The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue Pays Himself $408,000 Per Year

By Paul Kendrick
Voice from the Desert
January 12, 2012

The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue pays himself $408,000 per year to manage a small budget nonprofit group.

Should the Catholic League lose its tax-exempt status?

Will Bill Donohue make public his detailed expense reports?

Although Bill Donohue’s Catholic League is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Donohue pays himself a salary and benefits of $408,000 per year.

Wouldn’t you think a Catholic Christian like Bill Donohue would have as his first priority the raising of funds to help establish programs and services to enable the poor and needy? Donohue’s group has $28 million in the bank, but there’s no record of him helping anyone other than himself to the Catholic League’s cookie jar (and his top aide who receives salary and benefits of $206,000 per year).

By the way, Donohue’s exorbitant salary is “explained” on the Catholic League’s 2010 tax return. “A compensation committee exists within the Board of Directors. This committee compares the salaries of other top management officials at other nonprofit organizations. This information is obtained by reviewing the Form 990 for other comparable organizations, which can be obtained from”

Yet, according to Guidestar’s most recent Compensation Report (see link below), 363 non profit CEOs, with annual budgets between $1 million and $5 million, received an average salary of $147,289 ($120,142 median). Again, Donohue pays himself $408,000. The low end of the salary range for Catholic League size nonprofits is $62,691 (10th percentile) and the high end of the salary range is $259,063 (90th percentile).

Donohue’s salary is a whopping 340% above the median for nonprofits of his Catholic League’s budget size. The Catholic League’s revenues are under $3 million. During the same time that millions of American are struggling to make ends meet, Donohue gave himself a nice cost of living increase, putting himself well over the $400,000 mark.

Which begs the question, is the 501(c)(3) regulated Catholic League non profit organization operated for the benefit of Bill Donohue’s private interests?

Let’s not kid ourselves. Donohue’s $408,000 salary puts him in the top 1% of all wage earners in the United States . To most people a $408,000 is a lot of money, especially if you’re out there everyday advertising yourself and your work as being accomplished on behalf of Jesus Christ.

So, what will it take for Bill Donohue to provide a public and detailed accounting of his airfare, meals and hotel expenses while traveling on Catholic League business? Does Donohue fly first class? Does Donohue stay in the most expensive hotels? What are the costs of meals and entertainment? What are the names and occupations of all others whose travel and miscellaneous expenses are paid for by Donohue from the Catholic league’s coffers?

And while Bill Donohue is busy being open and transparent by putting all his expense reports online, let’s ask Bill if we can take a peek at each and every piece of email and other correspondence between Bill, Catholic bishops, priests and other so called “devout” Catholics who encourage and support Donohue and his “Catholic” league mission.

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Paul Kendrick

Freeport, Maine









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