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Associations Now Leadership Issue

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Associations Now

Associations Now is the premier magazine for association executives. It is mailed bimonthly to ASAE members and is available to nonmembers by subscription. For daily news and blogs on association management, visit

Our mission: Associations Now delivers the essential information, insights, and ideas that empower you to master challenges, invoke imagination, and act decisively to create a better future for your organization and the world.

To order reprints of any article in its original format, click here. Questions? Comments? Send a message to Editor-in-Chief Julie Shoop.

3 Tips for Managing Organizational Change The Power (and Dangers) of Giving in the Workplace
Best Benefit Ever: Ethics Assessment Tool
CEO to CEO: Inventing New Technology

3 Tips for Managing Organizational Change


Associations can't stand still while the world changes around them. One association executive shares the three essential components to carrying out a major strategic change initiative.
By: Susan Avery, CAE

Customer Service Via Text Message


The National Restaurant Association turned to toll-free texting at its member service center to reduce phone hold times.
By: Katie Bascuas

Managing to Strengths in Small-Staff Associations


A "coach approach" can increase a small staff’s capacity and efficiency.
By: Anne Collier

Enabled Employees Are Happier Employees


Without the right resources and a supportive organizational structure, even your most motivated employees can become frustrated. Don't squander their energy and commitment. Draw engagement and enablement together and watch your staff take your association to new heights. (Titled "Help Your Employees Step Up" in the print edition.)
By: Mark Royal and Tom Agnew

Partner Corner: The Best of Times for A Captive Insurance Company


By: Michael Murphy

Negotiating Hotel Contracts
For your association's big conference, you want a top-notch facility and a positive experience for your members. The hotel wants your business now and in the future. Both parties can meet their goals when you prepare thoroughly, stay firm but flexible in negotiations, and keep an eye on the details. [Titled "In the Fine Print, a Fair Deal" in the print edition.]
By: Jeff Waddle

What Associations Can Learn from Political Campaigns
The hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners world of presidential campaign politics may seem a far cry from association management, but much of what James Carville and Karl Rove know about strategy speaks directly to association leaders. In separate interviews, they shared their secrets with Associations Now. [Titled "The Strategists" in the print edition.]
By: Mark Athitakis and Kristin Clarke

No Small Staff Is an Island
How the American Choral Directors Association has created a collaborative environment that benefits both its staff and members.
By: Samantha Whitehorne

Traveling Truck Exhibit Drives Workforce Development
The American Welding Society puts interactivity on wheels to attract younger generations to the profession. (Titled "Another Way to Go Mobile" in the print edition.)
By: Joe Rominiecki

The Benefits of Workplace Wellness Programs
Healthier employees make for a stronger association. If you're looking to build a workplace with more staff camaraderie, greater productivity, and less absenteeism, an organization-wide wellness initiative can help you get there. And the gravy? Lower insurance costs. (Titled "Well at Work" in the print edition.)
By: Jacqui Cook


  • Cover Story:

    Use Data to Build Member Engagement
    By: Melanie D.G. Kaplan
    Associations are good at collecting data, but they're less adept at analyzing it or knowing what to do with the gold mine of information they have. But that's changing. As technology becomes more affordable, organizations are harnessing "big data" to improve the ways they interact with members.
  • Keep a Lock on Your Data
    By: Mark Athitakis
    Every association faces data-security threats. The appropriate fix has as much to do with keeping staff smart as it does with keeping hackers at bay. The right tools and best practices can help prevent your data from landing in the wrong hands.
  • Try a Hackathon to Boost Innovation
    By: Katie Bascuas
    Could your next great idea come from a hackathon? Taking a note from the tech world, organizations are realizing the value in this intense, collaborative type of group problem solving.
  • The Power (and Dangers) of Giving in the Workplace
    By: Kristin Clarke
    "Workplace giving" is no longer about philanthropy, according to social scientist Adam Grant. Rather, it's about getting work done—your work, your organization's work—and done well. Learn how givers are powerful drivers of business success.
  • Successfully Plan and Hold a Meeting Abroad
    By: Compiled by Samantha Whitehorne
    Planning an overseas meeting presents the same challenges as planning a domestic one—and a whole lot more. Get an inside look at three recent global meetings held by U.S.-based associations to learn how they did it.


The A List

  • Ask the CEO: Entrepreneurs' Organization
    Entrepreneurs' Organization CEO Bob Strade explains the passion of entrepreneurs, the challenge of global growth, and the many ways his association keeps up with member needs and demands.

  • Replacing a Rogue Chapter with a Virtual Presence
    By: Rob Stott
    When its L.A. affiliate fell off course, the Council of Better Business Bureaus was forced to shut the group down, but business had to continue for one of CBBB's largest regions. A virtual chapter helped them continue to serve businesses and consumers.

  • International Expansion Via a Tradeshow
    By: Katie Bascuas
    The International Carwash Association recently announced a new tradeshow  in Amsterdam. The show is part of the association's attempt to reach more members and potential members globally.

  • Comings & Goings: May/June 2014
    New hires and personnel moves in associations.


  • 3 Tips for Managing Organizational Change
    By: Susan Avery, CAE
    Associations can't stand still while the world changes around them. One association executive shares the three essential components to carrying out a major strategic change initiative.

  • 3 Lessons: Exile Your Ego
    Victor Leon, chief information officer at the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, says smart leaders understand one fundamental truth: Leadership isn't all about them. A focus on others leads to the best results.

  • CEO to CEO: Inventing New Technology
    CEOs share what one piece of technology they would invent to help them do their jobs better.

Money & Business

  • Generate Nondues Revenue With Your Licensing Strategy
    By: Kristin Clarke
    The American Dental Association's licensing program shows that a solid strategy can help any association repurpose already-existing products and content and make a profit at the same time.

  • Reporting Fraud on Form 990
    By: Laura Kalick
    If your organization has been the victim of fraud by a trusted employee, volunteer, or vendor, you may need to report it to the Internal Revenue Service. Here's when and how to disclose a significant "diversion of assets" on your Form 990.

  • Choosing the Right Office Space
    A commercial real estate pro shares some smart tips on choosing the ideal place for your office.

  • Idea Bank: Epilepsy Foundation Borrows "Shark Tank" Concept
    By: Rob Stott
    Taking a cue from a hit TV series, the Epilepsy Foundation asked members to step into the "Shark Tank" and present unique and innovative ideas in epilepsy and seizure care. Winning concepts received startup funding.

  • Data: Virtual, Hybrid Conferences Growing
    Increasingly, associations are putting technology to use for meetings in creative ways, with some events streamed on the web or hosted entirely online.

  • Associations USA: Colorado
    Associations are everywhere. Here's a snapshot from the Centennial State.


  • Choosing the Right Mobile App
    By: David Jaffe
    Do you want differentiated tools or one mega app? Find out which one, or more, of the eight types of mobile apps might be right for your association.

  • The Pros and Cons of Mobile Tracking
    By: Katie Bascuas
    Karim Guirguis, CIO at the American Bankruptcy Institute, discusses a new proximity-based technology and its possible benefits to associations. He also explains some of the downsides to this type of technology.

  • I Can't Live Without My ... GroupMe App
    By: Katie Bascuas
    This app allows users to coordinate group activities or chat with friends, relatives, and coworkers.



Brain Power

  • Books: The Strength of Givers
    By: Kristin Clarke
    Three books look at how givers in the workplace benefit the bottom line, the science and art of receiving feedback, and how to speed innovation and adaptability in your organization.

  • Learning: How to Find New Sources of Expertise
    By: Kristin Clarke
    Author Noreena Hertz says organizations have become far too accepting of what so-called "experts" have to say, which is no good for members or society or large. Learn how to tap new and often-undervalued expert sources.

  • Career Coach: Are You Having the Tough Conversations?
    Carol Vernon, certified executive coach, principal of Communication Matters, discusses how to prepare for a high-stakes conversation and how to get better at those talks that you'd much rather avoid.


  • Association Execs Take Their Tax Reform Concerns to the Hill
    By: Chris Vest, CAE
    Since House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Rep. David Camp (R-MI) unveiled his plan for comprehensive tax reform, there has been little real progress. That hasn't stopped associations from voicing their opinions on the issue.


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