Investment Planning for Associations

Making sound investment and financial strategy decisions for an association is not easy, especially in light of the current economic conditions. While there is no perfect formula for an association or non-profit investment policy, there are many articles, books, and resources that detail common risks and best practices. Read on below to learn more.

EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's NAR username and password.

Investment Planning Essentials

The Property Investment Leap (REALTOR® AE Magazine, May 10, 2020)

Are You Putting the Right Amount in Your Reserve Fund? (Associations Now, Dec. 18, 2019)

Understanding the Visible and Hidden Costs in Your Investment Portfolio (American Society of Association Executives Center, Aug. 28, 2019)

How Nonprofits Can Tap into the Impact Investment Market (Stanford Social Innovation Review, Mar. 13, 2018)

A New Model for Financing Nonprofits (The New York Times, May 15, 2018)

12 Effective Ways to Operate a Nonprofit Like a For-Profit Business (Forbes, Mar. 7, 2018)

Nurturing the Nest Egg: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Optimize Growth Opportunities for Their Endowments (NJ Biz, Feb. 18, 2010) E

Investment Strategies for a Smooth Financial Future: Here's How to Organize Your Finances to Build a Stable Future (Nonprofit World, July-Sept. 2017) E

Benchmarking Can Help Your Investments Measure Up (American Society of Association Executives Center, Sept. 8, 2017)

Sample Investment Policies

REALTOR® Association Resource Exchange (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.)

REALTOR® Association Management Resources (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.)

Useful Websites

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy "provides a variety of services and tools to address the problems and questions you may face as an investor." Though the Office cannot detail which investments to make, it does provide tools for avoiding fraud and making wise investment decisions.

The American Society of Association Executives,, is an international membership organization comprised of trade association and society executives. Many of the resources on this website (including sample investment policies) are accessible only with ASAE membership, but parts of the website are free and publicly accessible.

Center for Association Resources, founded in 1997, is an acclaimed association management company serving organizations of all sizes from our headquarters in suburban Chicago and our offices in Washington, D.C. The Knowledge Center provides a selection of free articles, on topics ranging from Frequently Asked Strategic Planning Questions to Navigating the Fundraising Maze.

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center,, is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to nonprofit organizations. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center offers accounting, investment, and budgeting modules for a fee.

eBooks & Other Resources

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

Analysis of Financial Data (Kindle, eBook)

Cash & Investment Management for Nonprofit Organizations (eBook)

Compliance Management for Public, Private, or Nonprofit Organizations (Kindle, eBook)

Entrepreneurial Leadership and Financial Stability in Nonprofit Organizations (Kindle, eBook)

Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations (Kindle, eBook)

How to Read Nonprofit Financial Statements (Kindle, eBook)

Managing Risk in Nonprofit Organizations (eBook)

Model Policies and Procedures for Not-for-Profit Organizations (Kindle, eBook)

Nonprofit Strategic Planning (eBook)

Not-For-Profit Budgeting and Financial Management (Kindle, eBook)

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (eBook)

The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Complete Guide to Managing Chapter Funds (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives, 2000) HF 294 V94

The Policy Sampler: A Resource for Nonprofit Boards (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Nonprofit Boards, 2000) HF 294 F63

Financial and Accounting Guide for Not-for-Profit Organizations (New York: John Wiley, 2000) HF 294 G91

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The inclusion of links on this page 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 page 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.


Further Resources

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.