The Forward’s salary survey is based on data derived from the publicly available IRS-990 tax returns that charities are obligated to file for each year by November 15 of the following year. Despite this deadline, a few organizations turn in their tax returns late, or receive extensions. In these cases, wherever possible, we have obtained data for 2016 by asking officials with the organizations in question directly for this information.
This year, three groups declined to provide the Forward with this information: the Israel American Council, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and Clal (National Center for Leadership and Learning). In these cases, we have listed their data for 2015 — the most recent year available.
A reporter follows up by contacting each organization to confirm the accuracy of the figures reported.
Under IRS regulations, religious organizations are exempted from having to file 990s or reveal the information on them. Consequently, our data table contains only the names of these organizations and their executive leaders (with the exception of Agudath Israel of America, which files a 990 form each year voluntarily). This enables us to include them in our analysis of men and women in executive leadership, but not salaries or other financial data.
The salaries listed in our survey include the executive leaders’ base pay, plus any other taxable compensation reported in their W-2, as noted on the IRS form. In some cases, this can include large retirement payouts that make these executives’ salaries appear much larger than they regularly are. When this is the case, we have excluded the figures from the retirement payout and noted it in their individual profile.
Readers should also know our reporting on the number of people each organization employs is based on the IRS form, which can include part-time or seasonal employees. If, during our efforts to confirm this number, an organization supplies us with a more accurate figure, we have adjusted the number of people employed accordingly.
This story "The Methodology For The Forward’s 2017 Salary Survey" was written by Larry Cohler-Esses and Steven Davidson.