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Priorities for Professional Associations

Posted by Stephen Lemire on March 1, 2012 at 11:50 AM

The wheel (above) is a perfect illustration for the outline (below) as it depicts the five general priorities for a professional membership association. The hub format demonstrates the ultimate equal importance and balance of each of the priorities. However, when first building the association it is important to start at the upper right (planning) and proceed in a clockwise manner.


Planning
–The ongoing and dynamic process to build infrastructure.

· Organization (mission, bylaws, business plan, strategic plan, budget)

· Fund-raising (membership dues, seed grants, in-kind contributions, donations)

· Development (program fees, program grants, sponsors, vendors)

· Sales (vendors, sponsors, and advertisers)


Perceptions
– The use of media to identify benefits and engage participants.

· Branding (consistent, positive, and proactive image)

· Vehicles (website, social media, word-of-mouth)

· Audiences (retention and recruitment of members, broader constituency)

· Campaigns (event displays and handouts, multi-media presentations, press kits)


Practices
– The transition of members’ services to best practices.

· Programs (national conference, regional workshop, local training)

· Services (annual meeting, tradeshows, discounts)

· Tools (website, directory, surveys, research, scholarships, awards)


Policy
– The growth from service to members to dependence by constituents.

· Identify (key issues and level of staff and board involvement)

· Target (legislative champions and influential regulators)

· Enable (members to advocate with policymakers)

· Publicize (positions and results of progress of efforts)


Partnerships
– The collaboration with organizations that have a similar agenda.

· Nationally (value-added benefit to the cause)

· Regionally (economies of scale)

· Locally (grass roots effort)



Categories: Associations, Nonprofits, Executive Directors

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