Do Skills Trump Passion?

In the December issue of Associations Now, published by ASAE, there is a book review about a new book entitled, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport. The reviewer talks about the author’s idea that one should first build skills and then passion for your work will follow. It occurs to me that people who work for association management companies have acquired a set of highly developed skills – working with nonprofit organizations in all aspects of their management – and therefore also bring a great deal of passion to their work. The reviewer points out that only 45 percent of American workers are satisfied with their jobs. I would venture to say that the job satisfaction level in an association management company would come close to doubling that figure. Working in an AMC environment provides variety, intellectual challenge and the opportunity to make things happen. These traits alone would/should provide for job satisfaction.

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Article About Risk Management

Just read a great article in the December 12, 2011 issue of Fortune magazine. The title of the article is “Is your Board Ready To Put Out The Next Fire?” While it is written specifically relating to corporate boards, the advice can certainly apply to non-profit boards as well.

The author, Faye Wattleton, starts out by asking what the chances are of a catastrophic earthquake striking Japan and crippling supply chains, or a volcanic-ash cloud covering much of northern Europe and disrupting air travel, or the failure of a major financial institution pushing the entire global financial system to the brink. “Until recently,” she states, “such scenarios would have been considered too far-fetched to warrant much attention…” However, she goes on to indicate that boards need to plan for risk the same way that they would plan for any other event.

“Typically boards have defined risks as strategic, operational, financial and compliance. That universe need to be widened to include intangible assets, such as a company’s [association’s] reputation, or unpredictable vulnerabilities…”

The article goes on to say that risk management is essential to every board and the entire board needs to be a part of it.

Definitely a must read for board members od any organization. E-mail me if you would like a copy: sheila@totmgtsol.com

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Article about IRS, 990 and Compliance

The following link leads to an interesting article about Form 990 and the Compliance Questions that the IRS asks. Good advice.
http://www.guidestar.org/rxa/news/articles/2012/insights-from-irs-on-nonprofits.aspx?hq_e=el&hq_m=1615726&hq_1=22&hq_v=19c3f226f9

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The AMC Model

Colleagues of mine, and myself as well, are often asked what our companies do. Shortening the description to a one or two sentence definition (the “elevator pitch”) is often difficult. Hoeever, the AMC Institute has just published some new materials that are very helpful:

     “Association management companies (AMC’s) lead organizations to greater growth and prosperity.At the heart of AMCs are passionate and attentive professionals who champion cultural values and strategic objectives. They deliver unpatalled leadership acumen,accountability and support to produce tangible value for an organization. Whethet you are seeking a full management solution or outsourced support for individual capabilitites, you can rely on an AMC to increase your importance and relevance to members.”

In other words, AMCs are a cost-effective way of managing an association. They are led by passionate, knowledgeable people whose aims are to assist an organization in reaching its strategic goals. An AMC, by virtue of the fact that it can utilize expertise and knowledge across organizational boundaries, can help associations learn from one another and grow within their own sphere. What is good for one of my clients may also be good for another of my clients.

If you would liek to learn more about AMCs, contact the AMC Institute at amci@fernley.com or look at Total Management Solution’s website at www.totmgtsol.com

 

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AMC Managed Organizations

Just read an interesting report done by Michael LoBue, CAE, President of LoBue and Majdalany Management Group. The report, entitled “AMCs Manage Client Bottom Lines Through the Recession,” compared 104 stand-alone organizations to 110 organizations managed by Association Management Companies. The findings, while not a revelation to me, may be new to others:

1. AMC managed organizations returned to pre-recession performance in 2010 – 3 out of 4 AMC-managed organizations reported operating surpluses in 2010

2. Standalone organizations were still suffering their third hard year in 2010 – one out of two organizations reported operating losses that year

3. AMCs were more skilled at aligning expenses with available monies than standalone organizations – in fact, a rise in expenses in 2008 caused the problem for standalone organizations, not a loss in revenue.

The above is yet another indication of the value to non-profit organizations of Association Management Companies.

Please let me know if you have any comments.

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Non-Dues Income

A recent article in Associations Now magazine indicates that associations are relying less and less on member dues and more and more on non-dues income for their financing. According to the article, the median proportion of revenues coming from dues is only 31% (in organizations whose dues are $200 or more). Given the fact that membership in some organizations is declining and that members usually will not tolerate a dues increase in this economy, non-dues revenue programs seem to be the way to go.

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Article About Risk Management

Just read a great article in the December 12, 2011 issue of Fortune magazine. The title of the article is “Is your Board Ready To Put Out The Next Fire?” While it is written specifically relating to corporate boards, the advice can certainly apply to non-profit boards as well.

The author, Faye Wattleton, starts out by asking what the chances are of a catastrophic earthquake striking Japan and crippling supply chains, or a volcanic-ash cloud covering much of northern Europe and disrupting air travel, or the failure of a major financial institution pushing the entire global financial system to the brink. “Until recently,” she states, “such scenarios would have been considered too far-fetched to warrant much attention…” However, she goes on to indicate that boards need to plan for risk the same way that they would plan for any other event.

“Typically boards have defined risks as strategic, operational, financial and compliance. That universe need to be widened to include intangible assets, such as a company’s [association’s] reputation, or unpredictable vulnerabilities…”

The article goes on to say that risk management is essential to every board and the entire board needs to be a part of it.

Definitely a must read for board members od any organization. E-mail me if you would like a copy: sheila@totmgtsol.com

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment