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 and only 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...
#9. Kenneth L. Davis, President and CEO
Nonprofit: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
% 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.