CEO Salaries: The CEO of the Boy Scouts Earns Three Times More than the CEO of the Girl Scouts

This week, on a random work tangent, I ended up finding out the salaries of the CEOs of the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.

Now, this was not an intentional exercise in shock, confusion and free-floating ire.

And yet it turned into one.

Let’s look at some numbers.

The top salary at the Girl Scouts (we’ll assume that is the CEO’s salary for this exercise, although I’ll try to dig up the tax returns to confirm) = $349, 912



Top salary at the Boy Scouts = $916, 027



Yup, you heard that right.

The head of the boy scouts is earning three times more than the head of the girl scouts.

Now, I’ll be the first to point out that I know less than nothing about the business management challenges at these two organizations. Nor do I understand the specific types of leaders their varying business development and capital improvement issues demand.

In fact, the only thing I do know, because of the two graphs above (thanks, is that the total revenue at the Girl Scouts is actually slightly higher than the total revenue at the Boy Scouts. (This would’ve have been an easy MBA 101 guess as to why the Girl Scouts CEO is potentially getting short-changed, so it’s good to note.)

Again, I don’t know jack.

I do not know anything about the individual CEOS, where they last worked, and what high salary was required to poach them from the likely for-profit institution in order to lead one of the top twenty non-profit organizations in America. (Yes, most top-twenty non-profit CEOS come from for-profit backgrounds, and, no, this shouldn’t be surprising. It’s all business management, people.)

Nor do I have extensive back data to show that the Boy Scouts CEO actually sold a bunch of his much treasured Boy Scout stock of late and/or had deferred income coming from the past three years.

I have spent 5 minutes thinking about this. Maybe, just maybe, there is some incredibly great reason for this that goes deeper than”the boy scouts are a timehonored tradition in America valued far more than the girl scouts and that value is reflected in the CEO’s salary”…. Maybe.

I’m still shocked by the figure, and the simple juxtaposition (nothing says girl vs. boy than scouts).

Aren’t you?


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22 thoughts on “CEO Salaries: The CEO of the Boy Scouts Earns Three Times More than the CEO of the Girl Scouts

  1. I find this shocking given the number of victims of abuse that are within this Organisation hid away in their Confidential File List.
    Known predators in Scouts Canada. Watch the Fifth Estate Documentary
    Scouts Canada, The Lost Boys. I’m actually sickened by this. I know of one pending Court Case where a victim’s Lawyer has attempted to have their client settle for $120,000 of which the Law Firm takes 40% of the settlement plus the client has to pay all costs and disbursements.
    You do the math? The Lawyers get almost as much as the Victim and claim it is a great settlement for 49 years of suffering.

  2. This is disgusting. They pay this woman this much and the company is falling apart. Poor workers in warehouse aren’t being fairly compensated , locked pension and gave the finger to them.

  3. The BSA is far more prosperous than the GSA. The GSA has changed their program to emphasize female empowerment and away from the outdoor experience. This has allowed them to be able to sell many of their camps, and reap the money from those sales. The reason they need money is because their pension plan is way underfunded, the last article I read said that it was $350,000,000 in the red. It appears at least to be an organization in decline, and some congressmen are asking if little girls are peddling cookies to support old women.
    From personal experience, I always felt that the BSA was divided into professional scouting and volunteer scouting. Professional scouting was about money, and volunteer scouting was about the boys. I never felt like anything good ever came out of National BSA. I never understood where the money went. Some goes to support camps and buy insurance, but the rest goes to pay a staff that never really seemed to be of any help. Professionals were always disconnected; to them it was always about money and rarely about the program. If a professional scout can’t raise enough money to support himself, then what good is he? It’s easy to see where his emphasis will be.
    The leader of the GSA gets paid less because it is simply less of an organization (size and success wise) than the BSA, but the BSA has it’s challenges particularly with it’s new membership rules. The BSA spent millions defending it’s non-gay rule but did a 180 when some major contributors threatened to withhold contributions. These are tremendous organizations on the volunteer level, but on the professional level they seem to only function in survival mode.

  4. In past decades the Boy Scouts has been in and out of court, trying to protect their ability to run the organization as they see fit, hiring legal counsel, running back and forth to Washington, giving testimony before combatant and rude congressmen, many who are upset that you don’t share their leftist values.
    Running the Boy Scouts has become a complicated task, requiring many skills, organizational, financial and legal, while these amounts seem excessive, remember the average yearly salary for a CEO is 9.7 million dollars.

    • I’m calling Bravo Sierra on your $9.7M CEO “average salary” information.
      First, according to the Dallas Business Journal, that ($9.7M) would be among the five highest CEO packages in the Dallas area.
      Second, you need to examine the nearly $1M salary in light of similarly sized and purposed, with similar growth rates.
      In this light, one can only conclude that the BSA is following the path of the Red Cross — bloating itself full of over-compensated executives who cloak themselves in the flag or a “social” cause, and then enrich themselves, friends, while pursuing personal causes without regard to the organizations objectives or membership. Sadly, Scouting is going the way of the United Way.

  5. Not shocked. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes about 180k, so I think both of the scout ceo’s should just lay low and be happy.

    My daughter was a Girl Scout and it was a completely useless experience. All they did was push overpriced uniforms, make her sell cookies and tell her not to be prejudiced. I was a cub scout back in the day, but we were urban scouts. One den had a mother that fed us and we made a lot of drawings. The other owned a vicious chow named Buster and we would line up across a drainage ditch and when she released the dog we would run like madmen. It was pretty exhilarating if you didn’t get caught.

    • TJ, you are my kind of funny.

      Thanks to all who contributed figures and information. I need a personal excuse to pull my daughter out of this time-consuming activity. I have rearranged too much of my schedule for cookie selling only to pay someone else’s lovely salary.

      • I agree-For the youth-my ass-the girl scouts just raised membership costs-and yes even a volunteer needs to pay them money-they are a bunch of fakes-when it comes down to it-the money is what matters.

  6. Both of them are over paid! What makes this worse is that they both use very young people to make money from. The actual money that goes to each troop, district is very small. Like everywhere else in this country the money stays on top.

  7. Shame on the Girl Scout and Boy Scout organizations for paying such high salaries. Pushing kids to sell door to door for popcorn sales and cookie sales at high prices to pay high salaries! This does not sound right.

    • Way to Speak up. Thanks. The Boy Scout organization is a quazy religious corporation that make huge profits yet it’s non-profit???? There are millions of boy scouts all paying their $100+ dollars a year not to mention the fund raisers – that’s a huge chunk of change! The fact that all of the weekly gathering facilities are churches at no cost, the kids buy their own uniforms and the group leaders all volunteer where is all this money going. I don’t see my kid’s troop getting any of this money, they don’t even do half the stuff I did as a kid in scouts and if they do anything at all they put on even more fund raisers. Several years ago the founder sold the Boy Scouts of America for 6 billion dollars. Why would he sell a non-profit organization for so much, the reason is profits? When the CEO of a non-profit organization is making over a half a million dollars a year off the backs of people who can barely afford to put their kids into scouts it makes me sick. Everyone involved should be a volunteer! Look at the Christian Children’s Fund they do a great service but their CEOs and directors all have muti-million dollar salaries. The way they get away with this is to write of the salaries and expenditure as part of the business costs or processing fees so that the corporation remains not profitable on paper. People getting rich from Non-Profit organizations shame on you, how can you live with yourselves and yet you call your organizations Christian.

      • First off, this article is pretty old I guess & the Current CEO of the BSA makes over $1M a year!

        I’d like to say I agree with most of what you said I just wanted to add a couple of thoughts. Both my sons are in Scouting, a Cub & a Scout. Our Cub Pack charges $75 per year for dues, not $100, but NONE of our leaders pay their own dues because we feel it should not cost money to volunteer! We also provide the books to each Cub along with a Pack T-shirt & all belt loops & pins. So our Cubs really do get value for the money, however, everything they get is purchased from the “Scout shop” at a premium price & I am sure that all “profits” are lining the pockets of the higher ups! So sad.

        Then there’s my Scout. His Troop only charges $40 a year which includes the $16 BSA annual dues (yes, it only costs $16 to join the BSA, not $100), the Boys Life magazine that costs $16 and he also receives a T-shirt bi-annually. The last few dollars of that goes to maintain the Trailers & equipment that the Troop owns. Not a bad deal I think. Of course we did buy his uniform & there are fees for monthly camping trips, Merit Badge books (also bought from the “Scout shop”) and classes sometimes held in what they call MB Universities which are sometimes held at a Council or District facility. Oh yes, then there is that dreaded Popcorn Sale!! This year I have put my foot down that we are not selling it for the very reasons you mentioned, they are getting RICH off my kids!! I should put them to work for me selling something door to door to bring in some extra money for our family instead of theirs! LOL

        But the bottom line of what I wanted to point out is that if you are paying $100 a year for dues to your Troop, you are possibly getting ripped off! Of course depending on what that includes.

        I did just hear that the BSA dues are going up next year (2014) to $25 a year for Scouts & Volunteers! Ridiculous! I say they CEO needs to take a pay cut & lower the dues!

  8. The charts above are from 2004. The Boy Scouts CEO has never worked at a for profit company and non profits do not have stock options. If you are trying to make the point that men make more than women, I think there are probably better places to get your statistics. Comparing a male organization to a female organization is not really justification. Why not talk about the NBA and WNBA? If you are upset about how much heads of non profits make, don’t give them money.

  9. Matt,

    Obviously the salary ranges from 2006 and 2008 are going to be highly distorted. In 2006 the economy (and stock market) was still climbing at an excessively high rate. In 2008 I’m almost positive there was a slight recession and pull back in the market. Thus, you failed to take into account that this would cause each CEO’s salary significantly different between the two dates.


  10. Claire, Thanks for posting. I find this disconcerting.

    Matt, You post digits from 2006 & 2008 but then expenditure info from 2010. This just makes the numbers seem more convoluted.

    C & M, Wouldn’t it make sense to simply look at what the 990’s report for a series of years in a row?

    • Yeah, I should do that for sure and just hadn’t gotten around to it.

      Would be interesting to compare their salaries for other relevant over-1OOK employees on the 990s.

      Preliminary conclusion: the whole thing sucks, basically.

  11. Your numbers are inaccurate.

    In terms of program expenditures the Boy Scouts is higher according to the latest annual reports versus the girl scouts. (137M vs. 68M) or double.

    The salary of the Boys Scouts is CEO’s base compensation for 2008 was $468,418 and the remaining portion of his compensation includes a contribution to a non qualified retirement fund and other benefit and allowances. The Girl Scouts CEO’s (2006)base salary was higher at $526,999 and with no mentioned contribution to a retirement plan – though their financial results mention in section 15 retirement benefits without a costing to them along with a matching 50% contribution to 401K’s for employees.