Administration – Association Management Companies
Q: How do I choose an Association Management Company (AMC)?
A: The ASAE and Center’s website has a wealth of information on AMCs. Hiring an Association Management Company , Guide To Association Management Companies, and a sample Association Management Agreement are just some of the resources we have for associations seeking an AMC. The AMC Section’s webpage highlights several resources. ASAE and The Center does not track fees charged by AMCs, but you may contact AMC Institute for more information.
Administration – Human Resources and Compensation
Q: How can I find a salary for a particular position?
A: ASAE and The Center publish a compensation and benefits study biannually. To purchase PDF tables of compensation for specific positions, or the print copy of the compensation and benefits study, you may visit our online store here.
Q: What is the staff turnover rate?
A: According to Volume 3, Human Resources and Diversity, of ASAE and The Center’s 2006 Policies and Procedures in Association Management: A Benchmarking Guide, the median rate is 8 percent. This data is being updated in our new Benchmarking In an Instant, where survey data is being collected and aggregated to help you increase operational efficiency. Benchmarking publications include compensation, policies and procedures, operating ratios and more. Please visit this webpage regularly as new surveys are being posted.
Q: Where can I find job titles and descriptions, sample contracts and agreements, and sample HR policies?
A: The Models and Samples webpage, for members only, has hundreds of resources on various management topics, including human resources. You will find resources on these topics under Agreements and Contracts, Job Descriptions, and Staff Management and HR Resources. Other topics include board governance, chapter tools, finance, education, membership, RFPs, and website tools - just to name a few.
Administration – Vendors
Q: How can I found a supplier of X?
A: ASAE and The Center’s Online Buyers Guide is a listing of vendors and suppliers who provide products and services to associations and other organizations. Users can find companies by name, category, keyword search, type of business, and geographical location.
Association Size and Scope
Q: How many associations are there in the United States?
A: You can learn more about associations through our webpage Association Frequently Asked Questions. The IRS publishes statistics on the number of 501 (c)s in the IRS Data Book in Table 25, which can be found on its website. Tax-Exempt Organizations and Other Entities, Fiscal Years 1991–2009 (Expanded) . You may also wish to consult two other publications, Cengage Learning’s Encyclopedia of Associations and the Columbia Books' National Trade and Professional Associations of the United States. These resources can be found in most libraries or online.
Q: How much should I keep in reserves?
A: Most organizations maintain 50 percent of their annual budget in reserves, but this percentage varies from organization to organization. The Operating Ratio Report, 13th edition, in print and digital formats, contains information on how much organizations (by revenue size) have in reserves and how they are investing these funds. The Operating Ratio Report also reports the revenue and expense ratio of each project activity as a percentage of total revenue.
Governance – Board of Directors
Q: What is the average board size?
A: The median board size is 16, according to Volume 5, Governance, Components, Government Affairs, and Legal, of ASAE and The Center’s 2006 Policies and Procedures in Association Management: A Benchmarking Guide. The data is being updated in our new Benchmarking In an Instant, where survey data is being collected and aggregated to help you increase operational efficiency. Benchmarking publications include compensation, policies and procedures, operating ratios and more. Please visit this webpage regularly as new surveys are being posted.
Q: What are the best practices for board selection?
A: There are a number of ways board members are selected – by the current board, by a nominating committee, or nominated by the members. Recruitment and Nominations is a list of resources to help nonprofit leaders find the right candidates for board director and officer positions. By determining a set criteria of the skills, attributes, and knowledge needed for each position, the nominating committee or other selection committee can present a slate of candidates qualified for board service.
Q: What is the role of the board?
A: The role of the board is defined in the organization’s bylaws. The articles, Legal Duties of Association Board Members, and Defining the Roles of the Board and the CEO outline the roles and responsibilities of the board and the CEO. Five Tips for Exceptional Board Performance offers some pointers on how to maintain a high performing board.
Q: What are the regulations for fax communications?
A: The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 allows businesses to send unsolicited commercial faxes to customers with whom they have had an existing business relationship. The following resource, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Junk Fax Legislation, answers many of the questions organizations have on the law.
Q: What is the CAN-SPAM Act?
A: The Act, which went into effect in December 2003, regulates all commercial electronic mail, whether unsolicited or not. As defined by the law, commercial electronic mail messages have the "primary purpose" of advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on an Internet web site. The Federal Spam Law: New FTC-Proposed Rules Would Cover All Associations is a good overview of what the Act covers. The Federal Trade Commission issued more rules in May 2008 and A Communicator's Guide to the New CAN-SPAM Rules will give you an understanding of the changes.
Q: Are the dues deductible for members of 501 (c) (6) organizations who conduct lobbying activities?
A. Federal laws mandate that organizations may not deduct lobbying expenses as part of their business expenses. The organization is also obligated to either notify the members of the nondeductible portion of the dues, or pay a proxy tax. The article, Legal Brief: Association responsibilities regarding lobbying expenditures, gives readers an in-depth look at the laws governing dues deductibility, including laws governing other 501(c) organizations.
Q: How do I communicate a dues increase?
A: Dues represent about 35 percent of revenue on the average for associations, according to the Operating Ratio Report, 13th Edition. Dues are generally increased as a result of an increase in costs to provide or add new products and services. The articles, The Lowdown on Raising Dues, and The Business of Raising Dues will give some guidance as to how and when to raise dues.
Q: How often should we communicate with our members?
A: “How much is too much?” is a question often asked by association marketers. Tracking open rates and member response will answer many of those questions. Optimize Your E-mail Campaigns and E-Marketing Success for Nonprofits give some timely tips on marketing strategies.
Membership Recruitment and Retention
Q: How do I calculate membership recruitment and retention?
A: The article Budgeting for Membership Retention and Recruitment gives readers formulas for six basic calculations, including membership recruitment and retention, and the value of lifetime membership.
Q: What is the membership retention rate?
A: The average membership retention rate is 87 percent, according to volume 1, Membership, of ASAE and The Center’s 2006 Policies and Procedures in Association Management: A Benchmarking Guide. Read this article, Retention Rates in a Recession, for more information about retention rates during an economic downturn.
Programs, Products and Services
Q. How do I best determine hotel attrition rates?
A. Reviewing historical and current trends will help you in determining your attrition rates. If your attrition rates fall below expectations, renegotiate your contract. Work with the hotelier on negotiable areas. The articles, The Economy and Attrition: How AMCs Can Best Plan and Fearing Attrition? and Throw an Unconference to Fill the Rooms, offer some strategies on dealing with attrition rates.
Q: How do I determine pricing for my products and services, and evaluate my programs?
A: The articles When the Price Isn't Right and Are Your Programs Worthwhile? are two resources that will help you with pricing your products and services and evaluating them. The Sample Program Evaluation Form will be useful during your evaluative process.
Q: How do I develop a strategy for social media in my organization?
A: Not-for-profits are adopting social media as a way to recruit and retain members, market their products and services, solicit contributions, and recruit volunteers. The articles, People First: The Key to Social Media Strategy, Struggling With Social Media? Here's Why, Social Media Study Shows Most Associations Getting on Board and the Social Media Supplement: Associations Now, November 2007, give insight on the challenges facing organizations as they develop social media policies and procedures. Reaping Benefits From Social Media: Conversations With CEOs and Social Media Tools and Resources (for members only) can jumpstart your social media initiatives by justifying a return on investment and setting policies to take your organization to the next level of engagement.
Focus on Finance: Optimizing the Financial Team
June 27, 2013
Executive Issue Briefing: What Are You Mandated Under the ACA?
July 9, 2013
International Delegation to Australia
July 14, 2013
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