November 22, 2017
    As we head into 2017, executives are concerned

    Thinking Aloud, by Ed Dalere

    By Ed Dalere | 12/22/2016

    This is the last issue of 2016 for Association TRENDS. As we take a break next week for the holidays, it’s fitting we highlight the 25th anniversary of Wreaths Across America, which places festive holiday wreaths at military cemeteries across the nation. We thank this nonprofit for helping us to remember and honor our military deceased at this time of the year.

    We’ve recapped the TRENDS honorees this year in this special issue. These worthy association executives represent the best of the association community, and we hope you will come out and fete them at the TRENDS Salute to Association Excellence, Feb. 23 at the Capital Hilton in Washington. To register and for details, click here

    In case you missed it, we’ve also republished the TRENDS Association Confidence Index, which we released earlier this month. While executives are optimistic for both the U.S. economy and their members’ industries and professions, their confidence, as a group, dropped significantly for their own associations: 83.56 in the fall of 2015 to just 50 in fall of 2016. A score of 50 or higher is considered optimistic. But how optimistic are executives for their associations when their confidence dropped so steeply in one year?

    Comments seem to suggest the uncertainty stems from what President-elect Trump will bring to the agencies in the new administration as well as to the federal government as a whole, or more to the point, the unknowns about it. From federal spending to support for whole programs, executives are concerned. Read more here.

    We’ve also seen members' incredulity over their associations’ response to the election of Trump. Associations - two we aware of - have been criticized or questioned by several of their members as to why they didn’t come out more forcefully, in their association’s pro forma statements welcoming the new president, about things Trump said.

    ASAE CEO John Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, said ASAE appreciates members’ concerns, and agrees that Trump said things on the campaign trail that are “totally unacceptable,” but “we also have to recognize he got elected, and ASAE must be able to represent” its members’ issues to the new administration and Congress.

    Because this will be an administration unlike any that the nation has seen in a long time, if ever, associations, as will the rest of the country, must take a wait-and-see stance. Everything is an unknown right now.

    Well it’s been quite a year, and it looks like it isn’t going to slow down in 2017. So TRENDS wishes you a great and restful break, and safe travels to and from wherever you going. See you NEXT year!

    Association TRENDS