Associations Now - Winter 2020


  • Cover Story: The CEO's Role in Board Selection
    By: Mark Athitakis
    What role should an association CEO play in board nominations and selection? Real-life practices vary, according to new ASAE Research Foundation data, but the best outcomes emerge when executives step gracefully through the process, providing input and guidance in just the right measure.
  • The CEO as Personality-in-Chief
    By: Tim Ebner
    As the face of an organization, how a CEO presents to members, staff, and the public matters. Many association chief staff executives say they are most effective when they bring their full selves to the role, using open communication and connections to establish personal, authentic, and transparent relationships with the people they serve.
  • Is Bias Affecting How You Lead?
    By: Rasheeda Childress
    Everyone has biases, whether they’re aware of them or not. For leaders, unconscious bias can have a crippling effect on everything from staff diversity to member retention to innovation. For associations to thrive, leaders must tackle their own biases head on.


The A List

  • How an Industry Summit Tackled a Big Issue for Members
    By: Mark Athitakis
    The jewelry industry had struggled to come together to address responsible sourcing. Several industry associations made a breakthrough when they collaborated on an industry summit. The successful event turned into an association of its own.
  • Saving Lives in the Hybrid Era
    By: Mark Athitakis
    Newer cars are built differently, and it can be harder to rescue people trapped inside after a crash. A Power of A Award-winning program of the National Auto Body Council gives first responders hands-on training to save lives in those emergencies.
  • Ask the CEO: Virginia Society of CPAs
    Stephanie Peters, CAE, president and CEO of the Virginia Society of CPAs, answers questions from a member about increasing diversity in the accounting profession, adapting to new technology, and meeting VSCPA’s biggest challenge.
  • Virtual Meeting Tips for a Virtual Staff
    By: Mark Athitakis
    Virtual meetings for remote staff are especially tricky when the team is scattered across the globe. Here’s how one association makes them inclusive and productive across multiple continents.


Money & Business

  • An Online Class to Address Members' Top Concern
    By: Rasheeda Childress
    Whenever pricing professionals got together, they had one complaint. When their association developed an online class to address that issue, members got a solution—and the association got a new revenue stream.
  • Data: Why Employers Should Care About Mental Health
    Employee retention is a priority for every employer, including associations. Offering employees better mental health support may help.
  • Directors and Officers Insurance Basics
    Once in a while, association board members may be accused of fraud, financial mismanagement, or negligence in carrying out their duties. Directors and officers (D&O) insurance protects volunteer leaders against such allegations, says Carolynn Smith, management liability underwriter at AonAffinity Nonprofit.
  • Tech Association Teaches Companies How to Win Grants
    By: Rasheeda Childress
    The Minnesota High Tech Association is teaching companies strategies to help them successfully compete for grants in the state.
  • Startup Stories: Influencer Marketing Association
    New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. In this series, newbies tell us what got them started, how they’re succeeding, and what they plan to do next. Here’s what the Influencer Marketing Association has been up to.
  • Fair Play: Five Best Practices for Antitrust Compliance
    By: Dawn Crowell Murphy
    From meetings to membership to ethics codes, associations need to avoid missteps that could lead to complaints of anticompetitive behavior. If you have members who compete with one another, take a moment to review this quick antitrust checklist.


  • I Can't Live Without My...OneNote
    You never know when you’ll want to jot down an idea or look up an important bit of information you saved. Stay organized and informed on the go with this note-taking app.
  • Data Point: More Investment in AI
    Early adopters of artificial intelligence are feeling bullish on the new technology, which is being applied in a wide array of projects from big-data analysis to voice-enabled devices.
  • Does Your Association Have Tech Debt?
    By: Tim Ebner
    If you have legacy IT systems that have outlived their usefulness, you’re carrying tech debt—and it can cost your organization more than you think.
  • Cybersecurity Trends to Watch in 2020
    Make 2020 the year that you bolster your organization’s cyber defenses. Justin Brady, account manager at SyCom Technologies, forecasts a few cybersecurity issues that many associations will face soon—if they aren’t already.


  • How to Ease First-Time Attendee Anxiety
    By: Samantha Whitehorne
    To make newbies more comfortable, one association launched a Conference Navigators program, which pairs first-timers with seasoned attendees.
  • A Strategy for Boosting Early-Attendee Registration
    By: Samantha Whitehorne
    Attendees’ habit of registering late was causing a lot of angst for one association’s staff, exhibitors, and sponsors. To solve the problem, it got rid of its traditional early-bird registration model.


Brain Power

ASAE @ Work

  • How Associations Can Help Confront Climate Change
    By: Emily Rabbitt
    Associations can make a difference by adopting more environmentally friendly business practices and supporting their members’ sustainability efforts, according to an ASAE ForesightWorks action brief.