Compensation

We also should note that there are about 1.4 million nonprofits in the U.S. and of those, about 1 million are public charities. Charity Navigator rates over 7,700 of them (which account for 50% of annual donations when excluding houses of worship). As such, the 9 highly paid nonprofit executives are not of the universe of U.S. charities, but of those that Charity Navigator tracks.

And now, on to the good stuff. Everyone wants to know other people's salary, so go ahead and read on. We start with the lowest compensation on our list of $1.5 million...

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#9. Kenneth L. Davis, President and CEO

Nonprofit: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Compensation: $1,599,911

% of Expenses: 0.1%

2012 Revenue: $1.57 billion

2012 Expenses: $1.49 billion

Located in New York City, the Icahn School of Medicine is a leader in medical and scientific training and education, biomedical research and patient care.

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#8. Deborah Borda, President and CEO

Nonprofit: The Los Angeles Philharmonic

Compensation: $1,676,531

% of Expenses: 1.5%

2011 Revenue: $114.3 million

2011 Expenses: $108.4 million

The American orchestra based in Los Angeles, California has a regular season of concerts from October through June at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and a summer season at the Hollywood Bowl.

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#7. Reynold Levy, President

Nonprofit: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Compensation: $1,725,493

% of Expenses: 1.1%

2011 Revenue: $150.2 million

2011 Expenses: $154.3 million

The 16.3-acre complex of buildings in New York City is home of The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra and several other resident performing arts companies.

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#6. Harry Johns, President and CEO

Nonprofit: Alzheimer's Association

Compensation: $2,731,016

% of Expenses: 1.1%

2012 Revenue: $268.9 million

2012 Expenses: $248.1 million

The American voluntary health organization was founded in 1980 and focuses on care, support and research for Alzheimer's disease.

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#5. Robert J. Zimmer, President

Nonprofit: University of Chicago

Compensation: $2,756,471

% of Expenses: 0.1%

2011 Revenue: $2.21 billion

2011 Expenses: $2.30 billion

The private research university in Chicago consists of the College of the University of Chicago, various graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into four divisions, six professional schools, and a school of continuing education. 

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#4. Joseph E. Aoun, President

Nonprofit: Northeastern University

Compensation: $2,914,488

% of Expenses: 0.3%

2011 Revenue: $1.16 billion

2011 Expenses: $1.04 billion

The university features a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs with nine colleges and schools, as well as advanced degrees at various graduate campus locations in North Carolina and Washington.

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#3.John S. Ruskay, Executive Vice President and CEO

Nonprofit: United Jewish Appeal - Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc.

Compensation: $3,151,000

% of Expenses: 1.5%

2011 Revenue: $212.9 million

2011 Expenses: $212.8 million

The New York City based organization has more than 55,000 donors who help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and strengthen Jewish communities around the world.

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#2. John L. Miller, President and CEO

Nonprofit: Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin

Compensation: $3,206,088

% of Expenses: 3.4%

2012 Revenue: $105.8 million

2012 Expenses: $95.5 million

This nonprofit organization provides training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages.

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#1. Ted A. Beattie, President and CEO

Nonprofit: Shedd Aquarium

Compensation: $3,394,434

% of Expenses: 6.3%

2012 Revenue: $65.8 million

2012 Expenses: $53.5 million

This Chicago-based organization is the largest indoor aquarium in the world with more than 8,000 aquatic animals, and works with community organizations to provide affordable access and education.