NRA salaries - what do they make?


January 31, 2003, 11:38 AM
Anyone have a pointer to what some of the NRA leadership salaries are? For example, what does Wayne LaPierre make a year? I tried finding it and couldn't come up with anything.

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January 31, 2003, 12:29 PM
I have a feeling I'm going to be really ticked off to hear how much
of our second amendment dollars go to "aministrative expenses"

Doesn't the NRA and all other nonprofits have to disclose their books to the feds each quarter in order to maintain their status?

George Hill
January 31, 2003, 12:37 PM
Some questions your not supposed to ask.

January 31, 2003, 12:50 PM
Well I have met Wayne in person and if his suit is an indicator he is not being paid extravagantly!:D

Robert inOregon
January 31, 2003, 12:57 PM
Sorry guys, but last time I checked capitalism reigned supreme in the US. People are paid what they are worth to an organization. If they are not paid properly, they leave. If the board of the NRA feels LaPierre is not worth what he makes vs. what he has to offer the organization, he'd be replaced. Got a problem with the board of directors, vote is coming up and you should replace them. Anyone not a member, to stingy to cough up thirty five bucks and this is just an excuse not to join, then the affairs of the NRA are none of their business. Doesn't get any simpler than that.

Art Eatman
January 31, 2003, 01:03 PM
Betcha Wayne gets less than his opposite number at Sierra Club or PETA or NRDC or other anti-hunting, anti-gun outfits.


Gary H
January 31, 2003, 01:22 PM
I hope that they get paid well. OK for my money to help support them. Hey guys, you can't expect talented people to work for nothing. If you do, then you deserve the same.

January 31, 2003, 01:29 PM
Let's ask Mikey, he used to work there...

Hey Irwin, still got that numbered Swiss bank account? ;)


Mike Irwin
January 31, 2003, 02:33 PM
When I was laid off in 1994, I was making about $33,700 a year, and I think I was one of the more highly paid non-management people in the organization, even though I was technically management.

You don't work at NRA for the salary. You work at NRA because you believe in what it stands for.

As for what La Pierre makes, I have NO clue. Those salaries were pretty much considered to be state secrets.

Board Members are paid NOTHING for their services. They're only reimbursed for travel if they live outside of the DC metro area, and they're fed at meetings.

4v50 Gary
January 31, 2003, 11:12 PM
I wouldn't mind a curator job at the Museum. That would be an "on the job retirement" type job. You mean we're being payed to tell folks about these things?

January 31, 2003, 11:34 PM
I don't really care what they make, or what admin costs are. They are the only voice WE have that is loud enough to be heard, we HAVE to stick with them as I see it. The NRA is the only bus to be on, the rest are too small to have a real impact IMO.

Standing Wolf
February 1, 2003, 12:26 AM
I hope they're well paid: heaven knows they're important jobs.

February 1, 2003, 09:16 AM
Dunno, but I hope they double the salary of the first one to recommend scaling back on the mailings!

February 1, 2003, 09:45 AM
If you want very talented people you have to pay them what they are worth. Chuck Heston has been worth his weight in gold. Whatever he was paid was too little. Remember, as sick as he was, he made countless appearances fighting for pro 2A candidatesin the last election, with a schedule that would have worn out a regular man.

Mike Irwin
February 1, 2003, 03:16 PM
I'm not 100% certain, but I don't believe that Heston receives a salary, per se.

He didn't as President of the orgnizations -- Board members are volunteers.

As for paying whomever suggests reducing the solicitations, why would you pay someone if he makes a suggestion that likely cuts back on the amount of money you're taking in via donations?

That doesn't make much sense.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, those solicitations are sent out for one reason, and one reason alone -- THEY WORK.

I did the math in a message over on TFL a couple of years ago, but in a nutshell, if you send out 100,000 solicitation mailings, in most cases you need only to receive a response from as few as 500 people, or one-half of one percent, before the solicitation is paid for -- everyone else who responds is just icing on the cake.

After I left NRA I did almost 4 years with the marketing department in the nation's largest member-owned credit union.

It was shocking at how few people had to respond to a mailing to make it a success, and it's equally shocking at how misunderstood direct mail solicitations are.

Far too many people look at a mailing from an organization and say "HEY! They're wasting MY money!, when the only criteria they have to judge is their OWN response to the mailing, something to the effect of:

"I NEVER respond to these mailings so that must mean that no one else ever does, so that means that the organization is just pissing money away for no gain!"

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

If you don't like the number of mailings you get from NRA, call membership.

But remember. Donations are the ONLY thing that funds NRA's political activities. By Federal law, no membership dues can be used for political activities.

February 1, 2003, 03:33 PM
Good Lord....Apologies! ;)

(And yes, what you said makes perfect sense.)

Bob Locke
February 1, 2003, 03:53 PM
I seem to recall hearing/reading a few years ago that LaPierre was making about $250K annually. Got noting to back that up, though.

Mike Irwin
February 1, 2003, 03:58 PM
No apologies needed, F=.

You didn't do it, but in the past people have trashed NRA for the mailings and yet have absolutely ZERO concept of the logic behind the solicitations.

People scream about NRA's mailings, but do they scream about Capital One or BB&T's mailings?

It's not unusual to get 30 credit card solicitations from one organization in a year, and I don't think anyone blinks.

Let them get 6 or 7 from NRA, and it's off the deep end they go.

People need to realize that direct marketing isn't a grabass guessing game -- it really borders on a science.

I went to any number of seminars on how to increase direct mail response rates -- and these angles did work. Even an increase of a fractional percentage point can be enormously profitable to an organization.

And yes, sometimes direct mail solicitations DO backfire -- either no response, or a response that the organization can't handle.

A good example of the second is when I worked for the credit union.

Banks and CUs, especially CUs, try to strike a very fine balance between savings and loan portfolios. Get too far out of whack on either side, and it starts affecting your financial operations.

Savings and lending go in cycles that are pretty well defined.

Well, we decided to offer a premium rate to our members to draw money in for savings, because we were coming up on a big lending season. During lending seasons you push savings, during savings seasons you push lending. It helps keep things in balance.

The premium rate was on 3 and 5 year CDs for $20,000 or more for money that was being freshly deposited at the CU.

We crunched the numbers. We finagled the member lists. We ran the member marketing information computers. We were pretty confident that we could bring in about $300 million from our members from outside sources.

But somewhere along the line, we REALLY screwed up, because what we couldn't forsee was that this mailings would start dropping right around the time was that the market became very volatile for a time. Very heavy swings, and people started moving money into safer venues.

IIRC we did a staged direct mailing, hitting 100,000 members a week for I believe 7 weeks.

Well, we knew we were in for the ride of our lives when after the week 2 mailings we began getting the preliminary numbers back.

We considered a successful response rate to be about 1.25 percent, or 1,250 of the 100,000 people mailed would be expected to respond.

We were hitting response rates of FORTY percent from some areas of the country, about 25 percent for the mailing in general, which held pretty steady.

We hit our target money goal, $300 million, in less than a month, and by the time the board of directors finally voted to shut the program down, we had brought in nearly $1.6 BILLION dollars.

The end result was that our saving/lending portfolio ratios were completely out of whack, and we ended up pushing loans HARD for nearly a year, throught periods when we would otherwise push savings.

The Reaper
February 1, 2003, 07:05 PM
Looks like Wayne gets a nice salary along with a few others.

Follow the link and scroll about halfway down.

Mike Irwin
February 1, 2003, 07:14 PM
I love the concept that LaPierre is a "well-fed fat cat" earning less than half a mil a year, especially when compared to corporate CEOs.

Hell, Eisner just got a $5 million bonus for getting Disney stock to flush down the toilet over the past couple of years.

February 1, 2003, 07:28 PM
People scream about NRA's mailings, but do they scream about Capital One or BB&T's mailings? I'm not paying for those, and if I were (like if my credit union was mailing me twice a month), yea I'd be complaining.

On the other hand, you can greatly reduce the amount of snail spam the NRA sends you. Tell them you don't want it. It's as easy as that. I just wish they made that a bit easier and better known.

As far as the salaries, I have no problem paying a person a good salary to do good work. Quality ain't cheap, I think this country keeps forgetting that these days of Walmarts on every corner.

February 1, 2003, 07:45 PM
People scream about NRA's mailings, but do they scream about Capital One or BB&T's mailings?

But then I DON"T even open the envelopes from Capital One or BB&T. In to the shredder they go! Messages from the NRA I do open. I am on reduced the mailing list, so I no longer complain.

February 1, 2003, 07:58 PM
Since membership is at an all time high, I say give them a raise. :neener:

Shooter 2.5
February 1, 2003, 09:28 PM
I'm more curious how much Gottlieb and Pratt make since they've been the heads of their organizations for decades.

The people who complain the most about the NRA mailings probably don't contribute.

Also, if the mailings bother people so much, why don't they call and have it stopped?

Lord Grey Boots
February 1, 2003, 09:50 PM
The thing to remember is that those direct mailing campaigns WORK. They are probably the most effective method.

The second thing to remember is that you can throw the stuff out with a clear conscience.

Gary H
February 1, 2003, 10:13 PM
Looks like they get a reasonable salary. I guess no stock..ehh.. Don't have to worry about the bulls and the bears.. just the bullets and the brass.

February 1, 2003, 10:56 PM
According to the NRA's 2000 tax filing, LaPierre earns a hefty $424,207 a year.


I was thinking along the likes of 100k/yr. That's an awful lot of an income for the results we get.

Gary H
February 2, 2003, 12:03 AM

I've heard from many sources, many from the left, that the NRA was instrumental in Bush's victory and the Republican control of the U.S. Congress. That isn't bad.

Mike Irwin
February 2, 2003, 12:23 AM
"I was thinking along the likes of 100k/yr. That's an awful lot of an income for the results we get."

I agree.

Let's disband NRA altogether, get rid of all those high executive salaries, mailings, lawyers, etc.

Then, in 5 years, let's see what the firearms situation in this country is like.

I think at that point you'd consider that salary to have been CHEAP insurance.

When you get right down to it, I suspect that NRA salaries are pretty cheap when you compare them to the salaries received by the heads of other organizations with such potent lobbying clout.

Mike Irwin
February 2, 2003, 12:27 AM
"I'm not paying for those..."


Quite frankly, YOU'RE not paying for the mailings you get from NRA, either.

The point of a mailing is to generate funds; in other words, to make them not only pay for themselves, but to draw in a lot more money that their initial cost.

The people who CONTRIBUTE in response to a mailing are the ones who pay for the mailing.

February 2, 2003, 12:38 AM
uh doods

if you think 100k is adequate for Wayne

you don't live in Washington DC

a nice executive 5 bedroom house in a "good" neighborhood is 750-1 million

K street junior lawyers make 500k per year

February 2, 2003, 12:47 AM
Every hear of the saying , "You get what you pay for"?

Compare the job tasks and skills to that of any other large business CEO. And the NRA is a large organization. If you pay the management of the NRA the same as the manager of a fast food joint, that is the skill level of the person you will get to run the NRA.

If you don't like the salary they make or the mass mailings or any other aspect of the NRA, run for the board or petition and convince the majority of the NRA members to change things. If 2 million members become vocal, there WILL be changes.

Personally, I don't like seeing LaPierre on TV talk shows and debates. I don't believe he a very good debater and to me, he is not very convincing in his arguments. He doesn't think very fast on his feet and really all he does is spit out little catch phrases. I would rather they hire a professional spokesman with the skill of a Rush Limbough or a Bill O'Reilly.

February 2, 2003, 12:57 AM
Some of you should try questioning/attacking anti-2nd Amendment groups instead of the constant: Why does the NRA/GOA/JPFO/Pink Panthers or whatever, do this or that? Be critical if you want to assert influence for changes you believe in, but I am very weary of the constant sniping that goes on towards our allies. This was not posted because of this thread, just an accumulation of many like it over several years on various sites. EAT the foes, not each other.

February 2, 2003, 01:27 AM
Mountainpeak is right,

ya know how much Sarah Brady gets for a speaking event?

February 2, 2003, 02:05 AM
I think at that point you'd consider that salary to have been CHEAP insurance

I'm sure you're right. I'm being nitpicky :).

February 2, 2003, 10:47 AM
Quite frankly, YOU'RE not paying for the mailings you get from NRA, either.

The point of a mailing is to generate funds; in other words, to make them not only pay for themselves, but to draw in a lot more money that their initial cost.

The people who CONTRIBUTE in response to a mailing are the ones who pay for the mailing. That is a very good point Mike! If they were loosing money on them, they'd stop(I'd hope!) and try a different tack.

Still the environmentalist in me has a problem with the squandering of resouces in mass mailings in general, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms that's not appropriate for debate here and the NRA is certainly not nearly the worst offender.

I wonder how that Guns of the History Channel video deal worked out?

February 2, 2003, 12:08 PM
"The thing to remember is that those direct mailing campaigns WORK."

I know they work with me. Almost everytime I get one, I send them in $10 or $20. I have done that since I got my first job over 20 years ago. And, I get the same stuff from GOA and other gun rights organizations that I never heard of all the time. I love my right to keep and bear arms. And I want to contribute to the fight, which I probably wouldn't do without a reminder. By responding to a couple of those mailings a month, I end up spending a couple hundred a year to support my freedom. I would much rather spend the price of a new gun in an effort to be able to keep the ones I already own.

Mike's post puts this in perspective, but long ago I realized that the NRA is a very sophisticated operation. Just like these video tapes they send out, I knew that if only a small fraction of the people receiving them, paid for them, it would more than pay for the deadbeats that ride on the coattails of the people that donate.

Mike Irwin
February 2, 2003, 03:26 PM
OK, DMK, you've got me on the dead trees and generated waste issue. That ticks me off at times, too.

I've always thought there should be a machine into which you could dump all of your junk mail and old magazines, which would then grind it up and turn it into pellets, which could then be burned in special stoves not unlike pellet stoves.

Let Capital One, BB&T, NRA, etc., pay for heating the homestead. :)

February 2, 2003, 03:43 PM
Let's disband NRA altogether, get rid of all those high executive salaries, mailings, lawyers, etc.

Then, in 5 years, let's see what the firearms situation in this country is like.

I think at that point you'd consider that salary to have been CHEAP insurance."
Yeah, let's disband the NRA and move their entire budget from sports'n stuff to gun rights. Give, say, 1,000,000 bucks to AFL to run 500 pro-freedom ads. Give them to real pro-rights people. In five years, I'll go shooting with you. I'll be packing an MK-19. Legally.

February 2, 2003, 03:54 PM
NRA..the most effective lobbying group in DC (AARP is second)
Wayne LaPieire......$424,000
James Baker...........$387,000
Wilson Phillips.........$318,000
Craig Sandler..........$318,000

....handing the anti-gunners severe defeats in the last two elections......"PRICELESS"......

One needs to put this all into the proper perspective, most corporate and non-profit executives would laugh at these salaries.

As far as the paper is concerned....any environmentally conscious person would make sure it gets recycled....

February 2, 2003, 04:02 PM
Great post Rembrandt. :D

Mike Irwin
February 2, 2003, 09:25 PM
"...move their entire budget from sports'n stuff to gun rights....

I'll be packing an MK-19. Legally."

Pardon me while I shake my head sadly...

1. I don't know why people don't know this, because it's been stated numerous times before.

To use NRA membership dues is for political activities, including supporting candidates and lobbying, is ILLEGAL.

I'll say that again.


NO organization operating in the manner that NRA does, including AARP, can use membership dues for direct legal activities.

All that money comes from fundraising.

On the other hand, the money that NRA spends on competitive ventures, hunter education, etc., can come from BOTH membership dues and contributions.

Two different pots of money, Balrog.

Even if NRA-ILA had an unlimited pot from which to draw funds, you'd likely not be allowed to pack an Mk-19 legally, Balrog.

2. If NRA were to drop all other activities, it would play directly into our opponents hands.

Educational activies, safety, competitive events, etc., help soften NRA's overall image with both the public and Congress.

If you drop those programs altogether, NRA now becomes an organization that's even easier to hate, and you run the risk of alienating those who are either on the fence or who are marginally our friends.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. NRA is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There's no way in hell that you're going to be able to please 4 million people all of the time. The best you can hope for is to strike a balance among all of your activities.

If you fall over too far in one direction, you risk alienating another segment of the organization, and losing those members and their support.

As you lose members, you lose influence.

If there's one thing that Congress understands, it's sheer numbers, and that's where NRA excells.

February 2, 2003, 10:08 PM
Man...I really do hope they turn this assault ban over....

February 2, 2003, 10:56 PM
Mike, thank you for constantly explaining what the NRA (NRA/ILA, etc) does. Far too many members send in their $35 a year, then don't understand why the NRA can't turn water into wine.

As for La Pierre's salary: he's a lobbyist, first and foremost. Around here, state-level lobbyists for groups such as realtors associations, funeral directors associations and other interests make between $100 and $150K. That's for state level lobbyists.

Go national and La Pierre's salary looks pretty small.

February 2, 2003, 11:05 PM
One thing I love about Anti-NRA threads, they remind me of something my dad used to tell me. Everyone may think you are stupid, don't open your mouth and prove it.
Guys that have no idea what they are talking about doing their best to influence everyone else to follow the same path as them.

February 3, 2003, 12:25 AM
Mike Irwin:

Excellent, excellent points!

The ONLY concern I have over membership & fundraising efforts is this - that the NRA leadership should always remember that they are merely the means, not the ends.

There are times when organizations do neglect their purpose and become a purpose unto themselves, and concentrate most, sometimes all, of their resources into self-perpetuation AND growth rather than applying the accumulated resources for a goal larger than the organization.

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