Field Guide to Association Budgets and Reserves
(Updated January 2016)
Creating and maintaining a successful association budget doesn't have to be a headache. Take the pain out of budgeting with these tools available through NAR's library at Information Services. (S. Hogan, Manager, Library & Archives)
E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.
Local Association 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.
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.
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).
10 Step Budgeting Checklist, (Nonprofits Assistance Fund, 2014).
Basic Overview of U.S. Nonprofit Financial Management, (Free Management Library, 2011).
Ratios & Reserves
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).
Analyzing financial information using ratios, (Nonprofits Assistance Fund, 2014).
Nonprofit Operating Reserves and Policy Examples, (Nonprofits Assistance Fund, 2014).
Running on Empty: The Operating Reserves of U.S. Nonprofit Organizations, (Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Spring 2013).
Nonprofit Resource Allocation Decisions: A Study of Marginal versus Average Spending, (Journal of Governmental & Nonprofit Accounting, July 2012).
Maintaining Sufficient Reserves to Protect your Not-for-Profit Organization, (Grant Thornton LLP, Spring 2010).
Articles, Surveys & More from NAR
2014 Profile of Local Associations: Chief Staff Executive Compensation and Benefits, (National Association of REALTORS®, May 2015). 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, (National Association of REALTORS®). Find information on compensation, non-dues revenue, grants, and more.
Manage the Association and Its Business Operations, (The Answer Book, NAR). See Chapter 3 for information on budget and financial management.
Profile of Local Association Executive Compensation and Benefits: Summary of Survey Findings, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2010). The 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
NAR Recommended Policies and Procedures for REALTOR® Associations, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2011).
The Answer Book: The Source for REALTOR® Association Management Leaders (National Association of REALTORS®, 2013).
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 - BoardSource is 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 (Source: GWSCPA).
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
Field Guides & More
Have an Idea for a New Field Guide?
Click here to send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this Field Guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this Field Guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.