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DIDN’T GET YOUR CONTRACT RENEWED? Association’s budget cut drastically and now they can’t afford that high six-figure salary? Decided it was time to retire or try a new path in life? Think long and hard before you hang out your consultant’s shingle! Those who have been in the business many years say it “isn’t easy” to make the switch from staff to consultant.
CEOs often think that, when they leave the executive suite of an association, there is another job right around the corner. While the current economy has exaggerated the length of time between jobs, it has never been easy to get a job when you are already out of work. And don’t think that you can call yourself a consultant and quickly have several clients waiting for your sage advice. It takes a lot of work.
When the association’s budget gets slashed dramatically, as it has for many nonprofits the past three years, the staff should be prepared for changes in salary levels. As you will see in the TRENDS Salary Survey, association salary levels usually are tied to overall budget and location. Unlike other staffers, CEOs usually have multiyear contracts with specified salaries over the term of the contract. But, when the organization’s budget is cut to one half or even less, that big CEO salary is no longer justifiable. Some major association executives are nearing the end of their employment contracts and, because of the economy, they should be prepared to look elsewhere if they can’t tighten their own belts.
IF THEIR EMPLOYERS WON’T PAY, will your members spend their own money to participate in your organization? How about you - do you pay to attend programs and conventions that are not in the organization’s budget?
For years, one now-retired CEO of a small trade association paid his own ASAE and local SAE dues. He felt it was important to continue to go to the annual meeting and continue to attend educational programs. The members and the board did not see the importance to the association so he paid his own fees. Would you? Would your members?
And if you are out of work, you might also have to dig deeply to continue all the subscriptions and perks you enjoyed when you were employed. Not every vendor will keep you informed for free.