Tuesday Thought Leadership Teardown: Not Just Whys, But the Why

What’s going on at the NRA?

Brian Mittendorf, an accounting professor at Ohio State who studies the finances of nonprofits and has been looking at the NRA’s tax filings, says he knows. His new piece in The Conversation, “Financial woes are at the heart of the NRA’s tumult,” argues the organization’s current internal conflict — marked by high-level resignations, accusations of extortion, looming insolvency and now a criminal investigation — is “the culmination of years of financial problems”:

  • Routine deficit spending;
  • Borrowing from its own foundation; offering discounted, multiyear memberships; and underfunding its pension plan — all tactics designed to boost short-term revenue at the expense of the long-term;
  • Having an enormous board of directors (76 people!);