Posts tagged #not-for-profit

CSAE Annual Association Compensation Study Open Until May 6!

Should I ask for a raise? How much should we pay the new Membership Manager? Would offering flex days help us draw stronger job candidates?

Knowing how to structure staff salary and benefits can be a challenge for any association. Associations are unique, after all - It can be extremely challenging to find comparables that truly reflect your unique realities. 

The CSAE annual compensation survey closes Friday May 6! Participate today for big savings on the report and for the opportunity to pre-order your copy! 

Whether you are a national trade association with 20 staff or a small professional association with a part-time administrator, the annual CSAE association compensation and benefits study is a valuable tool that offers Canadian associations a unique opportunity to measure compensation against similar organizations across areas such as:

  • Staff Level and Experience
  • Age, Gender and Level of Education
  • Organization Type, Size and Geography

The survey is only open for a few more days. Don't miss out!

 

 

Your Association Will Look Very Different Ten Years From Now: What Are You Doing About It?

Reading this article on technology trends for 2016 got me thinking: It's hard to believe that just a decade ago, most of us had never heard of the term 'smartphone.'

Personally, I am always a little panicked when my phone is not within arm's reach. Also, I will admit that I have a slightly dysfunctional relationship with my GPS - which I have named Sneaky Suzy - and without whom I would (literally) be lost. I'm not proud...but I'm also not alone. Seventy-one percent of you sleep with your cell phones. Over sixty percent of you call, text or email from the washroom (!) You know who you are.

Did you know that by the end of 2016, nearly 2 billion people will have one of these little devices? We all know how much of an impact information technology is having on our society but how is your association translating it into new and innovative ways to deliver tangible member value?

Here are just a few of the ways some of the associations we have worked with recently are leveraging technology to meet member needs and solve member problems:

  • Using big data to truly understand current and prospective members so that associations can offer customized programs, services and communications
  • Mobile apps with easy and immediate access to tools, templates, information and other resources members can use on the job
  • Offering a ‘storefront’ on the association’s domain for smaller business members who want a web presence but who otherwise might not have the resources or know-how to develop one
  •  Easy-to-use systems for procurement and bidding
  • ‘Match-making’ applications that connect members to potential employees with a strong potential ‘fit’ to their needs and culture

The above is just the tip of the iceberg: What would you add to the list?

Beyond the continuous stream of disruptive innovation taking place, associations are facing a perfect storm of change in the environment inside which they operate. Leadership. Staff. Structure. Membership. Programs and Services...it's all going to look very different ten years from now.

Technology and member value is just one of the questions we will be looking at in April at the Associations 2025 Summit in Toronto - an opportunity not just to hear about what other leading associations are doing to position themselves for success into the future but to engage with your peers to address todays' evolving association environment.   Registration is open- don't miss this great event!

 

#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.

Using Big Data to Understand What Your Association's Members Are REALLY Thinking

Have you ever wondered what each of your association's members was really thinking?

Meet Jane, the association executive who was able to better target member segments at both a strategic and operational level by streamlining and making better use of big data and other member information...

Understanding What Nonprofits Do

By Jack Shand, Executive Partner. The Portage Group

In an earlier article on The Characteristics of Executive Leadership, I outlined what employees in the nonprofit sector do. But what do nonprofit organizations 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.

© Jack Shand and The Portage Group 2015.

Turning Your Nonprofit Strategy Into A Reality: The Implementation Plan

As the saying goes, "failure to plan is planning to fail."  Just as important as your association or nonprofit's strategy is an implementation plan to put all of those great ideas into action! Here is a simple implementation plan template to help get the ball rolling in achieving your strategy.

Would You Let a Monkey Take Charge of Assessing the Needs and Priorities of Your Members? When to DIY and When to Get Help With Your Membership Survey

With low-cost survey tools like SurveyMonkey at their fingertips and ever-present budgetary pressures, it is easy to see why some associations are foregoing market research expertise and going the DIY route where their member needs surveys are concerned.

First This, Then That: Why Your Association’s Team May Not Be Working to Its Full Potential

As leaders and contributors, we want to make things happen.  We need to make things happen.  On our watch revenues should be ramping, membership should be growing, and our organization’s influence should be expanding.  We develop strategy, equip the ship, and set sail.  And things go well… until perhaps they don’t.  Then, it seems, we have more questions than answers...

Stuck in a Rut? Four Ideas to Get the Juices Flowing at Your Next Association Staff or Board Meeting

Whether your association, charity or not-for-profit staff or board is on autopilot, or whether you are just stuck in a rut when it comes to coming up with an effective and creative way to address an opportunity, challenge or niggling problem, here are a few approaches you could try at your next meeting or board retreat.