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February 8, 2020

How Membership Dues are Spent at the National Education Association (NEA)

by Anne Paddock

The National Education Association of the United States (NEA) is a non-profit tax-exempt 501 (c) (5) – a labor organization – that represents public school teachers, retired educators, and college students preparing to become teachers. The largest professional employee organization in the US, NEA has more than 3 million members (which is also about how many public school teachers there are in the US).

Based in Washington, DC, NEA reported total revenue of $374 million in 2017, most of which ($370 million) came from membership dues, which means the average membership dues were $123.

Expenses totaled $361 milloin and were categorized as follows:

  • $121 million (32% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $114 million (30% of revenue):  Grants
  • $ 27 million (7% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $ 25 million (7% of revenue):  Membership Communication, Membership Dues, and Publications
  • $ 23 million (6% of revenue):  Ballot Initiative
  • $ 15 million (4% of revenue):  Office-related Expenses
  • $ 13 million (3% of revenue):  Insurance
  • $ 10 million (3% of revenue):  Fees for Services (primarily other but also management, lobbying, legal, acct)
  • $  7 million (2% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $  6 million (2% of revenue):  Other Expenses

As illustrated above, compensation for the 653 employees is the largest expense at $121 million, which equates to an average compensation of $185,300. However, only 368 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation.  Grants – primarily for financial assistance to 501 (c) (3’s) and other organizations – totaled $114 million.  185 grants greater than $5,000 for financial assistance were made with the largest recipients (all of whom are 501 (c) 3’s, 5’s, or 6’s) listed below:

  • $13.4 million:  California Teachers Association
  • $ 6.5 million:  New Jersey Education Association
  • $ 5.3 million:  Pennsylvania State Education Association
  • $ 5.0 million:  Ohio Education Association
  • $ 4.7 million:  Michigan Education Association
  • $ 4.5 million:  Illinois Education Association
  • $ 3.8 million:  Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • $ 3.5 million:  Washington Education Association
  • $ 3.3 million:  Alabama Education Association
  • $ 3.0 million:  Florida Education Association
  • $ 2.4 million:  Education Minnesota
  • $ 2.4 million:  Maryland State Education Association
  • $ 2.4 million:  Virginia Education Association
  • $ 2.3 million:  Colorado Education Association
  • $ 2.1 million:  Wisconsin Education Association Council
  • $ 2.0 million:  Oregon Education Association
  • $ 1.9 million:  NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education
  • $ 1.9 million:  New York State – United Teachers
  • $ 1.9 million:  Texas State Teachers Association
  • $ 1.5 million:  Tennessee Education Association
  • $ 1.4 million:  Indiana State Teachers Association
  • $ 1.4 million:  Nevada State Ed Association
  • $ 1.3 million:  Connecticut Education Association
  • $ 1.3 million:  Oklahoma Education Association
  • $ 1.3 million:  Iowa State Education Association
  • $ 1.3 million:  Kentucky Education Association
  • $ 1.1 million:  Georgia Association of Educators
  • $ 1.0 million:  Missouri NEA
  • $ 1.0 million:  Nebraska State Education Association

Using the previous information, every $100 in revenue (primarily membership dues) was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 32:  Compensation

-$  7:  Travel and Conferences

-$  7:  Membership Communication, Membership Dues, and Publications

-$  6:  Ballot Initiative

-$  4:  Office-related Expenses

-$  3:  Insurance

-$  3:  Fees for Services

-$  2:  Advertising and Promotion

-$  2:  Other Expenses

-$ 66:  Subtotal Compensation, Travel, Initiative, Office, Insurance, Fees, Advertising, and Other

$  34:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 30:  Grants

$   4:  Revenue Remaining:  To General Fund

As illustrated above $66 out of every $100 was spent on staff and organization costs while $30 out of every $100 was used for grants (financial assistance to other non-profits/state affiliates who then deduct their expenses). The unspent revenue – $4 out of every $100 was added to the general fund which had $312 million at year-end. That this organization has more than $300 million but only $1 million in investment income and $1.2 million in gains on the sale of assets would lead some to ask who is managing the investments because the returns should be higher (note:  a 3% return would e $9 million in investment income).

To read the IRS Form 990 (2016 for the year ending August 31, 2017, click here.

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