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Samaritans Purse
June 23, 2012

I tried to add some comments under other reviews, but got an error message, so I will add them here. These comments have to do with the discussion about Franklin Graham's compensation. I have donated to Samaritan's Purse in the past and haven't come to a personal opinion about the CEO salary question, but I wanted to share a couple of thoughts.

In one of the reviews it is said that Franklin Graham probably puts a lot of his own money into Samaritan's Purse. My observation is that if he is putting a lot of his salary back into Samaritan's Purse, that is tax inefficient. He would pay various taxes on his salary - and at a salary over $470K he would not be eligible for many deductions. It would make more sense for him to take a lower salary and leave the money in the charity, so an additional cut doesn't have to go to the government.

For that reason, my guess is that Franklin Graham isn't putting a significant percentage of his salary into Samaritan's Purse; of course, he may be tithing to his church and doing other charitable things with the money.

Another review mentioned that the total compensation number probably includes travel and other business expenses. It would be non-standard accounting if expenses such as travel were included in the CEO's compensation. As a general principal, you want things to be accounted for in the right "bucket" and travel expense should go in the travel expense bucket and salary should go in the salary bucket.

Of course there are cases where teachers buy supplies for their classes because the school district won't, or managers buy lunch for their team and don't submit it for reimbursement because company policy won't allow it (I've done that). Franklin Graham may be doing some similar things, but as CEO he is likely setting the appropriate reimbursement policies and following them. That means unreimbursed expenses are likely a small percentage of his total compensation. To do otherwise would be tax inefficient (for both him and Samaritan's Purse) and I assume Franklin Graham is too smart for that.

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