Posts filed under Partnerships

Revenues, Expenses, and Assets...Oh My! Canada's Premier Association Financial Benchmarking Resource is Here!

Do you ever wonder how your association stacks up when it comes to your finances? Could your expenses and liabilities be lower? Your operations leaner? Your education, programs and events more revenue-positive?

The CSAE 2017 Canadian Association Financial Operations Report has arrived and is available through the Canadian Society of Association Executives. This report is your number one resource for Canadian financial benchmarking data to understand how your association stacks up across a multitude of detailed metrics related to revenues, expenses, liabilities, assets...and a whole lot more. This resource also allows you to break down the information by geography, organization type and size so that you can look at performance across the organizations most similar to yours.

Interested in learning more?

Click here for a more detailed overview and to order your copy

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CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Study: Participate by November 30 For Free Highlights, Deep Report Discounts!

How Does Your Association Stack Up? The CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Benchmarking Study is open for your participation until November 30. Participants recieve a free highlight report as well as access to deep discounts on the full study report. 

Back to The Future: Associations in 2010

The Associations 2025 Summit is coming up next week! http://bit.ly/1MnbCmG

It is a collaboration between The Portage Group, CSAE and a group of inspiring leaders from associations and businesses across Canada. Together in a fun and interactive format, we will explore the landscape of associations today and discuss what trends will shape the sector in the years to come.

I found this article from Carol-Anne dating back to 2010 where association professionals were asked to weigh in on what they think a successful association would look like five-to-six years into the future. Well that future is here. Lets explore if those prophecies have turned into reality.

I think that while tactics will evolve and achieving success will become more of a challenge than ever before, the things that will take an association to the top and keep it there will be the same as what they are now: In my version of the future, differentiation, innovation, value and engagement will continue to be the factors that make or break not-for-profits of all shapes and sizes.

Here are a few of the most crucial ways your Association should adapt to thrive: 

Customized Membership

The survivors will be those who are truly able to stand out from the crowd by being able to deliver value in a world where the term means something different to each member. In order to provide a unique experience that members can’t replicate elsewhere, membership and all that it involves will become more customizable. 

New Revenue Models

Increased competition from sources such as the internet and social media are allowing people to access networks and resources without having to pay a membership fee. Associations will increasingly have to give away for free a lot of what they have until now leaned on as their main sources of revenue.  Some real outside-of-the-box thinking will be needed to help associations figure out how to generate enough revenue to be able to achieve their mandates.

Flatter, Less Hierarchical Structures

Many associations today have structures that are left-over from the days when boomers joined right out of school and stayed until retirement. This multi-layered and bureaucratic structure doesn't fit in a world where people need access to information, resources and decision-makers immediately without having to jump through multiple hoops and gatekeepers. Future associations structures will be flatter so as to be more accessible, responsive and nimble.

Evolution of Volunteerism…and Engagement

The reality is that people are busier than ever before and have more things competing for their time. Social media will be a great tool for the innovative association looking to recruit, retain and engage.  The markedly ‘un-linear’ and transparent nature of this medium has real potential to help boost engagement among all stakeholder groups, from members and volunteers to staff, board members and donors.

Transparency Will No Longer Be An Option

As social media moves more into the foreground, non-transparency just won’t be an option anymore.  When associations mess up, they will have to face the music.  If you haven’t followed the Kiva.com saga, this charity is a great example of how social media makes this happen.  Here’s an article on the debate from the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/business/global/09kiva.html?_r=1&src=tw)

The Great Age Divide

The baby boomer generation is retiring and will continue to have a significant impact on not-for-profits.  All of the stakeholder groups will start looking a lot younger - from association staff, board members to volunteers and donors. 

Helping members to attract ‘young blood’ to their industries, adjusting to the new leadership styles of a younger generation, and finding ways to transfer tacit knowledge between seasoned executives and young leaders are just some of the challenges associations will face in this arena.

So what do you think? Are these still the most relevant challenges happening in your association? How have you adapted?

We look forward to seeing your top leaders and up and comers in Toronto on April 19th. At Associations 2025 Summit!

Get ready to explore solutions and create change!

 

Associations 2025 Conference #futureassn

The Portage Group and CSAE will be coming together to collaborate on Associations 2025, a look at what will be the future of associations, trends that are happening now and predicting new ones and showcasing which associations have been able to stay ahead of the curve, retain members and grow their member base.

Over the next 2 months, leading up to Associations 2025 on April 26, 2016 we will be exploring the topics:

  • How do association professionals anticipate big trends like information technology, aging demographics and industry consolation? Where is there innovation?  

  • How will your association be affected?

  • What are you doing to become forward thinking, future association?

  • How is your association positioned to attract and retain quality employees?

  • What do the future leaders of your association need to know so that you may continue to thrive well into the future?

  • Virtual offices, aging demographics, constant access and communication, and an increased desire for work-life balance… what adjustments does your association need to make to stay ahead of the curve?

We will be looking to you, the association professionals, the board members, the new hires, and the upcoming executives, to contribute feedback on what you see, what you like, what you understand or feel is needed. What questions do you have?

We want an open dialogue so all voices are represented.
What do you think things will look like this year? Next year? 2025?

Lets stay engaged and work on communicating with each other, sharing ideas, and expressing how to keep our industry moving forward and keep our members happy and involved.

Looking forward to your comments and feedback!

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday What is a Non-Profit?

Understanding What Non-Profits Do

by Jack Shand; Executive Partner of The Portage Group; introduced by associate Casey White

What does a non-profit do? I can't easily answer that question. At first glance I thought, why should I be able to ? I'm new to the non-profit world and just learning. But then when I gave it second consideration I realised I had actually worked for several non-profits over spanning over 15 years of my life. I was an event coordinator for Big Brothers Association of Canada in my teens. I organized the relay for life as a contractor to the Canadian Cancer Society. I worked in administration for OUR Ecovillage, a non-profit community in Shawnigan Lake. Wow. There are so many active non-profits, I wonder if you were ever a part of one without really grasping how they were structured or what non-profit really meant?

I'm looking back now for this edition of #throwbackthursday for the TPG blog to start at the beginning, gain a greater understanding for what non-profits do, and then use that as a foundation to look at how non-profits began and how they are evolving into #futureassociations. 

Here is an article, originally found on Charity Village, "Understanding What Non-Profits Do"

"First, two observations: Observation one is that many nonprofit organizations feel they are unique. Board leaders tell me this frequently when they are starting a hiring process for a new chief staff executive. Observation two is that many working in the nonprofit sector have struggled at some point in explaining exactly what it is their organization does, and how it adds value. Is it about reciting the mission statement perfectly?

So let's try and build understanding of what goes on in this sector and the "business" nonprofit organizations — associations and charities — are in.

Advocacy is a universal aim for organizations in the sector. Advocacy can focus on a myriad of audiences; it is not only about (and in some cases is not at all about) lobbying governments. Advocacy can be directed to promoting a profession, shaping legislation, engaging stakeholders, dialogue with and through media, or mobilizing a community.

The health charity advocates for better health, quality care, and an early cure. The social welfare organization advocates for better lives and better communities. The business association advocates for the conditions that are catalysts for jobs, investment, and a strong economy. The professional association advocates for better practices, higher standards, and quality performance. Think of an NGO, philanthropic cause, regulatory body, business or professional association and they are doing advocacy.

In my experience, the leaders and stakeholders of all nonprofits are asking that their interests be given influence, put on the map, and have a voice at the table.

Connectivity is the second universal goal shared by nonprofits. Since centuries before the Modern Era, in ancient Egypt and earlier, there is a rich and empowering history of people coalescing around an interest whether it be the arts, culture, or a trade. Indeed, isn't the principal aim of all nonprofit organizations to provide a forum for individuals to engage on matters they share in common? Look at the community cable television station announcements for local events. From places of worship, to sporting pursuits, to clubs, to fundraising events, in all cases it reinforces that the bringing together of people is alive and well. Networking in all its forms — B2B, social media, mentorship — is growing.
Education is the third business nonprofit organizations share. Organizations gather, house, produce and share knowledge. In the United States and Canada, associations and charities are a leading source of adult education and training, possibly second only to private and public educational institutions.

Consider the sizeable resources every city of consequence in the world devotes to attracting conventions, conferences, seminars, symposia, and workshops — events owned in many cases by associations.

For members of professions, from architects to zoologists, there is the impressive business of professional publications, accreditation, and certification that is developed and delivered by nonprofits. In fact for some time there has been a trend where professional associations and educational institutions are forming strategic alliances, including MBA programs, with curriculum in specialist tracks geared to human resource professionals, management consultants, insurance brokers and others.

There is a combined effect of this activity, recognized in constitutions and by democratic governments throughout the world. Nonprofit organizations are special, not in the unpleasant nuance of special interest, but because of the value associations and charities bring to society. Unconvinced? Then think of the tax-exempt status enjoyed by all organizations in this sector. Consider as well the privileged access the sector has to governments. Governments recognize that the organizations comprising this sector add real value to good policy making and to bettering society. Simply, nonprofit organizations contribute to and are needed by society, and their special role has been validated by governments. When you are next asked about what nonprofit organizations do, what your association or charity does, remember the valued work that we have in common:

Advocacy

Connectivity

Education

If you work for an association or a charity, here is our universal business card. It is a membership card we all share because it well symbolizes what nonprofit organizations do, our lead position doing it, and the passion we bring to our work."

Content is © Jack Shand and is reprinted with permission.

 

Posted on January 28, 2016 and filed under Trends, Leadership, Partnerships.

A Look Into the Future of Associations

I think associations of the future will be markedly different from today. A number of changes are coming (or have already started happening), but here are three of the bigger shifts I think we will see over the course of the next several years: