The funding for safety groups, the salaries of their chiefs

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With the exception of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the main trucking safety advocacy nonprofit organizations have relatively small budgets.

All meet a general Better Business Bureau guideline for tax-exempt organizations, which says that program service expense as a percentage of total expenses should be at least 65 percent.

All but Road Safe designate large portions of their budget to paying top executives.

The Truck Safety Coalition

Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT)
Program service expense: 84%
Total 2014 revenues, including interest: $135,437

Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) via the CRASH Foundation
Program service expense: 83%
Total 2014 revenues, including interest: $138,831

HIGHEST-PAID EMPLOYEE: Executive Director John Lannen, according to the 2014 IRS Form 990 filed by this group, received $143,000 in reportable compensation, in addition to $20,064 in health benefits or other benefits-type compensation, more than the Foundation took in directly in contributions that same year. However, his salary is partly paid by the affiliated Parents Against Tired Truckers. In 2014, Lannen’s salary and benefits combined accounted for 59 percent of the combined revenue of both organizations.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

Program service expense: 66%
Total 2014 revenues, including interest: $2,190,662

The overlap of influence
Board of directors members shared by Advocates, PATT, CRASH in 2014Overlap-of-influence-board-members-shared-by-AHAS-PATT-CRASHAmong three of the four primary truck safety advocacy groups, a small number of people have overlapping interests. “The incest is sort of everywhere,” says Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president.Truck Safety Coalition and PATT/CRASH Executive Director John Lannen, in line to become the MCSAC chairman, did not respond to Overdrive queries related to this story, nor did representatives of AHAS.

HIGHEST-PAID EMPLOYEES: According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety’s 2014 IRS Form 990, President Jacqueline Gillan received more than $400,000 in compensation and other benefits that year. Henry Jasny, vice president and general counsel, as well as its representative on the MCSAC advisory committee to FMCSA, was compensated near the $300,000 level. Around 30 percent of Advocates’ annual revenue was devoted to the two individuals.

MEMBERSHIP FEES: While the three other organizations shown here categorize the majority of their revenue as contributions, virtually all of Advocates’ total revenue in 2014 came from membership dues, according to that year’s IRS Form 990 filed by the group. Advocates was founded by automobile insurance companies, but its membership also includes, according to its website, “consumer, medical, public health and safety groups.”

Road Safe America

Program service expense: 77%
Total 2014 revenues, including interest: $180,019

Road Safe America, says founder Steve Owings, is run entirely by volunteers, including himself, except when contractors are hired for tasks such as fund-raising. Contributions, Owings says, come from individuals, not companies, though “we have received some grants from big charitable organizations and foundations.”

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