WASHINGTON (AP) _ The top executives of the country's largest nonprofit organizations received midrange compensation increases of 5.7 percent last year, a new survey finds.

The median salary was $207,990, meaning half the leaders earned more than that and half less. The median compensation increase in 1997 was 2.9 percent.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a biweekly publication of the nonprofit world, conducted the survey of 246 by mainly selecting organizations from its Philanthropy 400 list of nonprofit groups with the most private donations. The survey also examined the nation's 20 richest private foundations.

In all, the groups include charities, hospitals, universities, community foundations and other organizations with incomes ranging from $9.7 million to $3.6 billion.

John W. Rowe, president of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, was the highest paid executive, earning $1,163,875. He was one of two executives who earned more than $1 million. The other was Paul A. Marks, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who earned $1,077,500.

Neither were the survey's highest single earner, however. That honor went to Wayne Isom, chairman of the cardiothoracic surgery department at Cornell University. Isom was paid $1,731,922, in addition to getting benefits worth $40,634.

Other findings in the survey:

_13 of the 246 chief executives received compensation of $500,000 or more.

_25 of the top leaders received more than $100,000 worth of fringe benefits ranging from retirement benefits to housing and car allowances.

_Most organizations spent between 1 percent and 2 percent of their total income to compensate their two executives.

In addition to collecting compensation data, the survey also examined the race, gender and ethnicity of the leaders of America's biggest nonprofit organizations. At 154 organizations that provided figures on their five highest-paid employees, 7 percent of those workers were black or Hispanic. Women held a little more than one-quarter of the leadership positions.