“When It Comes To The NIGP, Just Follow The Money Mr. Hansen . . . Follow The Money” by Jon Hansen

Posted on April 30, 2015


This morning by way of e-mail, I received from the NIGP’s Executive Director – Finance & Administration Tina Borger, electronic copies of the not-for-profit’s 990 documents for their fiscal years FY13, FY12, and FY11.

I have to admit that I did not open them right away.

My reason for the delay was quite simple.  I knew that once I opened the attachments, and began to review the information, that I would likely be entering a phase of this story in which there would be no turning back.

Like the proverbial bell that you cannot unring, one could sense that the NIGP controversy that became #CodeGate, was about to move from shadowed innuendo and questionable dealings, to a more concrete portrait of possible human failing.

It is at these very moments that one appreciates the sentiments behind the statement “ignorance is bliss.”

As a journalist I knew that I had to report my findings with objectivity and clarity.  So in the same manner that I had to confirm the identification of Deep Throat – and the nature of his relationships relating to the Missouri protest, I now have to do the same relative to what the financials show regarding NIGP Chief Executive Rick Grimm.

Starting with the most recent filing, which covered the period July 1st, 2012 to June 30th, 2013, I looked at Mr. Grimm’s compensation.

Now before I provided you with that number, I wanted to do some research in terms of what the average annual compensation a U.S.-based nonprofit CEO receives.

Based on a 2013 study by Charity Navigator, and taking into account the regional differences relating to cost of living, the average salary is $148,250 (see IMAGE 1A below).

NOTE: Click the image above to review other highlights from the study.


In the spirit of fairness, I also wanted to see if there was any difference between the above referenced overall average, and the nonprofit category relating to the educational services that the NIGP provides.  Here is what a separate commentary on the same report had to say:

While location matters, so do categories: For example, Education ($170,178), Arts, Culture and Humanities ($159,650), Public Benefit ($142,661) and Health ($137,919) led to higher-paid CEOs, while Religion ($82,746), Animals ($104,816), Human Services ($114,000) Environment ($117,644) and International ($120,000) led to lower-paid CEOs.

According to the documents provided by Ms. Borger (refer to IMAGE 1B below), in the year ending June 30th, 2013 Mr. Grimm received total compensation in the amount of $248,977.

Grimm Income 1


I also discovered in the document, that Mr. Grimm “is permitted to travel with companions from time to time” (refer to IMAGE 1C).

Grimm Income 2


I do not know at this point if said travel benefits with companions are over and above his reported compensation.  However it lends credence to the suggestion by some, that his expenses need to be examined more closely.

There is obviously much more investigative work to do however, and based upon this very preliminary review, one might be hard pressed to explain why Mr. Grimm’s annual compensation appears to be $80K to $100K above the average pay that the nonprofit CEOs of similar organizations receive. Especially given the fact that the average salary of a procurement professional in North America, according to a just released study from the Next Level Purchasing Association, is $79,027 per year.

In the end, when it comes to Mr. Grimm’s compensation, it is the opinion of this group, and in particular those working in public sector procurement, that will ultimately matter the most.

NOTE: You can review the NIGP Form 990 Return in it’s entirety through the following link: http://www.slideshare.net/piblogger/nigp-fy13990public-disclosure

poisonous tree2

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