The Magento Association is a not-for-profit association, but what does that mean, and how is the association’s budget structured? In this article, we provide you with answers to these questions so our members can have a better understanding of our financial situation and how the board is managing the budget when making decisions on how to invest in the membership.
The Magento Association is a registered as a 501(c)(6), which means the profits the association earns are federally and state exempt. For those not familiar with the vocabulary of U.S. taxation, this means that none of the profit MA makes goes to any private shareholder or individual, and MA does not pay income taxes.
Every year, the board creates the annual budget and reviews quarterly forecasts. The treasurer is responsible for overseeing the financials, while the full board contributes to the ongoing review. A formal audit is performed each year by an independent auditor, an accounting company named Selden Fox. Magento Association members can find the association’s 2019, 2020 and 2021 990 filings, along with the 2018-2020 and 2021 audit reports, on this webpage.
Determining the financial model of the association is crucial to ensure the viability of the organization, as MA has limited revenue sources to date. In 2021, 100% of the Magento Association’s operating revenue came from sponsorships (43% came from Adobe’s sponsorship and 57% from other sponsors who support us with various levels of sponsorship). In 2022, we have budgeted for a similar model but have added the additional revenue stream of paid membership through our Patreon account launch, which we hope to generate close to $15,000 in annual revenue by the end of the year.
Here is a breakdown of MA’s operating expenses in 2021:
- 46% were general operations (administration/board support, project management, committee management, financial management, event management, etc.) Please note: board and committee/task force members are volunteers who do not receive any compensation from the association.
- 18% were content strategy and execution
- 14% was for our technology services (MA website and platform hosting and support)
- 11% was marketing/communications for member activities
- 8% was sales commission for sponsorship sales (commission is only charged if sales are made)
- 2% was additional event support
- 1% was for other miscellaneous expenses
The budget for 2022 has a similar strategy to 2021 as far as the revenue breakdown, which is assuming Adobe’s sponsorship will make up 43% of revenue and other partners will include 49% while also adding the addition of 8% for membership revenue. Based on how we are tracking with Patreon, we expect to fall short of the budget number, but we are pleased with the momentum that was built around this initiative and look forward to launching a more defined paid membership model in the future, which should help us continue to achieve the revenue goals.
We need the community’s help in promoting the importance of signing up with Patreon and encouraging more members to sign up at one of the higher tiers when possible. These funds raised from Patreon help us accomplish our mission and ensure the association can remain financially stable. To learn more details around the Patreon launch and success so far, view the Town Hall from MA Connect on June 7.
Partner revenue has been a more challenging source of revenue in 2022, and we anticipate this continuing on into 2023. We need to really rely on the community for help in networking and spreading the word about the value of partnering with the MA.
When looking at the expenses that haven been budgeted for 2022, the model was designed to be as streamlined as possible due to potential revenue challenges for this year with partners and membership. The board combed through each expense line to determine where they could lower costs to ensure there was a breakeven budget for the year. The breakout of the 2022 expense budget is as follows:
- 52% are for general operations/administration, project management, board support (board and committee/task force members are volunteers who do not receive any compensation from the association)
- 18% for content strategy and execution
- 11% technology (website)
- 11% marketing and communication of member activities
- 6% sales on sponsorship initiatives
- 2% on additional events support
As announced earlier this year, the association hired Marta Molińska in a more expanded role to serve as a community manager/freelancer in addition to her work supporting MA Connect. Her efforts are covered under the marketing and communication activities.
The board will be continuing to assess the business model and where it makes sense to invest or pull back support to ensure the budget and financial model aligns with the 4 Pillars of the association and the strategy of the organization.
Help Us Make the Magento Association Thrive
If you are looking for ways to help the association thrive, we ask that you sign up for our Patreon account at one of the top three tiers, as these funds will help us accomplish our mission and ensure the association can remain financially stable.
If you would like to help us in a hands-on manner, then please reach out to these committees who are looking for more volunteers and value any time you can invest:
- D&I - email@example.com
- Content - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Membership - email@example.com
Provide Input for our 2023 Budgeting Plan
The budgeting process for 2023 will kick off in August, and we look forward to incorporating feedback from the membership on areas of focus. Please complete this member needs survey to help influence where the association focuses and prioritizes its efforts.
The board will also be gathering feedback and input from each committee when determining the budget to ensure the committees have the support they need to meet their goals for the year and be successful.