The Financial Health of Our Organizations: FSMTB

Note: For the past few years I have done a series of reports on the financial status of the non-profit organizations that represent the massage therapy profession. I obtain this information from Guidestar, a financial information clearinghouse for non-profits. The organizations can provide their Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) to Guidestar, and if they don’t, the IRS does it for them. I will state for the record that I am not an accountant or a financial analyst; I just report what I see (and maybe offer a few opinions). I usually get asked the question every year why I am not reporting on ABMP. Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals is a privately-owned for-profit company, and they are not obligated to release their financial information. Non-profits are on a different filing schedule than the rest of us, and there is variance amongst them in when their fiscal year ends. The deadline for filing is the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of their fiscal year. An organization can also request and receive up to two 90-day extensions, and due to the number who haven’t filed yet for 2011, it appears that some of them have done that.

It’s business as usual at the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards…they’re rolling in the dough, and they appear to be immune to the slow economy. For the fiscal year ending 06/30/2011, they are showing a total gross revenue of over $4.3 million, well over a million dollars up from the previous year. Their total assets increased in a year’s time by almost $1.3 million, while their liabilities went down to less than $16,000—down from over $218,000 the previous year. Their net revenue after expenses is almost $1.5 million, up over $490K since the previous year. Their theme song could be “We’re in the money.”

One difference in the Federation and other organizations is that their Board members do not receive any reportable compensation. The only compensation listed on the form for key personnel is that of Executive Director Debra Persinger, who was paid $196,324 and received an additional $23,039, which is just listed as “other compensation from the organization and related organizations.” I’ve heard through the grapevine that she has received a big raise since this form was filed, but I guess we won’t know until next year.They do show about $24K in other salaries; I assume that is the office assistant. They don’t have a big staff.

I have to say that I find it a little bit funny that they only spent $5500 on advertising. I spent more than twice that advertising my massage business. “Occupancy” is listed as over $19,000; and travel is listed at a little over $14K. While I realize the need to travel to meetings and conventions, I will say one thing. When the FSMTB first came on the scene, they were very critical of the NCBTMB spending the stakeholder’s money holding meetings in fancy places….so I personally think they ought to police themselves a little more. This year, I hear they had a meeting in the Trump Tower in Manhattan–not exactly the Holiday Inn, I imagine.

Other than Persinger’s salary, their primary expenses are over $1.2 million paid to Pearson Vue for exam delivery, almost $900K to PCS for exam processing, and a little over $110K to Meaningful Measurement for exam development.Their office expenses were only about $15K.

No need to bore you with line-by-line details. I’ll just say the Federation is the poster child for being in good financial shape and let it go with that.

7 Replies to “The Financial Health of Our Organizations: FSMTB”

  1. I just wanted to make a small correction to your information regarding the last FSMTB meeting at the Trump in New York City. It was NOT at that Trump. In fact, it was at the smoke-free, gaming-free Trump in Las Vegas where the room fee was cheaper than the Holiday Inn in NYC or most of them along the Mid-Atlantic area. It was two days of meetings that lasted from 7:30 AM to 6 PM. Time and money well spent for the work done by volunteers committed to the touch therapy community.

  2. I can tell you exactly how they are rolling in the dough — back in February, I STUPIDLY paid $195 of my hard-earned money for the MBLEX based on the information they gave out on their website.

    Apparently they do not feel the need to abide by their own regulations on their website and refused to register me for the exam; Debra Persinger and Christine Cunningham (the examination coordinator) claimed that the only rules they had to be accountable to was their “handbook.” I linked them to their own website like four times, and they had no response regarding their own stated rules. Finally, Debra claimed she would refund my money minus $50 if I chose to “cancel the application.” I wrote a specific email for the refund and cancellation and never received the check. I’ve since filed a complaint to the BBB and Attorney General’s office, but no refund yet. It is extremely frustrating given the economy, and knowing that she would take $195 of an average person’s money (while making $196,000!!!!) herself is just even more upsetting.

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