The Ingredients for Successful Strategic Planning

A good strategic plan acts are a roadmap to the future of your association. If you want that roadmap to be as clear and easy to follow as possible, ensure you have considered the following:  Clearly defined goals and objectives It is important for associations to have clearly defined goals and objectives that are aligned…

Sponsorship Shifts to leverage in 2023

Sponsorships and partnerships play a vital role in providing funding and resources to support the work of association. While return on investment is still king, following are some of the trends associations should be leveraging to ensure their success in 2023. The importance of digital partnerships In the digital age, it is more important than…

How to Evolve Your Events Faster Than Your Competitors

In the association sector, events are a key element of organisational success, providing opportunities for networking, education, and community building. However, there are many competitors for the time and attention of association members, and it is important for associations to ensure their events are evolving to remain competitive and to keep their members engaged. Following…

Association Trends to Watch in 2023

As the association sector continues to evolve, it is important for CEOs and Boards to stay abreast of the latest trends and understand how they can impact their organisation. Here are a few that are particularly relevant at the moment: The rise of virtual events. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the way we…

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal Released

We are excited to announce the release of Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal, a compilation of articles from over 50 association thought leaders from around the globe. This journal offers a unique perspective on the future of associations and the role they will play in shaping industries and communities. From innovative ideas for growth…

Post-COVID Association Trends

Since COVID began, the pace of change in associations has accelerated. I’ve been documenting these shifts and here are the 11 major shifts I’ve noted so far … 1. The Pace Of Change Isn’t Slowing. Associations had to make significant changes when COVID struck. Necessary shortcuts were taken. They are now working to ensure the foundations…

What does the war in Ukraine mean for associations?

It is usually nations who are the main actors in the theatre of war. Corporations generally take on a supporting role – such as when Steinway & Sons dropped pianos to troops during World War 2.  The war in Ukraine represents a significant shift. For the first time companies are acting on a large scale…

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond

Forty-six association experts from around the world have collaborated to produce a collection of articles showcasing contemporary thinking on governance, membership, revenue, events, and much more. This is a great resource for those looking for inspiration and motivation to make 2022 your best year ever. It makes great holiday reading for those who are feeling particularly…

Association Hackathon Outputs Released

The outputs of our recent association hackathon have been released. A hackathon is a great way to generate a solution to a problem in a short timeframe. We worked with hackathon specialist Joanne Jacobs from Disrupters Co to develop and deliver a online hackathon for associations. Thirty amazing association professionals volunteered. They split into six…

The Walking Dead: Beware the Zombie Member

(By Colin Perry, Optimum Contact) When COVID-19 hit in March this year, many Australians were forced to change the way they live due to increased financial pressures as a result of losing their job or taking a pay cut. For some, this may have meant cutting down on extra luxuries but for others, it might…

Association Event Trends

Following is a summary of a recent presentation I delivered on Association Event Trends When COVID-19 hit most associations responded by replicating their existing events online. Most had a very positive experience and intend to integrate online events into their regular programming.  However, many also realised that most face-to-face formats don’t lend themselves to an…

WEBINAR: How to Create a Strategic Plan that Really Works

A great strategic plan conveys a compelling shared vision of the future of your association – as well as a clear pathway to get there. It is a fabulous tool for motivating your Board, staff, members, and other stakeholders. It also ensures your strategy creates a tangible and long-lasting positive impact. For more than 25…

ARTICLE: COVID-19: A Catalyst for Positive Change

Associations are a critical element of a successful democratic process. They are a useful mechanism for people to act collectively to achieve shared goals. The specific goals vary from association to association but include outcomes such as: Proactively influencing their legislative landscape. Accessing services and support specific to the needs of the collective. Enhancing the…

RESEARCH: COVID-19 and Beyond: Lessons for Associations from the COVID-19 Crisis

426 associations participated in this comprehensive research project that provides insight into the current and future impact of the COVID-19 crisis on associations. Learn what associations did, what they learned, and what insights we need to integrate into our future planning processes. The report includes a “what did we learn” section to enable you to…

VIDEO: “Sponsorship Update June 2020: Who’s Sponsoring Associations This Month?”

This past month has seen a number of really exciting sponsorship and partnerships proceed. In this session Julian Moore will talk about what sponsorship deals are closing, who is currently looking to sponsor, how best to approach, and opportunities that are currently available for associations seeking sponsorship funds. In this session Julian shares the highlights…

WHITEPAPER – Rise! Empowering Australian workers through the collective spirit and collaborative energy of unions.

This pandemic crisis will gravely impact the health and livelihoods of many. However, it also creates the need to build union capacities even more pressing. This paper, written by Belinda Moore and Chris Walton, explores the current landscape for unions in Australia and outlines innovative pathways forward for unions to more effectively empower Australian workers….

Online Community for Association Professionals

A new community for association professionals has launched at www.answers.net.au. With an interface similar to Facebook, this site is a collaborative effort by the association community to develop a piece of software that will enable associations to build better online member communities. By creating a site that meets the needs of association professionals, we are…

VIDEO: “Reshaping Associations – The Impact of the Pandemic on Membership Models”

In this webinar Belinda will discuss how the gradual shift from traditional membership models (service provider models) to community membership models (including subscription models) has accelerated with the pandemic. This session will cover the major factors impacting change and how different are adapting their membership models to the new operating environment. Watch the video.

VIDEO: How to Create Your Association Partnership Recovery Program

This is a recording of the 45 minute webinar run on Friday 3 April 2020. COVID-19 has decimated the traditional funding sources of many associations. With events and their associated sponsorship in disarray for the foreseeable future, associations are scrambling to deliver enhanced services to members remotely and remain financially sustainable. Sponsors are facing their…

VIDEO: Creating a Pandemic Management Strategy for Your Association

This is a recording of the 45 minute webinar run on Friday 27 March. In the association sector, the wide-spread cancellation of events is having a major impact on the financial sustainability of many associations. We are already experiencing a massive flow across the economy as a myriad of jobs and other opportunities that associations…

TEMPLATE: Free Pandemic Management Strategy Template for Associations

Business as usual is not an option in 2020. Associations wanting to navigate through this crisis need a clear, simple, and focused strategy that delivers powerful value for members while also securing the sustainability of the association. To assist with this, we’ve developed a free Pandemic Strategy for Associations template for associations to use as…

These are the times associations are made for

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by everyone throughout our community. We are all dealing with challenges we could not have imagined just a month ago. The whole toilet paper shortage was funny at first. Then I ran out of paper. It got dramatically less funny with each additional store I visited. It became…

BOOK: Association Annie: Herding Cats

Australasia’s first comic strip for Association Executives is now a book! Join Association Annie as she traverses the highs and lows of leading an association. Share the wonders and frustrations of dealing with Boards, staff, members, volunteers, sponsors, and other stakeholders while trying desperately to turn a struggling association into something relevant and sustainable.  “Association…

WHITEPAPER: Association Apocalypse

The operating landscape of associations is undergoing a seismic shift. Associations need to act now to ensure they can navigate these shifts to emerge stronger and more relevant than ever before. In my new whitepaper, Association Apocalypse, you can read more about the: Six fundamental shifts occurring in the association operating landscape, Three key models associations…

2019 Horoscope for Association Executives

Interested to know your future for 2019? Concerned about unforeseen surprises that might jump out at you? Worry no more as our 2019 Horoscope for Association Executives will reveal your future … Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 19) Many years of database frustrations will be overcome when a Board member will recommend a friend who…

What Are The New Influences and Drivers of Association Partnerships?

Associations and sponsorship go hand in hand. But developments in technology and changing brand requirements have seen these partnerships shift significantly in recent times. Julian Moore from Strategic Management Solutions (SMS) explains these factors … read more. 

BOOK: Membership Managers Handbook (2018 Edition)

Are you looking to effectively manage a membership program for your organization? Look no further than The Membership Managers Handbook! This comprehensive guide covers all the essential aspects of membership management, from acquiring and retaining members to developing member benefits and creating a successful membership strategy. Filled with best practices and real-world examples, The Membership…

Has It Been THAT Long?

One of my first jobs with an association was back in 1994 where I organised a study tour into China for a group of members seeking to do business in the region. When I mentioned this to someone recently it gave me a bit of a shock when I realised that was 24 years ago!…

WHITEPAPER: Membership is Dead?

A number of powerful generational, cultural and economic forces are colliding to create a perfect storm that will make the next 5-20 years some of the toughest ever faced by associations. Associations who don’t adapt face a slow decline into obscurity as they are replaced by newer, more innovative, less bureaucratically challenged, less change resistant…

Creating Compelling Sponsorship Proposals

Potential sponsors don’t sit at their desks all day waiting for your proposal to arrive on their desk. For many, sponsorship is one part of a larger role which keeps them very busy. This means your proposal isn’t just competing with other sponsorship proposals (of which there will be many) but also with many other…

P&CS Face Demise As Structures Alienate Younger Members

P&Cs face demise as structures alienate younger members. P&Cs need to adapt to the changing nature of membership associations. Those that do will emerge stronger and more powerful than every before. It’s time to focus on developing a powerful sense of purpose and developing ad hoc volunteering opportunities that cater to all parents (even those…

Volunteer in Schools A Tough Ask of Parents, But There’s A Smart Way To Do It

Sitting in a class room surrounded by other parents I was appalled by the list of chores we were being given. As a full-time working mum of four children, my free time is already limited to how long I can stay locked in the toilet before my 3-year-old grabs his chair and tries to break…

Do You Know Your Member Retention Rate?

It is impossible to make informed decisions regarding your membership strategy without knowing your membership statistics. At the most basic level you should know your Retention Rate, Growth Rate, Loss Rate and Average Tenure – by each membership segment. If you don’t know how to work out these statistics, please download The Membership Managers’ Handbook to get…

You Can’t Grow Your Member Numbers is No One Is Selling Your Membership …

I have worked with a number of associations recently who have wonderfully high retention rates but very low growth rates. After investigating further, it became apparent that all these associations have a wonderful range of services, many very happy members, and absolutely no sales function whatsoever. To fix this situation, and to effectively recruit new…

Are You Undercharging Your Sponsors?

I was sitting in an association board meeting recently and a discussion on the topic of “how much should we be charging sponsors” was underway. The discussion became quite robust and when I heard one person argue that they shouldn’t raise the sponsors fee because “we don’t have thousands of members” I had to step…

Are You Effectively Conveying the Value of Your Membership?

When selling membership, the fee you charge is not the most important factor. Instead it is the value the membership fee represents and how effectively that value is communicated. Many associations struggle to articulate the true value of membership because it is generally intangible and therefore somewhat challenging to explain. So people default to speaking…

Securing New, High-Value Partners is Not About Selling Your Organisation …

ecuring new, high-value partnerships is NOT about selling your organisation.  When you send your proposal, the purpose of your proposal is not to tell the potential sponsor everything about your organisation. The proposal is a teaser whose role is to excite the reader into wanting to learn more.   When you follow up your proposal on the phone,…

Are Your Communications “Friendly”?

There is a distinct difference in the “tone” of communications between associations who are successfully engaging their members and those who are performing poorly. Those doing poorly have a very transactional communications style. It is geared only to convey information in a bland and unengaging manner.  For example: Welcome to the association. Your membership number is…

How Does the Prospect of a Significant Economic Downturn Affect Your Association?

How does the prospect of a significant economic downturn affect the day to day operations of your association? Business Models – During a downturn your organisation becomes particularly vulnerable to losses and can easily miss opportunities for gains due to tight financial and staff resources. If you’ve got an ancient business model that is barely surviving…

8 Tips for Turning Around A Small Association with Few Cash Reserves and Minimal Staff Resources

With the right approach, great things can be achieved by associations working with few staff and limited financial resources. Following are tips for those wanting to achieve a significant turnaround in their organisational performance. Prioritise – and stick to it! – You don’t have the resources to be all things to all people. If you try…

Are You Sending the Right Kind of Partnership Proposal?

Potential sponsors don’t sit at their desks all day waiting for your proposal to arrive. For many, sponsorship is one part of a larger role which keeps them very busy. This means your proposal isn’t just competing with other sponsorship proposals (of which there will be many) but also with many other distractions for a…

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