Roller derby finances: Comparing the top nonprofit leagues in WFTDA

How do the top teams in WFTDA stack up financially? After a couple weeks digging through the data, namely 2013 public tax documents that all nonprofits file, I have the answers for you. Make your bets now.

Before we take a dive into the data, here are some lessons learned from examining eight of the top-ranked nonprofit WFTDA leagues:

Junior derby costs money (at least at first)
Maybe that sounds obvious, but then consider that most women’s leagues remain in the black. Two of the three  leagues that listed the costs and revenue for their junior programs all admitted the programming cost more than it paid. An investment, you might say. And, again, this is 2013 filings, so maybe the financial situation has improved since then and many leagues that have juniors now didn’t back then. That said, this is worth considering if your league is contemplating adding juniors. Here’s how it broke down, in short:

  • Gotham made $26,189 from its juniors, but it cost about $23,172 = $3,017
  • Denver’s juniors brought in $4,830 but cost the league $8,260 = -$3,430
  • Rocky’s juniors paid in $10,616 but cost the league $26,057 = -$15,441

Speaking of juniors, I contacted the nonprofit JRDA, but they make less than $50,000 a year and haven’t had to file a full 990 tax form yet. The JRDA expects to exceed that this year. Yay juniors!

Rec leagues on the other hand …
Of the rec leagues listed, they all brought in more money than they cost.

WFTDA’s tournament broadcasts rake in the dough
The tournaments themselves brought in about $188,000 – compare that to the $211,055 WFTDA makes from the broadcasts of the tournaments.

ECDX is another big money maker
Philly made $156,386 from the tournament with costs of only about $65,000. Total profit from the one was $90,991 and some of that was donated to charity.

We’re still unpaid
Only WFTDA and Rose City have paid employees.

PS: This is the long-awaited follow-up to my June 2013 post roller derby finances: Comparing the top-ranked nonprofit leagues in the nation.)

Who earned the most*:
Atlanta: $148,347
WFTDA: $115,159
Bay Area¹: $74,759
Rose City: $56,613
Rocky Mountain: $14,486
Denver: $12,493
Gotham: -$5,100
Philly: -$7,993
Texas: -$71,776

*This category is revenue minus expenses. In truth, Rose City brought in $525,566 in revenue, followed by Gotham with $332,707, Atlanta at $241,749 and Texas at $229,923, but those leagues’ expenses were higher, except Atlanta.)

Fattest piggy bank (net assets):
Rose City: $271,343
Gotham: $206,128
Atlanta: $148,348
Bay Area: $127,974
Texas: $106,977
Denver: $83,881
Rocky Mountain: $60,165
Philly: $43,941
WFTDA: $38,629

Highest rent:
WFTDA: $150,238
Gotham: $128,240
Texas: $88,198
Rose: $68,510
Philly: $64,601
Atlanta: $49,991
Rocky: $48,444
Bay Area: Reported $0
Denver: Didn’t report this 

How much do your skater dues contribute to your revenue² (and how much money was brought in with dues)?
Bay Area: 64%  ($58,463)
Rocky Mountain: 51%  ($66,964)
Denver: 27%  ($52,750)
Rose: 21%  ($112,742)
Gotham: 12%  ($41,167)
Philly: 11%  ($24,584)
Texas: 10%  ($23,656)
WFTDA: 7%  ($91,518)
Atlanta: 5%  ($11,947)

WFTDA: $150,238
Gotham: $128,240
Texas: $88,198
Rose: $68,510
Philly: $64,601
Atlanta: $49,991
Rocky: $48,444
Bay Area and Denver didn’t list their occupancy costs.

Top spenders on advertising:
Rose: $59,586
Philly: $30,717
Texas: $30,572

Most volunteers:
WFTDA: 1,200
Rose: 750
Bay Area: 175


¹Bay Area’s tax filings are a year behind, so their 990s are from 2012, everyone else’s were 2013.
²([Membership dues listed in part 8 line 1b] x100)/total revenue

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