Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The List of Charity Donations and CEO Salaries

Forbes has listed The 200 Largest U.S. Charities, a few of whom have indirect connections with the Southern Baptist Convention, including In Touch Ministries, which reported a two million dollar reduction in assets last fiscal year.

Mike Sense has culled through the above list and posted some of the Chief Executive salaries of these large non-profits. You may be surprised with some of the information provided. You may also be left wondering about some information that may have been left out. One wonders about the monetary size of non-profits like Lakewood Church, Potter's Church, and other mega-churches and how they and the pastor salaries line up with the list provided by Forbes.


Bryan Riley said...

I love this list. I love seeing Campus Crusade's and, of course, that figure is what he has raised for himself. YWAM's figure would be similar (whatever Loren Cunningham raises to support himself). I'm not sure that this figure would include all ministry expenses, but, regardless, it demonstrates the difference between the way many non-profits run and big businesses, including the big business of many churches.

John Daly said...

I thought it was for Christian organizations?

Anonymous said...

There is something to be said about a man who would actually take such a salary. I have long said that 125k ought to be about the max base salary for a man of God in America. I was shocked to see the salary of our good friend Charles Stanley. One wonders that with his 300k salary as King of In Touch, salary as pastor of FBC, Atlanta, speaking fees, and book royalties...well...maybe he gives it all back like Rick Warren. Who knows?

And Billy Graham. When I was a kid it was public knowledge that Graham only took a 40k salary. Looks like he sewed a seed with a 10 fold blessing.

But on top of all that, how do these "non-prophets" get away with such big surpluses? In Touch's mailings which beg for money have yielded a 20 million dollar surplus.

Lots of money in this religion business.

David Eaton said...

If you click on the link in the post you'll notice that there are some issues mentioned with the data...namely that what is listed is essentially the highest person on the totem pole, and the highest salary, but they may not go together. There's a good discussion of that in the comments to the original post.

That being said, a workman is worth his wages, I read that somewhere. I think the speaker would at times forgo his right to take wages, but that was his choice.

None of us should put the pursuit of money as our main priority...at the same time as a a church member I am at time surprised that we treat our church staffs in ways that none of us would put up with if our employers acted in those ways.

An unhealthy obsession with money, either making it or worrying about how much of it other people are making, would seem to open us up to greed and envy.

David Eaton

Allie said...

None of the men's salaries seem that extravagant. I believe they were all under 500k. A lot of people always seem to judge Christian leaders by how much they make, but it almost always comes across as sour grapes.

Very likely none of us know these men or their families at all. Sometimes those who make more have more to give away.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Pastors should neither be poor nor rich.

Pay them the Median wage:

$42,270 - annual (2008).

Alan Paul said...

Tired of the anonymous posts.

Just saying...

jasonk said...

I once knew a man who gave up a promotion in his secular job, one that would have raised his $250k salary to over $400k, in order to follow God's call into vocational ministry. He gave up a $400k salary in order to take a job pastoring a church, which paid him 15,000 a year. Wow. Now that is sacrifice. But he never once complained about it. All I ever heard him say was that God never let him down. He never missed a meal, his kids never went hungry.
Today, he pastors a church which has the means to pay him a mid-six figure salary. To our Lord, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, half a million a year is nothing. But to our Socialist, everything must be fair all the time minds, it is too much of a salary. We say, "no man of God should ever make more than $42,000 a year." Sounds like a bitter old deacon to me. God gives. Sometimes He give less, sometimes He give more. But if God chooses to give a pastor or the head of a charity a good salary, I have no problem with it.
Many times, these people could make much more in the secular world, because they are great leaders. But they have a heart of compassion, and use their leadership skills to raise large amounts of money for charity. Many of these top charities would not have the reach that they do, were it not for the vision of these people.
When you have a person or a group of people that cast a big vision--not just to feed fifty or sixty people at a soup kitchen in their own town, but to feed thousands, or tens of thousands of people around the world, it takes leadership to make it happen. And good leaders are worth their wages.

Frank Gantz said...


I understand that you are trying to provide a forum where people can comment anonymously to protect themselves. However, so many anonymous posts makes it confusing for the rest of us. I don't know if one comment is a continuation by the same anonymous writer or a response to somebody else. Are all of these really in need of anonymity?

I appreciate that you provide info like this. I figured that it would draw some types of comments that it has. Some criticize the business designation of CEO while others want a business degree (MBA).

Some of these ministries have enriched my life and countless others. What price do we put on that?

Anonymous said...

One Flawed Oversight.

42k would be pretty nice here in the meager Missouri, but how would a Dallas/Ft. Worth pastor even be able to eat on that? Especially if his quiver was full. And let's not even mention the exhorbent cost of living in Enid. Why, this would barely cover the cost of golf balls.

Do not muzzle the oz that treadeth out the sheep....I mean grain.


Alan Paul said...


No debt, live within your means (let me translate that for you: live in a small house, drive old reliable cars, cut up your credit cards, listen to Dave Ramsey every day) - $42k is more than possible in Dallas, You will in fact, have money left over.

Kevin said...

Interesting post here, and the salaries are an eye-opener.

Most of us don't expect pastors and charity leaders to be poor. We also understand that you have to compensate quality people.

But somewhere there's a line, and it gets crossed too often.

Anonymous said...

@Alan, I was being facetious and condescending. My flaming darts were aimed in every direction hoping to offend at least a dozen or so.

Salaries are a difficult thing. Here are some principles you can quote as "Thus saith Kevin..."

1. Just because God owns all the money is not an excuse for a pastor to take a high salary.

2. "He could make more in the secular world," or "This salary is required to get high quality..." are both cop-out in the ministry service to the Creator of the Universe. (Proves that there is a submission to the dollar)

3. Some areas of the country/world require more expensive accommodations. This is a given.

4. Some ministry opportunities would never exist if we did not spend the money. (pains me to say this but Wade's CC fee is an example.)

5. Churches/ministries must consider the size of the "quiver." It is a ministry for a church to be able to support a pastor who has a large family. And I might add a blessing. (This is why I come cheap btw) :)

6. Lastly, Pastors who complain about their meager salaries are the exception. Most are meek and humble and would never dream of taking more than their share.

7. And really lastly, I go on reccord...I mean record, stating that any SBC employee, or entity employee who takes a base salary of over 200,000 ought to be ashamed of themselves. I mean Holy Ghost convicted ASHAMED!

Speaking of money....I am off to an interview.


jasonk said...

Anon 12:42-- correction: money is NOT the root of all evil. Loving money is.

Jeff said...

Exact quote from the Bible:

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erredc from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995, S. 1 Ti 6:10

Lydia said...

The whole idea of compensation is tricky and just looking at numbers does NOT do it justice.

It affects all areas of ministry and outward appearances to the world.

Just to give you ONE example in ONE mega church. The Associate pastor, making a nice 6 figure salary, started building a 6 thou sq ft home on a golf course about the time the church was embarking on their third new building on their million acre campus.

The typical pleas for sacrfice were made and many a single mom was publicly praised for being even more frugal (never mind those oil changes on a 13 year old car) and giving to the new building so the church would be debt free on their new huge office tower for staff.

In the meantime, some members (In a mega most will not know a pastor is building a new house) caught wind of the new house and banned together to send him an e-mail listing points on how was in bad taste during this campaign. (Never mind his current home was quite nice)

He defended himself that his wife needed more room for her weekly in home morning bible study(Never mind that 3/4 of the church was empty those mornings )

That is where this thinking will get you. Way far away from the NT teaching of taking care of our own in the Body. For some reason, we start thinking the leaders deserve it and the single mom should sacrfice more to make it so.

(Note, this same man, now a senior pastor of the church, asked for a pretty hefty raise when his wife was pregnant with their 4th child. Why don't some of you try that at work sometime?)

Alan Paul said...

If the sheep continue to pay up, then they have only themselves to blame. Stop giving, redirect your tithes and offerings to the ministries you think are worthwhile and those that you KNOW (insinuates you have checked the facts about your churches financial philiospies) are not mismanaging their money. It's that simple.

Lydia said...

If the sheep continue to pay up, then they have only themselves to blame. Stop giving, redirect your tithes and offerings to the ministries you think are worthwhile and those that you KNOW (insinuates you have checked the facts about your churches financial philiospies) are not mismanaging their money. It's that simple.

Wed May 06, 04:00:00 PM 2009

Or do what the early church did and look around for those who need help in the Body. They are there. Offer to fix a car for a single mom. Give a grocery gift card to someone who has lost their job.

Joe Blackmon said...

That way, all that hate gets used up and doesn't land on a real person later.

Stop hating, start participating.

All that hating ain't healthy.

Alan Paul said...

Good idea Lydia. I have done that in the past. It's a good way to see to it that the money is used exactly as intended. I wish it would work on a large scale - but it won't. People are stingy. It's why the government has to step in and do it (and screw it up I might add).

Frank Gantz said...

Well, it looks like this thread has been hi-jacked by the bitter "anonymous" posters from Jax. You may have legitimate issues in front of you, but your vitriolic comments certainly don't help your cause.

Let me respond to my 2 responders:

Anon 12:10
You wrote:

"Frank - why must we always be thinking about "what price we can put on" an act of ministry. Or salvation?"

Anon 12:42
You wrote:

"Frank said ' Some of these ministries have enriched my life and countless others. What price do we put on that?

How much did we have to pay Christ to die for us? He was a mega-pastor. What was His salary?

Money is the root of all evil.
You want to see evil in the SBC?
Look at the 'leadership' with the money. Look how they have treated people.

Time to tax the 'money makers' who feed off of the church and commit evil acts in the process.

When you gotta pay big bucks to some jerk to 'inspire you' and 'bless you' then you cheapen your faith beyond saving."

First, I was not thinking of putting a price on ministry that has enriched me. I was merely responding to comments about pay. But since you asked about what it costs me that Jesus died for me, I will quote the hymn:

"Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all."

Anon 12:42 - you just seem extremely bitter. A blanket label of "jerks" is pretty harsh. Again, it is "the love of money" not money that is the root of all evil.

Alan Paul said...

Waste of time to respond to anons IMO.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic:

VTM Bottom Line blog > A Government Of The People.
I'm going to do something I never do when in the pulpit. I'm going to wax eloquent about politics. But the eloquence is not mine and I'm not going to tell who said it [to minimize any prejudice] or whether I agree with it or not until the next post. I want to hear what you think about it. A couple of things first....

One__ I know the Lord is Sovereign over all nations, No question. His purposes will be accomplished. But I am asking us to discuss our responsible part in it all.

Two__ As believers we are citizens of another country and must never get more involved in the politics of America than we are involved in the gospel of the Kingdom. America is not the Kingdom of God and America is not a Christian nation since there is only one of those [1 Peter 2:9] and that's the one God is building made up of every believer out of every nation on earth who has responded to the true gospel of Christ. But, that said, we are to live responsibly as citizens in both I think.

Three__I don't know whether or not this will fly as a good conversational piece, but I thought it worth a try seeing the dire straits we're in politically these days. The author is a bit cynical perhaps and that may be something someone will wish to address. But whatever we say, let's speak of our citizenship here, but speak with our spirit reflecting our citizenship there. Thanks.

QUOTE FROM____________?

The quote was from here, Ch. 8, Pgs 112-113.
Reality Check blog > Give Me Liberty....
For years I have read the daily devotionals of Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost for His Highest. Now there's a Web site where the daily devotionals can be read online. My personal book is earmarked, dated, has notes in it, and a few pages are even a little tear stained.

I thought today's reading, May 6, is appropriate and timely because of some arguments and discussions making the rounds in some SBC circles. Interestingly Oswald Chambers died in 1917, so his devotionals were written a long time ago, but remain relevant


MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST May 06 - Liberty and the Standards of Jesus.

Viator - Vicar of Knights of Jesus said...

Dallas Willard: The Spirit of the Disciplines. Chapter 10: Is Poverty Spiritual; Chapter 11: The Disciplines and the Power Structures of This World.
Sane and insightful commentary.
P.S.: What is Wade's compensation package?

Luke said...

Matthew 25:15
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability;...
The question for me is not what someone else has been given but what am I doing with what I have been given? I will not be judged according to what others did with their talents but what I did those entrusted to me. Secondly, He gives according to our ability. Evidently in the giving time, God knows more than we who to give what to. Sometimes, in my more lucid moments, I am genuinely thankful that I do not have to be responsible for more than that which I already have. And even that bothers me.

greg.w.h said...

Happened to read this article in the USAToday coincident with scanning the comments on this post. I also recall a rather vehement discussion with a close friend over an effort by some MKs for the IMB to be accountable for an M they fired due to a 20+ year history of pedophilia on the field (at least 9 MKs molested) who was lying about his status with the IMB and remaining in contact with young children.

The two stories may not seem similar, but the point I get from Wade's list is that:

1. The religious world has very few million dollar salaries.

2. Yet these men will be accountable to God for even a salary of $57K if, in his sight, they misappropriate and misallocate those "talents". All the more so if they receive more than that.

3. We, too, are responsible for not just our tithes and offerings but for every dollar that flows through our hands. That we should constantly be accountable to others is as necessary for the individual Christian as it is for the leader of a worldwide ministry.

Summarized in this life passage:

Luke 12:42 NIV The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked

Greg Harvey

P.S. I hope that each of us commits as much time in prayer to each ministry that we participate in as the time we spend scrutinizing the organization's expenditures. God is, after all, more likely to reward our pious prayer than our pious bean counting. And he knows where all the beans are, anyway.

Unknown said...

Let me take this discussion in a slightly different direction and ask the question: “What is Forbes motivation for this article being published at this time?”I think we all had better wake up to the fact that the current Congress and Presidential Administration have a radically different opinion of Christian Ministries than those of the previous Congress and Presidential Administration. Their actions and expressed agenda point toward an adversarial, and one might even say ‘hostile’, position toward Christian Charities and Christian Churches in this nation.

This get’s me back to the question of “What is Forbes motivation for this article being published at this time?” In my opinion this article by Forbes is designed to undermine the public support for contributions to these ministries being “Tax-Free”. The same tactic of publishing the salaries of the CEO’s of the Banks receiving bailout funds were used to gain public support for the government takeover of the Banks… I see this as just the first volley in the war to strip Christian Charities and Christian Churches in this nation of their “Tax-Exempt” status.

We now find ourselves in a “Post-Christian” nation… and if this article by Forbes makes many of us Christians mad… what do you think the progressive, secularist that just lost his job thinks about this article?

Grace Always,

Rodney Sprayberry said...

If we would go to a flat tax, I would gladly give up tax-exempt status!

The church does not need special status in the eyes of "CAESAR"...it is nice but it is not needed.

Non-profit status in the church contritutes to often contributes to non-prophet status in the culture!

Only By His Grace said...

Three Passages of Scriptures,

2 Corinthians 5:10,
"For WE must all appear before the judgment seat (bema) of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body according to that which he has done whether it be good or bad."

1 Corinthians 4:1-4,
1. "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2. "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3. "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4. "For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord."

Philippians 4:19,
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ."

Phil in Norman

Steve said...

Inevitably, in America, any discussion of money will be sidetracked into a political discussion. People who have been trained to hate purely on economic terms cannot help but insert vile charges at such times, and anonymity makes it even easier - in fact, irresistible.

Allow one poor man to suggest that in most of the past several elections, the richest Senatorial and Presidential candidates have, in fact, been the Democrat Liberal-Statists.

Those who are still angry over how little tax they paid under Repub administrations are welcome to just send the rest to Candidate Obama's campaign, which raised hundreds of millions more than any other candidate ever dared hope.

Joe Blackmon said...

There ARE some people who must remain anon

...because they have no backbone and aren't man/woman enough to stand behind what they say.

Byroniac said...

I understand the need for anonymity at times but more often than not anonymous commentators are probably just seeking freedom from accountability. I usually ignore anonymous comments (not always), personally, for that very reason. Seems to me if you want to be taken seriously, then give some identification token whereby readers can attribute your words. Otherwise, complaints about not being heard are not worth taking seriously, either, I think. But of course, it's Wade Burleson's blog, so it's whatever he wants to do.

Ron said...

Someone asked what business it is of others how much Charles Stanley makes from AMWAY. I once received a letter asking me to sell AMWAY stating that Charles Stanley was one of their Gold Star salesmen. Consider the AMWAY works, I assume he would have received a percentage of my sales if I had accepted the offer. Therefore it should be my business how much he makes. Also AMWAY had somehow gotten a list of Baptist ministers in my area since all of my friends in ministry received the identical letter. I doubt this was done without Charles Stanley being aware.
I am not a member of Charles Stanley's church but if I were I would want to ask how much time he was spending selling AMWAY since we were paying him a salary for a full time job. In addition I have heard those in his church who became his salesmen were also more likely to be placed in higher positions in the church.
This all happened many years ago so the situation may have changed by now.

Elizabeth Prata said...

"Fear of a few comments? WHY?


Not fear. Just weariness. You ask 'why'? Because the anonymous comments here lately are stupid or mean or both, and do not push forward a fruitful discussion. Not always, but usually.

That's why.

wadeburleson.org said...

Elizabeth Prata,

You are correct.

For a season the anonymous will be gone.

Ramesh said...

The Forbes list data is about 4 years old, when it was published. It is quite likely they derived the list from data that is older than 4 years. So the current numbers could be higher, even given the downturn in the economy.
Off Topic:

The Baseline Scenario > Stress Tests and The Nationalization We Got - The post was co-authored by Simon Johnson and James Kwak.
When the stress tests were first announced on February 10, bank stocks went into a slide (the S&P 500 Financial Sector Index fell from 133.13 on February 9 to 96.18 two weeks later), in part on fears that the stress tests would be a prelude to “nationalization” of the banks. This week, it has emerged that several large banks will require tens of billions of dollars of new capital, most notably Bank of America. They could obtain that capital by exchanging common shares for the preferred shares that Treasury now holds, an accounting trick that boosts tangible common equity without providing the banks any new cash. Such a conversion would greatly increase the government’s stake in certain banks, perhaps even above the 50% level, yet the markets seem relatively unconcerned this week, with the S&P 500 Financial Sector Index at 168.14 and rising.

What happened?

Back in February, America was mired in a public debate over the word “nationalization” and what it meant for our banking system, with contributions by Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, former and current Fed officials Alan Greenspan, Alan Blinder, and Thomas Hoenig, and administration figures Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, and even Barack (”Sweden had like five banks“) Obama, among others. On a substantive level, the debate was over whether large and arguably insolvent banks should be allowed to fail and go into government conservatorship, as happens routinely with small insolvent banks. Opponents of this view who wanted to keep the banks afloat in their current form, including the current administration, beat off this challenge by calling it nationalization (more precisely, by demonizing government control of banks). Perversely, however, what we got instead was increasing co-dependency between the government and the large banks, as well as increasing influence of the government over the banks, and vice-versa. And according to the market, the banks should be quite happy with this outcome

Alan Paul said...

Thank you Wade.

wadeburleson.org said...

Amy, I would be more than happy to answer your question, and will do so when you provide your first and last name, where you worship, and personal information like your family, place of employment, etc . . .

That is consistent with what you find in the pofiles of other people on this blog.



Alan Paul said...

For what it's worth, an old post from a couple of years ago on my blog discussing my opinion/view on this issue:


wadeburleson.org said...

Amy, it is important to verify your information because you match an IP address that tells me that you are in reality someone else.


Alan Paul said...

Okay, we'll try this again:


Amy said...

I don't know what my IP address says but my mother who named me would be surprised to know that I have another name. :v

BTW, you really need to get a better schtick than the IP angle.

wadeburleson.org said...

No schtick, Amy.

Just the truth.

Prove me wrong.

wadeburleson.org said...

Your profile was created tonight. I show you to have logged in from Florida, and if my memory serves correct, you are a male, in your twenties, and have a mother and a sister and attended Florida State.

How's that? It is difficult to pinpoint IP's on comments, and I freely admit I could be wrong, but the IP that shows up closest to your comment matches the above.

Again, it is easily resolved by simply identifying yourself to verify my information is either correct or incorrect.

Amy said...

Female who has never lived in Florida but loves watching the waves and the surf there. And I would not wish to be in my twenties again. Too stressful.

Also a proud graduate of a SBC college ... from a non-Florida state.

wadeburleson.org said...

Ok, then you are not Eric. Tell us where you attend church. Also, what do you do for a living? What about your family? Most profiles contain this basic information - as does mine - and to have dialogue one needs to know who you are.

wadeburleson.org said...

Oh, and by the way, your last name as well.


Good night all.

Only By His Grace said...

Good Samaritan's Purse? "Samaritan's Pursue - Franklin Graham, $368,115." Maybe a new one could be "The Widow's Mite- CEO annual salary,$368,115 plus benefits" or "The Lazarus Kennel Fund--CEO salary, $368,115 plus benefits."

I used to watch Pat Robertson make his pitch about how they were going to have to bring home missionaries if they did not raise two million dollars. I knew his total worth in 1985 was $79 million dollars. I thought, "Why, Pat, if this is so important to you, give two million dollars; after all you will have 77 million dollars to live on while you are suffering for Jesus."

I think the most important list would be the net worth of these folks: how many cars (make and models; how many homes. I think poor Jimmy and Tammy Faye only had four homes with golden faucets).

Matthew 6:24,
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

I wonder what "mammon" is. Does anyone know?

Phil in Norman.

Steve said...

Ooh! Pat Robertson! NOBODY does the anguished-good-guy-in-direst-straits act like good old Pat!

New BBC Open Forum said...

This quote from KMC stood out to me:

"Churches/ministries must consider the size of the 'quiver.' It is a ministry for a church to be able to support a pastor who has a large family. And I might add a blessing.".

Well, some may consider it a "ministry," but it's not a responsibility. The "size of the quiver" shouldn't matter in the least. I'm so tired of people saying because so-and-so has a large family he (it seems it's always a "he") deserves to be paid more for the same job than a single person with the same or more experience and responsibilities.

Back in the '80s I was single and worked for a guy who had a small business -- just three of us total. He then hired a guy to work in the shop with me doing some of the same work but with less responsibilities. The guy was around 40, married, and had a young daughter. He had no experience, and I found out the owner was paying him over 50% more than he was paying me. Needless to say I was not happy! When I approached the owner about it he responded, "Well, he's got a wife and child to support. You don't." So what!!! I could not believe in that day and age I was hearing someone say that. HE'S the one who chose to get married and have a child. What does that have to do with ME???

Can't afford children? Don't shoot arrows! It's not an employer's place to compensate you more because you chose to have children. That applies when the employer is a church, too.

Alan Paul said...

BBC Forum-

It's the employer's choice as to how he/she wants to compensate anyone. This is what is referred to as a free market.

It's your choice to decide if you are going to take what he/she is offering or not. THat is also called a free market.

Both of you have choices. Both of you should make the choices you feel make the most sense to you.

Alan Paul said...

No one has the right to dictate to a business owner, who is taking all of the risk, how he or she should operate that business. You want more money? Go start your own business and you get to do that as well as getting to decided how you want to operate YOUR business and spend YOUR money.