Association TRENDS, a national newspaper for association executives and suppliers, provides the latest news, information and trends in association management for the professional staff of international, national, state, regional and local voluntary organizations.
Training for your staff is vital but costly and time consuming! Now, Association TRENDS is delivering the training your staff needs without the hassle and excess cost. Get expert training in ONE place … without ever leaving your office for one low price.
Are your current benchmarking practices really better than plain guesswork? For many associations, they’re not. The association environment has changed drastically over the last year. If your benchmarking tools and methods haven’t kept pace, you might not be getting the apples-to-apples comparisons and the accurate, meaningful data that you need. And without them, can you be confident about what to prioritize and where to invest to drive growth? Using today’s smartest benchmarking tools and tactics is a must. Here’s how to find – and use – them.
Considering all the time, planning and money invested in your organization’s Board meetings, do they even matter?
Does the agenda focus on real challenges and opportunities? Do tough decisions get made? Do Board members use their expertise and vision to add value and make tangible progress?
If not, it’s time to change the outdated structure and governance practices keeping your Board from making a difference. Here’s where to start...
Starting in 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that Generation Y (ages 18 to 31) will replace Baby Boomers as the majority of the workforce.
This is the largest human capital shift in history. Plus, Millennials have such dramatically different values and communication styles that it will take all-new membership and marketing strategies to turn them into loyal members.
With 62% of associations already seeing declines or flat-line growth, your future rests on your success engaging Generation Y—without losing your Generation X and Baby Boomer members in the process. Here’s how to do it.
Which tried-and-true grassroots efforts now get completely ignored by legislators? Plenty of them, according to the new Grassroots Influence Pulse™ survey.
Spotting your own “weak links” takes deeper analysis than looking at the quality of your relationship. That’s because the survey shows that even as relationships become stronger, legislators often become even more difficult to influence. In fact, they’re the ones doing the influencing.
It’s time to turn that around. Here’s how:
For nonprofits that sponsor an employee healthcare plan, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) isn’t just about compliance. It’s also about leadership and responsibility.
Your association’s good reputation is invaluable. That’s why it’s critical to avoid damaging mistakes with the mandate’s “play-or-pay” rules.
Here’s how to cut through the confusion and make the right changes to ensure your group healthcare plan is compliant before enforcement starts in January, 2015.
Whether you need to create or update your policy, you’ll come away from this webinar ready to regulate employees’ social media activity and use social media as a business and HR tool while preventing potential legal risks.
You’ve tried to boost event attendance, sponsorships, and dues revenue. But if you’re not seeing results (or you’re not seeing record results) there are seven strategies you haven’t tried.
With growing costs and memberships that continually expect new and enhanced benefits, associations must develop innovative strategies to raise the funds they need to achieve their mission goals.
Today’s most successful associations have already begun implementing a new style of strategic fundraising to provide the backing they need. Now you can use their example to develop your own plan for 2013.
In the struggle to meet growing needs with diminishing funds, nonprofit leaders and association board members are increasingly exploring strategic alliances and mergers with other groups.
Could an alliance help your organization improve services, increase funding, acquire new program expertise or expand its reach? Unfortunately, the answers rarely come without the costs of consulting attorneys, accountants and HR and Association experts.
Now there’s an webinar that cuts these costs for you. Join us to explore the risks and rewards of forging your own alliances.
Are you avoiding the media?
For plenty of government relations professional’s, avoidance is their strategy. But, with the media relations landscape changing rapidly, this is no longer an option.
From remarks taken out of context to botched interviews, interacting with the media can be extremely intimidating. But doing nothing can be even worse. Now is the time to engage with the media. Here’s how to do it on safe ground and on your terms …
Ready to send an email campaign? Stop! Unless you’ve built deliverability into your strategy, all your hard effort is likely to go straight to junk mail, along with your organization’s reputation.
What’s the secret to getting through spam filters? How can you keep subject lines from sinking your open rate? And what needs to change about your content?
Start putting the answers to work on your very next email campaign.
Have you ever thought about creating a micro website and sub-brand to market your association’s products, services and secondary businesses?
You’re not alone. Nearly 50% of today’s associations support a micro site. The challenge is that just creating a micro site and sub-brand isn’t enough. In fact, if you don’t know the right way to launch -- and leverage -- one, the online exposure could actually weaken your main brand.
Don’t risk it! Here’s what you need to know about branding and micro sites to help your entire organization grow.
How should (c)3s, (c)4s, (c)6s and other nonprofits be thinking about real estate?
For starters, you should start developing a strategy for 2014. Now is a critical time to take a fresh look at tools like tax tax-exempt financing, debt-financed rents, and how you present your real estate decisions to your board. It is vital that you understand the benefits and pitfalls before making crucial real estate decisions in 2014.
Bottom line: it’s time to start thinking seriously about your real estate strategy. Here are the experts who can help you get it right.
If you are not evolving your advertising placement opportunities, sponsorship and sales strategies, you stand to lose much more than revenue. You risk losing relationships with key players and denying members the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions.
This 90-minute webinar shows you how to boost advertising and sponsorships by combining a new, consultative sales model with innovative advertising options, vehicles, and trends.
Will your members renew in 2014? They will if you give them good reason to. This involves knowing how to communicate across different audiences to motivate members and ultimately demonstrate the value of your association - much easier said than done.
The rules changes that the IRS proposed in November would impose sweeping changes on 501(c)(4)s. In fact, some nonprofits could lose their tax-exempt status altogether.
But it’s not just (c)(4)s that must reassess. Regulatory experts warn that all nonprofits could soon find themselves targeted, too.
The comment period on the rules ends February 27. Here’s how to get up to speed on the proposed changes, how they will affect grassroots advocacy, and what it will take to keep your tax exempt status.
On one hand, social media can generate good press, brand recognition, and new membership. On the other, it could get you into serious legal trouble. Requests for employees Facebook passwords became a human relations issue large enough to reach Congress. Because the legal and regulatory landscape around employers' rights, employee free speech, and social media is still evolving, employers need to be up-to-date on the latest developments, and carefully craft social media policies that protect the company's reputation but will also stand up in court and before regulatory officials.
Dedicated people make great nonprofit Board members. But meeting fiduciary responsibility takes more than dedication–it takes serious financial know-how.
But what if your Board members aren’t CPAs? What if they don’t understand your financial structure? What if they don’t know how to use due diligence, cash flow strategies and other financial and accounting practices to keep your nonprofit in the black?
Having an unprepared board is frankly not an option. In light of today’s challenges, what your Board doesn’t know can hurt you. Here’s how to get everyone up to speed – fast
e-Newsletters are not off-the-cuff “extras.” They’re serious business for associations.
But publishing an e-newsletter that delivers ROI for brand visibility, ad revenue and member loyalty requires different tactics in 2014 than it did even a year ago.
Here’s how to use a brand new approach to metrics, design, and delivery to achieve higher open rates and click-throughs starting with your very next issue.
You know that the cyber attack on Target continues to generate astronomical recovery costs. But did you know associations could be more vulnerable than Target?
Associations have limited resources for cyber security. Cost-savers like cloud computing open all-new access to systems and data, while trends like Bring Your Own Device allow private and organizational information to mix.
How do you keep the advantages of modern network technology without risking breaches that could sink you?
Are you thinking about letting volunteers and employees use their own mobile devices to share and access your organization’s information?
Careful: The money you save may be nothing compared to potential legal costs. Even well-intentioned use of personal devices can trigger everything from data and privacy breaches to harassment and overtime pay disputes, expense reimbursement, and even intellectual property lawsuits.
Before you join other nonprofits by implementing “Bring Your Own Device,” make sure you have the policy, procedures and safeguards in place to prevent disasters.
What’s the secret to recruiting employees who will power new growth, innovation and revenues for your business? Surprisingly, it may not be their experience.
Top companies like Google know that in the ever-evolving business world, emotional intelligence, leadership ability, accountability and even humility can far outweigh experience in driving employees’ success—and value to the business.
So how do you know which job candidates have those “secret sauce” traits? Easy: Just “Google it.”
Even if your organization is on solid ground, it’s smart management to cut back-office expenses. If you’re on shaky ground, it’s critical.
But all too many organizations – especially nonprofits – get it wrong. They wind up targeting expense reductions that reduce the organization’s ability to serve its members and its mission, deliver value and grow. Now an expense reduction expert will take the guesswork out of how back-office cost management can benefit the entire organization.
Getting the best value out of your membership means keeping current members and attracting new ones. Given today’s changing demographics and tough economics, that’s not so simple.
In many associations, a large number of Baby Boomer members are heading for retirement, while fewer young members are there to replace them. Competition for these potential young members is fierce and the traditional tactics for reaching them simply aren’t working any more.
But other tactics are producing results! In fact, associations that have adopted marketing techniques of for-profit companies are experiencing staggering success. Here’s how you can, too.
With nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age each day, you must have a strong succession plan in place in order to keep your organization moving forward.
Ensuring that your Form 990 communicates accountability to the IRS and to your members and stakeholders means cutting through generalities and zeroing in on the specific features that directly impact your association. It also means applying equally relevant best practices for everything from executive compensation to e-filing FBAR reports.
With all the latest updates, that’s a challenge. But if you do it right, you can turn the 990 into a powerful asset that protects your tax-exempt status and promotes your image. Here’s where to start.
What makes or breaks issue advocacy?
Today, success comes down to public relations savvy. That’s because PR “channel mastery” can lift your message out of the noise while tactics like social media and live events give legs to issue campaigns.
Now, let an expert show you how to bring PR and issue advocacy together for an edge in wooing—and winning—your audience.
There’s very little wiggle room in today’s meeting and events budgets. That’s why you can’t afford to sign a hotel contract that doesn’t represent your best interests. You don’t need to be a legal expert, but you DO need to be 100% proactive in negotiating better room rates, weeding out hidden fees, converting overly restrictive cancellation policies into more fair and flexible terms, and reducing your organization’s potential liability. Here’s the step-by-step guidance you need to master the “legalese” and turn better contracts into better events.
Many nonprofits develop voluntary industry standards of practice and codes of ethics. But they don’t always know how to “FTC-proof” them.
If your organization lacks in-house antitrust expertise, the way these documents are written and enforced could easily lead to violations and nightmare involvement with the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice.
Don’t risk landing in court and out of compliance: get the know-how you need to defuse potential antitrust liability now.
With guidance from experts in both advocacy and video production, this 90-minute webinar quickly gets you up to speed on every aspect of video advocacy, from budgeting and messaging to content development and distribution.
In this 90-minute webinar, you’ll use the results of the 2014 Association Social Media Survey to evaluate where your own social media program stands. Then, you’ll explore association best practices tips you can use right away to build your social media plan — and turn vibrant interaction into bottom-line results.
In this 90-minute inarweb, you’ll use the results of the 2014 Association Social Media Survey to evaluate where your own social media program stands. Then, you’ll explore association best practices tips you can use right away to build your social media plan — and turn vibrant interaction into bottom-line results.
Like for-profit businesses, nonprofits need healthy portfolios and smooth financial operations.
Many nonprofits, however, don’t even have an actual investment strategy. Instead, financial decisions about everything from reserve policies to how assets are allocated are made piecemeal and without benchmarking against what other nonprofits are doing.
Stop operating in the dark! It’s time to build your investment strategy on what works for nonprofits. Here’s where to start …
With employment lawsuits on the rise, does your employee handbook have what it takes to protect your organization? It can, but only if you’ve crafted that handbook with today’s best risk-reduction techniques.
Could “going global” actually help your association weather the economic climate here in the U.S.?
For some associations, large and small, the answer is yes. For others, establishing an international presence isn’t feasible. And for still others, globalization would be a fundamental mistake that competes with the core mission and goals.
Here’s how to assess the pros and cons for your own association and make a decision that may well decide your future.
You probably have an excellent operational dashboard that gives you access to all kinds of data. But you need more than just data.
Today, association executives must go beyond the dashboard to get the “good stuff”. Big Data that lets you ask meaningful, mission-driven questions and use the answers to drive predictive membership marketing and stronger growth.
Here’s how to obtain high-quality Big Data and use it to turbo-charge your organization's growth.
When it comes to recruiting members, are you promoting the wrong value proposition?
If your association is still talking about benefits and ROI the way you always have, you may never reach your membership benchmarks. A fresh approach is needed in an environment where fewer employers paying for membership dues, and individuals having to justify their own out-of-pocket investment. It is absolutely crucial to zero in on the right messages and the right ways to communicate them, effectively and on budget. Here’s where to start.
The chance of your organization falling victim to fraud and embezzelment are higher than you might think.
Though the risks are high, the number of associations adequately prepared to deal with a fraud or embezzlement crisis is shockingly low.
With the right information and guidance you can quickly get your organization up-to-speed on how to put a crisis action plan in place to help reduce risk now and, if a crisis does arise, to manage that crisis—and the media—to minimize the impact on your public image.
If your nonprofit is like most, the chance of your organization falling victim to fraud are high. Nonprofits are at high risk from embezzlers siphoning off the funds it took such hard work to raise.
Unfortunately, though the risks are high, the number of associations prepared to deal with a fraud or embezzlement crisis is low. Nonetheless, your own organization doesn’t have to be among those that are ill-prepared
Is your annual conference a dinosaur?
For too many associations, it is. Outdated events, formats and content are relentlessly eroding attendance, revenues and relevance for associations every year, but the ROI on your annual conference doesn’t have to fade away..
Membership … meetings … budgets … contact information … records on all 7,800+ associations, professional societies and labor unions and their 20,000+ association executives.
Get the most comprehensive reference guide to the over 8,800 trade associations, professional societies, technical organizations, and labor unions who are organized statewide or regionally. Also profiled are the 19,000+ executives who run them.
In the largest, most in-depth study of lobbying practices and how they are received on the Hill, George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and the publishers of the Original US Congress Handbook and Lobbyists.info have compiled inputs from over 2,200 lobbyists and 700 Congressional staffers. Packed with full-color charts, ready-to-use best practices and surprising insights into what no longer works, this report is a must-have for everyone seeking Hill access — and influence.