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Further Thoughts on NRA’s 2022 Finances

Amended in light of comment, my math was off, and the proper math shows the situation is worse than we’d seen. Since the previous post, we’ve had time to reflect. The financial report shows finances through the end of August, 8 months. We can project the year by multiplying the “year to date” numbers by 1.5. [Changed from 1.33] NB: these will be optimistic projections, since the trends are clearly down, rather than stable.

Projections for the year 2022: revenues, $208 million, expenses $250 million. Deficit, $41 million. The budget had predicted a deficit of zero over the year, but this is the actuality. One-sixth of expenses will have to be met by borrowing, despite all past the budget cuts and hiring freezes and stopping contributions to employees’ pensions. 2023 will probably worsen the deficit, the trend continuing down, and eventually the line of credit NRA borrows against will be exhausted. By the way, projected legal expenses for 2022 are $60.5 million, or nearly 1/3 of NRA’s total revenues. When an annual member sends in his dues, of that $45, about $15 of that is earmarked for attorneys. All due to the misconduct of one person, and those who profited off him.

Looking at past NRA 990s, in 2018 NRA had total revenue of $352 million, four years later that’s fallen by 41%. In 2019, NRA ran a deficit of $12 million, in 2018, a deficit of $2.7 million, in 2017 a deficit of $17 million, and in 2016 one of $45 million. Even in the good years, NRA was spending more than it brought in. The one exception is 2020, when revenues fell only $4 million, and NRA showed a surplus due to salary costs being cut by 1/3 ($18 million) via layoffs, unsalaried furloughs, salary cuts, and stopping contributions to employees’ retirement funds.

If you were looking at a company, and noted that–

Its revenues had fallen by 41% over four years,

it’d had to borrow to keep afloat six years out of the last seven,

it’d laid off many employees and stopped its pension contributions for the rest,

it was kept alive only by massive borrowing (1/6 of its budget),

it’s tied up in legal battles to where its legal budget is one-third of its revenues,

and everything was pointing down for coming years,

wouldn’t you conclude the company was dying, and the only question was when would it file for real (dissolution) bankruptcy and fade away? Give it six months or a year, and it will be down there with Blockbuster, Circuit City, and Toys-R-Us.

If then you learned that at a meeting of the company’s board, one director had moved for the board to be given the full financial data, and the others let his motion die for lack of a second, wouldn’t you conclude that the reason why the company was dying was obvious? The company is dying, and its board of directors closes their eyes and plugs their ears and say “go away, we don’t want to think about it.”

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5 thoughts on “Further Thoughts on NRA’s 2022 Finances

  1. Spot on analysis – I take the under on a (real this time) bankruptcy filing prior to the NYAG case getting to Judge Cohen’s decision.

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  2. I was the NRA Board Member that made the motion. I attended the finance committee meeting watched the presentation. I requested a copy of the committee report and was told there were no extras. I renewed my request in the Board meeting, made the motion that failed, then President Cotton said any board member could review the report in the staff office at the hotel. During a break in the board meeting when I went to the office Sec. Frazier told me none were available for review. He went on to say it would need to be reviewed at NRA headquarters. When I pointed out I had a vehicle and we could go now or in the next 48 hours, he replied I would need to make an appointment in a couple weeks and return to Virginia on my own dime. No Charter flights for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the multiplying factor should be 1.5 instead of 1.33. If the current 8 months is multiplied by 1.33 you get 10.64 months. To get the expense values for a full 12 months multiply 8 months times 1.5 which gives the full 12 month period of interest.

    This makes the results even worse than you depicted.

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