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The Financial Health of Our Organizations: NCBTMB

Thank you for your interest in my annual reports on the financial status of the major non-profit organizations of the massage therapy profession. I am not an accountant or a financial expert. This information was taken directly from FORM 990, the Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, which is published on Guidestar. This filing is for NCBTMB‘s fiscal year ending12-31-2012. Non-profits are on a different tax filing schedule than the rest of us.

This has not been a banner year for the NCBTMB. Revenues are down, no big surprise since they have been steadily declining every year since the MBLEx was introduced in 2007. During 2007, the revenue of the NCB was at an all-time high of $8,655,003. During 2012, the revenue was down to $4,616,227, a decline of over 4 million dollars in the past five years. If that isn’t the handwriting on the wall that it is past time for the NCBTMB to get out of the entry-level licensing exam business, I don’t know what is. AMTA, AFMTE, and ABMP have all supported the MBLEx as the licensing exam of choice. They just refuse to give it up.

In the past year alone, since my 2011 report, the examination revenue dropped over a million dollars. Recertification income actually went up by a little over $241K, but fees from the approved providers went down by almost $50K. Sales of their study guide for the exam is down by almost $33K as well. While sales of their mailing list remained stable at just over $40K, the revenue listed as “other” went down by $20K.

Executive compensation reflected then-CEO Mike Williams’ salary of $237,500, about $20K less than Paul Lindamood received on his best year. Board members at the NCB are compensated; the Chair during this period, Alexa Zaledonis, received $33,400. I won’t complain about that. In fact, I haven’t complained about any of the BOD compensation since the day Donna Feeley (now deceased) left office…during her two years at the helm, she got more than $100,000 a year. Legal fees were higher during Feeley’s term (2207-2008) than they have ever been before or since, hitting an all-time high of over $925K during her first term. READ MORE...

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Comment by Neal Lyons on March 16, 2014 at 10:58am

Excellent synopsis and dissection of financials Laura. First of all thank you for that. I read the extended version on your website and it was very elaborate and well laid out.

As I was reading this in detail, a few points quickly stood out and I'd like your thoughts about them.

1) Exam administration - this appears to be the biggest expense item. Why can't alternatives be pursued? I understand the inertia involved, but with some effort this is a huge amount that can be contained. Thoughts?

2) Rent - agreed with your assessment. In fact it is not too late. Valuations in the Chicago market are well below their previous peaks in 2006 and 2007. There is still a 25%+ upside just to get back to where they were. Properties are also well below replacement cost - if you were to build them from ground up. That said, why isn't there appetite to buy now and learn from experience?

3) Cash flow positive - while net assets look solid, you are correct in that cash flow is the life blood of any organization. Any concerns the net worth continues to get dented due to cash flow pressure? If so eventually it will hit 0.

I am interested in your overall thoughts on the main drivers that are leading to the statistics we are seeing today in the profession as well as this particular non profit. I understand the variables you highlighted, but I want to know your take on the factors driving these (in other words the why behind the story)?

Excellent post. Thank you once again

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