Issue Roundup: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)




As the worldwide COVID-19 crisis continues, associations are experiencing drastic impacts on their conferences, membership, and operations. These resources are compiled here to help you stay informed on this rapidly evolving situation.

“Aggressive and preventative measures are being taken to protect our individual and collective health. This is an unprecedented situation which requires many of us to adjust our normal practices,” ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE, said in a March 13, 2020, statement announcing that ASAE was initiating fully virtual operations. Read her full statement here


ASAE Announces 2021 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Will Be Virtual With Regional In-Person Events

Due to continued concerns for the health and safety of all members, industry partners, volunteer leaders, staff, and other stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASAE announced on March 3, 2021, that the 2021 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held virtually, alongside smaller, regional hub meetings that can safely take place in person around the country.

This year’s ASAE Annual Meeting will be held the week of August 16.

Annual Meeting attendees can choose to participate virtually or at regional locations where smaller groups of attendees can meet face-to-face during the meeting. Hub locations have not yet been determined, but it is anticipated that Dallas and other ASAE Alliance Partner destinations will serve as ASAE Annual Meeting hubs in August.

Registration for the reconfigured 2021 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition will open May 3 with full details.

“Logistically, a lot of planning goes into every aspect of the meeting to ensure its success and, right now, there are too many variables outside our control that could impact our attendees’ meeting experience,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “While we’re all eager for a full-bore return to face-to-face meetings, we’re excited to create some options in August for our attendees to access top-level content virtually or reunite with their colleagues and partners in a safe, controllable environment.”

More ASAE Updates: ASAE is constantly evaluating its operations, programs, and services in light of the pandemic and making adjustments as needed.

Read more about the impact of COVID-19 on ASAE operations, in-person programs, and membership renewals.


Advocacy Update

Paycheck Protection Program

Thousands of 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations and others can now access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Read ASAE’s issue brief on the year-end legislation that provides critically needed relief for many in our community.

Since March, ASAE and its members actively urged Congress to expand the PPP—the flagship COVID-19 relief program—to include 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations. Across three sign-on letters in 2020, ASAE joined with 8,700 signatories to urge Congress to provide deserving members of our community PPP access.

On Monday, January 11, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a notice to resume applications for the PPP. Until further notice, however, SBA will initially accept applications only from “participating CFIs, which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries.”

Regulators also released an interim final rule as guidance for first-time PPP applicants and others. This guidance does not clarify 501(c)(6) eligibility as it relates to “receipts from lobbying” or “lobbying activities.” On December 22, 2020, ASAE delivered a letter to regulators seeking clarification of what these terms mean and how SBA and the Department of the Treasury plan to implement 501(c)(6) eligibility criteria.

Email us with questions and visit and for more information.

Resource: Paycheck Protection Program 2.0: Everything Associations and Other Nonprofits Need to Know


Pandemic Risk Insurance

In addition to immediate relief provided through the PPP, ASAE for months has called on Congress to establish a forward-looking insurance program that would cover business interruption and event cancellations due to future public health emergencies.

On July 1, ASAE sent its second of three massive sign-on letters to Congress. More than 2,200 organizations joined ASAE to formally endorse this program, which is outlined in the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 , introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Robertson also participated in a roundtable event on September 10 to help build support for this important legislation. Hosted by Congresswoman Maloney and joined by industry stakeholders across the economy, the roundtable examined why we need access to this coverage and what is at stake if PRIA does not pass. Susan clearly stated that the “consequences would be fatal” for nonprofit associations and others if PRIA isn’t enacted.

“ASAE called for a PRIA-like package back in March when this crisis first hit and now we are so proud to vigorously support the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act,” Robertson said during the roundtable. “It is essential to the sustainability of associations and so many others during this crisis. For more information and a recording of the event, review Congresswoman Maloney’s press release .

To read more, visit ASAE’s coronavirus advocacy and resources webpage . or email [email protected] with questions.


ASAE Research Foundation Impact Surveys

The ASAE Research Foundation continues to study how associations have approached critical decision-making about member, volunteer, staff, and constituent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association Impact Snapshot Surveys assess the pandemic’s impact on association business operations, including meetings, nondues revenue, and staff management.  

The foundation conducted two surveys in 2020 and one in early 2021. Key findings have been captured in the following three reports: 

In addition, a Phase 3 Comprehensive Final Report is available for download.  

The foundation plans to conduct additional surveys to continue to track ongoing association response to the crisis. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have questions. 


Recorded Webcasts

Note: CAE credits are not awarded for viewing recordings.

Demonstrating Leadership Resilience: A CEO Dialogue
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Applying to the Paycheck Protection Program: What Your Association Needs to Know
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Leveraging Local Regional Component Relations During COVID-19: A CEO Dialogue 
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How Nondues Revenue Can Help Associations Thrive During (and Beyond) COVID-19
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Exploring Accepted Practices for In-Person Events During and After COVID-19 
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Evolving Legal Considerations During COVID-19: Ask an Attorney 
Watch nowLiability Waivers for Association Meeting Attendee

The Case for Sunsetting Programs: Crisis Response or Level Setting 
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Membership: A CEO Dialogue 
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The Association Revenue Recovery Plan 
Handouts Transcript
*No recording is available as we experienced a problem with the recording for this event.

Leading Through Crisis and Uncertainty: A CEO Dialogue 
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The Shift to Virtual During and After COVID-19: A Young Professionals Dialogue 
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Preparing Your Office and Employees for Returning to the Workplace
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Staff Associations: A CEO Dialogue
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COVID-19: Moving From Triage to Modeling a Future for Your Association 
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Technology Continuity in Times of Crisis: A CEO and CIO Dialogue
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Addressing Workforce Challenges During COVID-19: A CEO Dialogue 
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Association Advocacy in COVID-19: The CARES Act and Future Legislation 
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Making Critical Decisions About Meetings Amid COVID-19: A CEO Dialogue 
Watch now First Round Scenario Response Planner  What Nonprofit Board Members Should Be Doing Right Now to Address the COVID-19 Situation

Crisis Response Workshop for Associations 
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Congressional Town Hall: Association Advocacy on COVID-19 
Watch now The CARES Act: A Guide to the Resources for Nonprofits 

Association CEO Roundtable: Response to COVID-19
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Not Governance as Usual: Virtual Approaches to Manage Your Governance Strategy 
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Tips and Tools for Creating an Awesome Virtual Event Experience 
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Remote Work During COVID-19: Human Resource and Technology Considerations 
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Coronavirus: Community Conversation on Association Impact 
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(Member login required for all Collaborate discussion posts.)

Will Your Association Soon Do a Live Event With Attendee COVID Testing?

Reopening Your Association’s Offices

Reopening-for-Business Plan

Membership Renewal During COVID

Not Going Back – 100% Virtual

Can We Require Attendees to Be Vaccinated?

Staffing a Hybrid Event: How Does That Work?

How Are You Keeping Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity on Peoples' Minds During COVID-19?

Search for all discussions tagged "#Coronavirus" in the Collaborate search field.



Healthcare Conference to Require COVID-19 Vaccination to Attend, May 27, 2021

Associations’ Post-Pandemic Opportunity to Go Global, May 23, 2021

Three Keys to a Better Post-Pandemic Culture, May 18, 2021

Let’s Rethink the Virtual Exhibit Hall, May 12, 2021

Blueprint for the Hybrid Office, April 24, 2021

The Outlook for In-Person Meetings, April 24, 2021

Three Questions You'll Need to Answer When Planning Hybrid Conferences, April 22, 2021

Why CEO Jobs Are at Risk During COVID-19, April 18, 2021

What to Consider as You Fine-Tune Pandemic Leave Policies, March 24, 2021

How Strategy Drove a Pandemic-Era Membership Surge, March 9, 2021

What Exhibitors and Sponsors Want From Virtual Events in 2021, February 18, 2021 

A Return to Meetings: COVID Protocol Document, February 4, 2021

A Return to Meetings: COVID-19 Screening and Testing, January 21, 2021

A Return to Meetings: How Contact Tracing Works, January 14, 2021


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Why Virtual Events Are a Long-Term Opportunity, June 2, 2021

Advice for Pandemic-Fatigued Managers, May 24, 2021

Three Ways to Make Virtual Teams More Effective, May 10, 2021

Four Ways to Build on Your Pandemic Shift to Digital, April 19, 2021

Two Areas of Risk Management to Consider as In-Person Meetings Begin to Return, April 19, 2021

Legal Issues for Meetings: Lessons Learned and Planning Ahead, April 5, 2021 

UBIT and Virtual Tradeshows: What Associations Need to Know, March 1, 2021

Tax and Employment Law Questions Raised by Remote Work, February 10, 2021

What to Consider When Designing Policies for Remote and Hybrid Work Environments, February 1, 2021

Can Your Association Adopt a COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement?  February 1, 2021

Preparing Your Staff to Return to the Office, January 25, 2021

How an Association Heavily Dependent on Conference Revenue Survived the Pandemic, January 12, 2021

Three Perspectives for U.S. Associations From Europe's Pandemic Recovery Outlook, November 17, 2020

Five Unusual Virtual Event Sponsor Benefits That Just Might Save Your Conference, November 9, 2020 



Other Tools and Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC’s resource page includes information on COVID-19 vaccination and testing, variants, and travel updates. 

U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs: This State Department resource includes information on travel advisories, presidential proclamations on travel restrictions, and country-specific COVID-19 information.

Meetings Mean Business Coalition: MMB's toolkit of coronavirus preparedness and response resources is tailored specifically for meeting and event professionals. It includes talking points, templates, and "fast facts" graphics that can be shared in social media.