Compared to other autism nonprofits, Autism Speaks spends a smaller percentage of its revenue on programming. A comparison of 2012 income tax forms found through the Urban Institute shows 70.9 percent of Autism Speaks’ revenue is devoted to program expenses, in comparison to 79.8 percent of the Autistics Self-Advocacy Network’s and 91.5 percent of the Autism Science Foundation’s. Autism Speaks declined to comment on its financial matters.
While Autism Speaks is much bigger and has a larger staff than both of those organizations, the difference in money spent on “current officers, directors, trustees, and other key employees” is striking. For these employees, Autism Speaks spent $2,252,334 in 2012, according to tax filings. In comparison, the Autistics Self-Advocacy Network spent just $65,000 on this class of employees. That was to cover the salary of its president, Ari Ne’eman. In comparison, the former president of Autism Speaks, Mark Roithmayr, had a salary of $436,314 in 2012 and Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson earned $465,671. Eleven other higher-up employees in Autism Speaks earned well into six figures that year. As the head of Autism Science Foundation, [Alison] Singer doesn’t take a salary.