NLC Board Sets Foundation for Future Growth with 2013 Budget

October 22, 2012

By Amy Elsbree

The NLC Board of Directors has approved the organization's FY 2013 budget, setting the course for financial stability and future growth.

NLC First Vice President Marie Lopez Rogers led the budget approval process in her role as Chair of the Finance Committee. Rogers said, "This budget provides the path to financial sustainability. With a solid base of revenues and a leaner, focused expense budget, we are handing the new Executive Director a strong platform on which to build."

With total revenues of $18.456 million and total expenses of $18.31 million, the budget will contribute $155,000 to NLC's net assets, in accordance with NLC's financial goals. (See FY 2013 Revenue Pie Chart and FY 2013 Expense Pie Chart.) NLC's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30.

NLC's projected revenues for FY 2013 remain flat. The economic downturn has continued to constrict city dues payments, conference attendance levels and corporate funding. NLC has turned to other lines of revenue to make up the difference in FY 2013 such as NLC's savings and solutions programs. The recently launched Build America Mutual program - providing municipal bond insurance to local governments - will make a significant contribution to NLC's operating budget in FY 2013.

Given the continuing financial pressures on cities, the NLC Board did not implement an across-the-board dues increase for NLC member cities. Instead, the 2010 Census population changes will be implemented fully, resulting in an increase in dues for some cities, no change for most cities, and a reduction for a small number of cities. State municipal league dues will increase by two percent over FY 2012.

The Board has directed the NLC staff to continue the internal reorganization efforts begun last year to build staff capacity in the areas of marketing, meetings and logistics support, and expanding technology. In addition, NLC staff will evaluate and make proposals to the Board in the areas of training and professional development, staffing and support for the state municipal leagues, staffing and support for constituency groups, councils and task forces, and the current membership dues structure.

NLC President Ted Ellis said, "One of the most important elements in this budget is that it provides a solid foundation while also providing for the program flexibility to address priorities that will be developed by the board in collaboration with the new executive director. We are in a period of transition that offers great potential. This budget will be a launch pad for that growth."

NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut announced his retirement effective January 1, 2013. Ellis appointed an Executive Search Committee that has been working to identify a successor to Borut. The new Executive Director is expected to be named by early December and to begin work at NLC at the start of 2013.