Association Budgets and Reserves

Creating and maintaining a successful association budget doesn't have to be a headache. Take the pain out of budgeting with these helpful links.

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Local Associ​ation Income and Expenses

Respondents to the Profile of Local Association Executive Compensation and Benefits survey were asked to rank their sources of income, excluding dividends from MLS revenue. Exhibit 5.4.1 aggregates the top five responses and averages the percentages that respondents provided for each income source as a percentage of their total revenue. Expense budgets for fiscal year 2014 are tabulated in Exhibit 5.8.

Budgets & Reserves
Image source: Exhibits 5.4.1, 5.8, 2014 Profile of Local Associations: Chief Staff Executive Compensation and Benefits, National Association of REALTORS®, May 2015.

Association Budgets

Webinar: Creating High-Functioning Nonprofits: Who Should Have What Financial Information? (The Nonprofit Quarterly, Nov. 30, 2016)  

Poll Indicates NDR Increasingly Important to Association Operating Budgets (Association Advisor, May 11, 2016) 

It's NEVER About the Donuts (Nonprofit Quarterly, Summer 2015) E  

State of the Sector Survey (Nonprofit Finance Fund, 2015).  

Five Tips To Better Manage Nonprofit Finances (Forbes, Mar. 17, 2015)

The Skills to Pay the Bills: An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances (The Wallace Foundation, Feb. 2015)

Ratios & Reserves

Keep a Close Eye on Investment Reserves (ASAE, Feb. 22, 2017)

So You Think You Know Non-Dues Revenue (Association Advisor, Oct 13, 2016)

Webinar: Why Funding Overhead Is Not the Real Issue: The Case to Cover Full Costs (The Nonprofit Quarterly, Apr. 18, 2016)

Who Observes Your Reserves? (ASAE, March/April 2015)

Clear the Fuzzy Thinking About Nonprofit Reserves (Nonprofits Assistance Fund, 2015)

Nine Ratios to Help Measure Your Not-for-Profit's Financial Health (CBIZ, Mar. 30, 2015)

Articles, Surveys & More from NAR

Value Proposition Toolkit — The Value Proposition Toolkit is designed to help associations establish a clear and simple value proposition and promote the value of membership in your association.

2014 Profile of Local Associations: Chief Staff Executive Compensation and Benefits — The NAR Association Leadership Development department surveyed local REALTOR® associations in October 2014 to collect data on local association Chief Staff Executive compensation, staffing, and budgeting. This report summarizes the findings for association boards and executives to use in assessing pay policies and programs for their Chief Staff Executives. It also is a resource for help in staffing and budgeting.

Manage Your Association: Budget and Finances — Find information on compensation, non-dues revenue, grants, and more.

Manage the Association and Its Business Operations, (The Answer Book) — See Chapter 3 for information on budget and financial management.

Profile of Local Association Executive Compensation and Benefits: Summary of Survey Findings — This survey was conducted between February 15 and March 8, 2010. It asked respondents for 2009 compensation and financial information and 2010 compensation budgets. In total, 527 local associations returned surveys, representing 37.5% of the 1,404 surveys that were mailed. Of the returned surveys, 511 were used in the data analysis.

REALTOR® Association Policies From NAR

Policy Resources for AEs

Core Standards for State and Local Associations

Association Policy Violation Resolution Procedure

The Answer Book: The Source for REALTOR® Association Management Leaders

Useful Websites

Nonprofit Finance Fund — Visit the Nonprofit Finance Fund for strategic advice, research, webinars, and annual industry surveys. In particular, see the Nonprofit Finance 101 section under Tools & Resources.

RCE Designation (National Association of REALTORS®) — Learn about benefits and program information for RCE, the only professional designation designed specifically for REALTOR® association executives.

American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) — Find information on the ASAE community, education, resources, advocacy, and more.

BoardSource — Dedicated to advancing the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service. Visit this site for resources for nonprofit leaders, information on governance, training courses, and more.

Financial Management Resources (National Council of Nonprofits)— Find resources on budgets, policies, financial literacy for boards, managing cash flow, operating reserves, and more.

Nonprofit Accounting Basics (Greater Washington Society of CPAs) — The GWSCPA Nonprofit Financial Accountability Task Force is a nation-wide collaborative comprised of members of the accounting and nonprofit communities that seek to strengthen the nonprofit sector in the US by improving financial accountability in the sector through ongoing education initiatives and robust discussion of current topics.

Nonprofit Risk Management Center — Visit the Nonprofit Risk Management Center for fact sheets on risk management and liability topics, publications, workshops, and more.

Resource Library (Nonprofits Assistance Fund) — Find links to articles, webinars, templates, scenario planning examples, and more.

Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits (U.S. Internal Revenue Service).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits (Adobe eReader, Kindle)

Budgeting for Managers (Adobe eReader)

Cash Flow Strategies: Innovation in Nonprofit Financial Management (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Cash & Investment Management for Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Human Resource Policies and Procedures for Nonprofit Organizations (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Nonprofit Boards That Work (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Nonprofit Financial Management (Kindle, Adobe eReader, OverDrive Read)

Books, Videos, Research Reports, & More

Financial Management Handbook for Associations and Nonprofits (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2011) HF 5686.A76 S74

The Association and Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Research Guide (Bethesda, MD: Association Management and Marketing Resources, 2008) HF 294 C18

Association Compensation & Benefits Study by American Society of Association Executives (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2010-2011) HF 294 Am3as

7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2006) HD 58.9 Am3s