Montessori Organizations: Expenses

How an organization spends its revenue can provide insights into what the organization does, and also its priorities.

The graph below shows that NAMTA, AMI-USA, and AMS all spend the vast bulk of their revenue on Program Expenses, a catch all for conferences and publications.  These ratios are also true of the Sierra Club.

We can also see that only AMS spends any revenue on fund raising.   We can see from the article on Revenue that AMS receives a larger amount of funding in the form of donations.  Perhaps it is true that one must spend money to make money.

If we change the graph to show areas of expense as a percentage of total expenses we can see that AMI and NAMTA both spend a larger percentage of funding on Management and General Expenses.  One might argue that AMS and Sierra Club are more efficiently managed, but it could just be that AMS and Sierra Club label more expenses as Program rather than General.  However, we can clearly see that both AMS and Sierra Club do spend a much higher percentage on fund raising.

While investigating the public records for NAMTA, AMI-USA, and AMS I was unable to find any reference to funds spent lobbying politicians or engaging in efforts to influence public policy.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at Program Expenses. 

This article is part of an ongoing series examining Montessori Organizations.  The information contained in this article was found by examining public records, specifically IRS form 990, filed by these organizations (found here).  Numbers presented are the average of the years 2005 & 2006.  I also include Sierra Club information as an external comparison to a highly successful and influential organization in the environmental movement.


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