Administrative expenses: 45.4%
With almost $10 million in revenue in its last reported year of 2007, the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization in Washington, D.C., plays a considerable role in shaping U.S. economic policy. Widely praised as being one of the few truly neutral research organizations in the field, the Peterson Institute takes considerable resources to run, with administrative costs totaling over $4 million of its 2007 budget of just over $9 million. With the global economy in crisis and issues such as climate change and renewable energy being debated on the world stage, the Institute’s highly-paid researchers are no doubt doing valuable work, though donors may be put off by how much of their dollars go to running the organization compared to the amount going to further its goals.
Administrative expenses: 45.8%
Like many historical landmarks, the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Ohio is a window into the past. The former home of one of the founders of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, it was built in 1915 and was turned over to a nonprofit organization in 1957. The site exists to educate the public about itself: the history of the land, the owners, and the local rubber industry. Maintenance of the property, as well as the $150,000 paid to its president and CEO, Harry Lynch, ate into the home’s budget of over four and a half million dollars in fiscal year 2007, which goes to educational programs for schoolchildren as well as the local population. Being the only historical landmark in Akron, known at one time as the “Rubber Capital of the World”, the Stan Hywet house is an important local resource whose impact would surely be even more substantial if it could reduce its administrative overhead.
Administrative expenses: 46.0%
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, VCLI is one of the smallest organizations on the list, as well as being one of the least efficient. With a budget of only around $100,000 in fiscal year 2007, the group spends almost half on administrative expenses stemming from the operational costs of running offices in Illinois, Alabama, Guatemala, and Cuba in addition to its headquarters in Arizona. The organization, led by the charismatic Ray L’Amoreaux (whose $24,000 salary represented 2.24% of expenses in 2007), seeks to help churches further their efforts to recruit more committed followers of Jesus.