NRA alternatives - pros and cons

fwafwow

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Following up on a post in another thread, FWIW here's what I've found so far with respect to alternative organizations to the NRA. (I also included similar info for the NRA for comparison.) Please chime in if you have more info on these organizations, if I have made a mistake, or if you have other options I should consider. All dollar values are rounded and information is based solely on available tax returns. I'm not anti-2A - I'm an NRA Life Member and I've contributed money to almost all of these organizations.
  1. Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC)
    • Most recent Form 990 found - 2017 (repeated requests for more recent returns have been made)
    • $1.1mm gross revenue/$595k in salaries for 15 employees
    • $62k in net assets
    • 4 out of 6 directors are independent
    • Has a written conflict of interest policy and no insider deals
    • Highest paid employee - $136k
  2. Gun Owners of America (GOA)
    • Most recent Form 990 - 2019 (promptly provided upon request)
    • $5.8 mm gross revenue/$844k in salaries for 5 employees
    • $5.4mm in net assets
    • 3 out of 4 directors are independent
    • No written conflict of interest policy and has insider deal of $160k paid to entity owned by a director
    • Highest paid employee - $126k
  3. National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR)
    • Most recent Form 990 found - 2019
    • $6.1mm gross revenue/$2.6mm in salaries for 68 employees
    • $2.9mm in net assets
    • 4 out of 6 directors are independent
    • No written conflict of interest policy and no insider deals
    • Highest paid employee - $144k
  4. Second Amendment Foundation (SAF)
    • Most recent Form 990 found - 2020
    • $5.1mm gross revenue/$307k in salaries for 14 employees
    • $7.4mm in net assets
    • 8 out of 9 directors are independent
    • Written conflict of interest policy but has insider deals totaling over $438k
    • Highest paid employee - $36k
  5. Save the Second - Form 990 not yet found
  6. NRA
    • Most recent Form 990 found - 2019
    • $291mm gross revenue/$58mm in salaries for 770 employees
    • $9.7mm in net assets
    • 63 out of 73 directors are independent
    • Written conflict of interest policy - but no further comment. (See Schedule L, which is incredibly complicated.)
    • Highest paid employee - $1.8mm
 

Desk Jockey

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Interesting. NRA life member here. I have stopped sending them $$$. I am conflicted because I appreciate their efforts and believe in their mission, but can’t abide some of the headlines.

I would be open to supporting a new regime but until then I would be open to other organizations.

BTW - years and years ago in college, I dated a girl and her dad had been a heart surgeon and was president of the American Heart Association. They lived in a giant house and clearly had gobs of money. I guess being a CEO of a nonprofit is not a bad gig, but there are shades of grey and the NRA has been charcoal for far too long.
 

def90

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Most of these organizations have very different purposes. The NRA is not what people think. If you join the NRA and only give to the NRA you are only supporting the core NRA core mission of firearms training and their NRA ranges. There is the separate entity of the NRA-ILA which is the legislative branch which deals with the political side of the aisle. Due to some legal ruling back in the 70's/80's they had to create the separate entity as they could not legally accept membership money and then use it for political causes without the express consent of the donor. Thus if you give to the NRA your money goes to gun safety and ranges, if you give to the NRA-ILA your money goes to the political action side of the organization.

The GOA and SAF are good organizations but they are primarily legal organizations and they focus on court issues and do little to no political work.
 
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fwafwow

fwafwow

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Most of these organizations have very different purposes. The NRA is not what people think. If you join the NRA and only give to the NRA you are only supporting the core NRA core mission of firearms training and their NRA ranges. There is the separate entity of the NRA-ILA which is the legislative branch which deals with the political side of the aisle. Due to some legal ruling back in the 70's/80's they had to create the separate entity as they could not legally accept membership money and then use it for political causes without the express consent of the donor. Thus if you give to the NRA your money goes to gun safety and ranges, if you give to the NRA-ILA your money goes to the political action side of the organization.

The GOA and SAF are good organizations but they are primarily legal organizations and they focus on court issues and do little to no political work.
I think that supporting the NRA supports more than firearms training and ranges. The NRA-ILA is not a separate organization from the NRA - it is described in various places (including the NRA tax return) as the political and legislative "arm" or "division" of the NRA. I do think there is a difference in how *donations* can be used, but I believe that other sources of NRA revenue, most likely including membership dues, advertising revenue, etc., is used for the NRA-ILA - as over $27mm of expenses on the NRA 2019 Form 990 are specifically attributed to NRA-ILA (which is consistent with Chris Cox being an NRA employee and the Executive VP of NRA-ILA).

What really struck me about the most recent Form 990 of the NRA is how small it's assets have dropped to - only $9.7mm (in comparison to the SAF with $7.4mm). Sure, the NRA had >57x the annual revenue of the SAF, but man can the NRA spend that money!
 
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fwafwow

fwafwow

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Interesting. NRA life member here. I have stopped sending them $$$. I am conflicted because I appreciate their efforts and believe in their mission, but can’t abide some of the headlines.

I would be open to supporting a new regime but until then I would be open to other organizations.

BTW - years and years ago in college, I dated a girl and her dad had been a heart surgeon and was president of the American Heart Association. They lived in a giant house and clearly had gobs of money. I guess being a CEO of a nonprofit is not a bad gig, but there are shades of grey and the NRA has been charcoal for far too long.
Agreed on all points.

The current CEO of the AHA "only" recently made $2.4mm on revenue of ~$700mm. That's higher in absolute terms to WLP's reported compensation, but time will tell whether what was reported was complete.
 

CorbLand

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I give to FPC but they seem to be one of the few that are always filing lawsuits and looking for more lawsuits to file. I will say that I do get sick of the emails asking for more money. They send a ton of those.

**** you. No.
 
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fwafwow

fwafwow

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I give to FPC but they seem to be one of the few that are always filing lawsuits and looking for more lawsuits to file. I will say that I do get sick of the emails asking for more money. They send a ton of those.

**** you. No.
I’ve given to them but my Grassroots Army membership just expired as I wait on an email reply. Their solicitation email game is strong though. Annoying AF, but relentless.

I don’t understand your last 2 sentences.
 

CorbLand

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I’ve given to them but my Grassroots Army membership just expired as I wait on an email reply. Their solicitation email game is strong though. Annoying AF, but relentless.

I don’t understand your last 2 sentences.
**** you. No.
That’s basically the slogan that FPC has taken to using. Basically said it as a joke to the nearly daily emails I receive asking for more money. I donate to them and renew every year but dang.
 

dieselchessy

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I’m not a math wiz I know, but how does $844k in salary x 5 employees, with the highest paid $126 pencil out?
 
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fwafwow

fwafwow

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I’m not a math wiz I know, but how does $844k in salary x 5 employees, with the highest paid $126 pencil out?
I had the same thought when writing the post last night, but I was too lazy to figure it out. Here's some additional information, although I don't think it explains everything.

Part I, lines 5 and 15 list 5 employees and $844k of "salaries, other compensation and employee benefits" which should average to just under $169k per employee (and I'm not sure if this is just GOA or also related entities). Part VII of the 990 lists the compensation of the officers, directors, etc., which is where I pulled the $126k of the highest employee listed there (the Chairman), but I was just pulling only the W-2 comp for him (which was the highest of those listed). If I instead include the other columns (which includes comp from related organizations), then the highest employee is the EVP at just under $162k - which is still less than $169k. The figures in Part VII only total ~$443k, but that's not intended to include all employees. 🤔

I know a bit about taxes, but I was never a return preparer. Maybe someone who actually knows what he or she is talking about can explain the difference.
 
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