After Wayne Lapierre's delusional rant on TV yesterday, I suspect that the NRA's donors are experiencing a little bit of buyer's remorse. After all, the man is supposed to help them market the idea that turning schools into armed fortresses is a good idea, not expose the idea as a survivalist dystopian nightmare.
I guess they're paying the wrong guy. Or someone forgot to read him the playbook where you hide your delusions behind a screen of talk about rights.
And they're paying him a lot, by the way. I wonder if rank-and-file contributors to the NRA know just how much. In 2010, according to Forbes Magazine's Managing Editor for Business News, Dan Bigman (who I assume would not exaggerate his salary for effect), he was bringing in nearly a million dollars a year.
[I]n 2010 the NRA reported that it had 781 full time employees, 125,000 volunteers and generated revenues of $227.8 million.Bigman cites the NRA's 2010 Tax Returns as his source for this information.
Where does all that come from? In 2010, $71 million came from contributions and grants, $100 million from membership fees and $46 million from other revenue sources, like ad sales ($20 million) royalties, rents and subscriptions.
In 2010 that wasn’t enough to cover expenses. In total, they spent $243.5 million, leaving a $15 million shortfall, at least that year, which was cushioned by assets of $37.5 million.
Where did all the money go? About $33 million went to salaries and wages (not including the top brass), $28 million went to advertising and promotions. By far the biggest items were membership outreach: $57 million for membership communications, $24 million for printing and shipping, $16 million for educational programs. Just about $10 million went to the NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action.
More than $12.7 million went to Akron-Ohio based InfoCision, a huge telemarketing company that lists a broad spectrum of blue chip non-profits as clients– including Smile Train, the American Diabetes Association, Easter Seals and Unicef—as well as the College Republican National Committee and companies like Time Warner and AT&T.
As for salaries, fifty-six people in the organization earned more than $100,000 in 2010—and 10 made more than $250,000. Lapierre does not top the list. Kayne B. Robinson, the executive director of general operations does. He was paid just over $1 million. Lapierre was second, pulling in $970,000 in reportable and estimated comp.
I suspect we're going to want to learn more about the donations and "grants," membership fees and other sources of income. And then we'll want to watch carefully to see where the money goes as the NRA goes into a tailspin. Because those donors and grantees and members are going to find another home for their money before you can say "Bon Voyage, Lapierre." And the next spokesman may be a little more successful at hiding the lunacy behind the anti-regulation, gun-up-the-schools, fervor.