Want to stay up to date in the association world? This blog will provide you with news about members, industry updates, trends and more!

The Power of Community Bookmark

The Power of Community
This month taught us much about the value of community. As COVID-19 required us to stay home, we came to appreciate how much we enjoy interacting with our coworkers and industry colleagues. We've had to make difficult decisions, and change plans, again and again over the past few weeks. And, through it all, we looked to our industry community for ideas, answers, and resources. At MSAE, we're making some improvements that will serve to support and connect the association community far better in the future.

Planning Beyond a House of Cards Bookmark

Planning Beyond a House of Cards

Planning to get through a crisis is one thing. But planning for business after a crisis is something else entirely. It's not yet possible to accurately project or assess the economic impact of COVID-19, yet it is safe to say this is like nothing that has hit the association industry before. At MSAE, we've run and re-run end-of-year financial estimates and cash projections so many times it's dizzying. I thought some of our lessons may be insightful to you as you work through what tomorrow looks like for your association. 


Take a look at your business model from a 10,000-foot view.


How much revenue is generated by each of your major product lines?

The Arena Bookmark

The Arena

It's not possible to capture all of the remarkable things association leaders have done in the past week. The news feed, my Twitter roll, TV... everywhere I look, I see the difficult decisions you are making and critical leadership you are providing to your members, your teams, and society at large. If you ever doubted it before, you can hardly do so now: your members need you. 


In these past ten days, the needs of your members have driven you out of bed, pulled at your core, and challenged you to think more, do more, lead more. Their need pushed you to utilize the capacity of your self and your organizations in ways that weren't previously considered. "Can we...?" "What if we...? "How can we...?" Barriers that were once onerous and formalities that seemed important have been stripped away by the driving need of your members. 

The Pajama Brigade - Tips & Tools for Remote Work Bookmark

The Pajama Brigade - Tips & Tools for Remote Work

Welcome to the Pajama Brigade! Whether you long desired to work from home or have come to it reluctantly - we're all in the same boat now!  The following list of resources was put together by fellow members of the Pajama Brigade to smooth the transition. 

NOTE: This is all fluid and we are not endorsing any of the materials below. We are saying we think they might be useful.


Work from Home Policy, Tips, Tools and Amusing Distractions

·      Global Workplace Analytics - Template telecommuting policy

·      Workable - Employee remote work policy template

·      Business News Daily - 5 issues your company’s remote work policy should address 

·      Human Resources MBA - What do HR managers need to know about telecommuting and employment law?

·      Wordstream - 7 things nobody told you about working remotely

·      Upturn Strategies  - Lessons I learned from employees about telecommuting

Not 'Just Another Plan' Bookmark

Not 'Just Another Plan'

At a recent event, I was talking to a member about what's happening at MSAE and mentioned that I was looking forward to hearing what members had to say at the strategic planning retreat. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "What's different about this plan?" At the time, the question set me back a bit, but I knew she was right. MSAE had numerous strategic plans over the years, and, in many ways, the promises made to members in those plans went unfulfilled. 


So, what is different this time?     


This plan reflects a critical shift away from MSAE trying to be the sole source of association management expertise and towards MSAE as a connector of brilliant, passionate people who share their expertise.  MSAE serves a lot of amazing people - the best thing we can do is get out of the way and be intentional about creating opportunities for connection, knowledge-sharing, and thought leadership to occur.      



The Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) recognizes the current COVID-19 situation and is monitoring for potential impacts on our members and associations. While the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic today and Governor Whitmer has declared a state of emergency in Michigan, it is not yet clear how these declarations will impact business, meetings, and travel. MSAE will continue to monitor the situation and keep you posted.

Practical Motivation from the Coronavirus Bookmark

Practical Motivation from the Coronavirus

People seem to fall into two categories when it comes to Coronavirus: those who are prepping for doomsday and those who are frustrated by the hype. In the very least, concerns of a possible pandemic can motivate us as association professionals to take a serious look at our preparedness for a crisis. 

Employee health - Sometimes, employees feel like they have to report to work even if they're not feeling well due to workload or a big project. Check-in on your association's illness policy to make sure it's flexible enough to allow for not only employee illness but also their need to provide care to children and loved ones who may need extra help. Communicate your expectations of employees to stay home if they are sick, practice proper handwashing, and be mindful of the personal space of others. Provide kleenex and hand sanitizer for employee workstations or request that employees bring in their own. Ask your cleaning service to be particularly attentive to public areas, water coolers, handrails, light switches, and doorknobs... 

Helping Members Help One Another Bookmark

Helping Members Help One Another

MSAE is building a plan to re-engage volunteers in the association. Intentionally or unintentionally, for the most part, the association stopped utilizing volunteers several years back. 


The research on the "why" of volunteer programs is compelling. Volunteering improves member perceptions of the association.  In study after study, ASAE found that performing even a single, simple task for an association substantially improved the volunteer's perception of the association's value... 

5 Questions Worth Asking Bookmark

5 Questions Worth Asking

We're working on our bylaws. Some of you may think that is the equivalent of watching paint dry, but I beg to differ. It's been just over a year since the Board of Directors committed to working through MSAE's governing documents to set the association up for success. In that time, the Board has engaged in really thoughtful exploration and dialogue around what a vibrant and relevant MSAE looks like and, equally important, what governance structures need to be in place to support it.  


Central to that exploration has been asking ourselves some critical questions...

Singing for Our Suppers Bookmark

Singing for Our Suppers

Membership. It matters, right? Lobbying, professional development, networking, discount programs...the list of association services is endless! But no matter what else we do in associations, the work always comes back to membership - understanding the membership, growing membership, serving the membership.  


It was the concern most often identified by CEOs in our member survey. Given this environment of radical change, massive shifts in the industry, and changing member demographics, it only makes sense that CEOs give careful consideration to ensuring their associations remain relevant. So what is the state of membership? How are associations faring? 


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About Our Company

We are the association for associations  in Michigan! Our mission is to ensure a knowledgeable, professional and successful association community. 

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Information on this web site is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any subject matter whatsoever. Your use of our website is at your own risk. Due to frequent changes in the law, some of the information on the website may not reflect the current state of the law and we recommend contacting appropriate legal advice. MSAE is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content on the website nor for damages that arise from your use of the website under any circumstances.