Tag Archives: association

The Holidays are Upon Us

By: Lauren Millard

It’s that time of year again!  The holidays are here and as much as we love the food, festivities, and spending time with the ones we love, let’s just be honest for a second and say, the holidays are stressful.  As if you weren’t busy enough going about your normal day to day tasks, let’s go ahead and add sending out holiday cards, buying presents, traveling, and going to 8 different holiday parties  to your running to do list that is already a mile long.  On top of all of that, just consider the amount of work that is piling up while you’re out of town eating your fill of turkey and apple pie.  How in the world are you supposed to enjoy this amazing time of the year that you spend with family and friends?  Here are some tips you can use this holiday season to try and find that balance between your work life and your personal life.  Continue reading The Holidays are Upon Us

How Does Your Board Orientation Stack Up?

By: Rachel Luoma, MS, CAE

One of the most important aspects of board management, which can often be undervalued and underutilized, is a proper board orientation for new and incoming volunteer leadership. The board orientation is the best opportunity for welcoming a new board member, teaching them about the association, the expectations, the processes and the culture.

Think about it like this – would you hire a new staff member without providing them with some initial information and training? I sure hope the answer is no! If someone isn’t properly on-boarded, can they really be effective?

Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A 2003 Study called the, Mellon Learning Curve Research Study showed that the average time for new hires, external to the organization, to achieve their full level of productivity ranged from between eight weeks and 20 weeks depending on the profession.

Fast forward to board orientations…what are you doing as an association to ensure that your board members, who essentially are external hires of your association volunteer leadership are effective on the shortest time possible?

So, ask yourself, how does your board orientation measure up?

Take the quick 10 question assessment below to see how your board orientation measures up and to help identify gaps in your program.

  1. Do you provide your new leadership with a copy of the current association budget, a copy of the association’s most recent financial statement and/or a copy of the most recent audited financial statement?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information relative to their board responsibilities (i.e. job description, behavioral expectations, attendance requirements, etc.)?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with written association policies (i.e. antitrust, conflict of interest disclosure, etc.)?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with copies of the current articles of incorporation and bylaws?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information on all standing committees and task forces?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with a current copy of the association’s strategic plan?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with meeting minutes for the previous year so they are aware of recent board decisions?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information on staff and who to contact for what?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you provide your new leadership with information relative to the difference between board roles and staff roles?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points
  1. Do you have an orientation call or in person meeting for new leadership?
  • YES, prior to the term – 3 points
  • YES, within the first few months of the term – 1 point
  • NO – 0 points

BONUS: Add 1 additional point if an outside facilitator is used for this call or meeting.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SCORING

20 to 31 points – Congrats! Your board orientation seems to be very comprehensive and you seem to be anticipating the information that your board needs and providing it in advance.  You should teach a class!

10 to 19 points – You are on the right track! It sounds like you are working to provide a sound orientation for your board.  Keep up the great work!

0 to 9 points – Sounds like there are opportunities for improvement! Consider if items are missing or if you might be able to provide them earlier to make sure that new board members start off on the right foot.


So, how did you measure up? Are you brave enough to share it in the comments of this blog?

Bottom Line: No matter what you scored on the assessment above, there are always opportunities for improvement on your board orientation. If you are a member of an SAE, such as the Florida Society of Association Executives, ask your fellow members what they do as they on-board new volunteer leadership.  Or take a moment to ask your current volunteer leaders what information they wish they would have received prior to their term or within the first few months of their term.

Additionally, below are a few great resources for improving your board orientation program:

What other great resources do you have to share?  Please post them below in the comments section of the blog.  Happy orienting!

RachelLuomaBio

Sponsorships Got You In A Rut?

by: Danielle Jessup

Do you hold the same meetings year after year and roll out the same sponsorship packet?  If so,111 it may be time to do some updating, as many vendors are looking for more creative ways to get their company name out there.  Whether it is a small meeting for 35 people or a large conference for hundreds, sponsors want to see the ROI.  Standard sponsorship levels still have their place but it’s also time to start thinking outside the box.  Work with the vendors directly to ensure they get the most out of their sponsorship.

Here are a few tips to help you secure sponsorships. Continue reading Sponsorships Got You In A Rut?

A True Tale of Fear and Loathing in Professional Development

By: William Lessley 

Hello, my name is Will and I’m an introvert. It literally Fortpains me to be in a large crowd of people for too long. In the association management industry, this can be a real liability. Almost everything we do involves directly interacting with other people.

The first five years of my career were spent in the meetings department. I liked working with our members to get them registered, creating the detailed plan of the flow of the meeting, and being on-site problem solving. I did not, however, enjoy the forced relationships with my hotel contacts. This wasn’t because I didn’t like my hotel contacts – I couldn’t understand why I dreaded the interaction, honestly. Looking around at my peers, all I was sure of was that something must be wrong with me. Continue reading A True Tale of Fear and Loathing in Professional Development

From Superhero to Superstar

By: Kim Barclay

Paper?  What is paper? How did we survive before computers, the internet and email?

Life can be frustrating.  For one, my car has been in the shop for way too long.  Second, my bad karma has followed me to my office where our office as conducting server maintenance.  This means that access to the internet and email can be sporadic..  Our IT director came around to everyone this morning and asked our whole office to log off our computers, and then told us it might take up to 45 minutes until we could log back on to the network.  Holy Interrupted Internet, Batman!  How am I supposed to work without a computer and the internet?

Continue reading From Superhero to Superstar

THE OLD BALL AND CHAIN: Tips for a Healthy Marriage or Association

By: Rachel Luoma

In April, my husband, Erik and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary.  It has been a wonderful seven years! I have a lovely home, two beautiful children and at least 30 extra pounds to show for it!  As I think back on our years of wedded bliss, it makes me think of the parallels between association management and marriage.

Untitled
My wonderful husband Erik Continue reading THE OLD BALL AND CHAIN: Tips for a Healthy Marriage or Association

Partners’ Partners

By: Amy Bean Napier

At Partners, we work with many professional vendors and service providers that help us to better serve our clients and customers.  These companies and individuals go above and beyond to ensure that we are successful in all ventures we tackle for the company and clients.  We are really pleased to have Blake Dowling from Aegis Business Technologies be the first in a series of vendor interviews highlighting the products and services they help bring to our company.  Continue reading Partners’ Partners