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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.
This plan incorporates the voices of hundreds of association and supplier professionals. By my estimation, around 200 people attended the focus groups we held last summer, 122 people completed the recent survey, and another 22 people (members, nonmembers, and board members) attended the planning retreat. All of this occurred before the Board of Directors rolled up their sleeves and asked, "How can we make this happen?"
MSAE's leadership sought out and listened deeply to the association community. The Board of Directors and Staff of MSAE received that feedback and made the commitment to do what is necessary to create value for our members.
Last but not least, MSAE must change or die. The association has come to such a critical point - both in our relationships with members and supplier partners and with the limitation of our resources - that we have to become member-focused and member-owned.
With everything else happening in the industry, yesterday's announcement was difficult to send. More so, restructuring is awful to do because, like so many of you, we value the contribution MSAE staff has made to the association and the relationships that we have with them. We hope you'll stay with us as we navigate these changes, challenge us when we fall short, and maybe even pitch in when extra hands are needed because this plan is different.
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...
Advocacy Corner: Week of March 1, 2019
Updates to the national Unrelated Business Income Tax, another round of Michigan auto insurance reform, state redistricting, and more in MSAE’s advocacy round-up through Friday, March 1st.
When it comes to membership marketing, it’s easy to assume you know the one value proposition that resonates with your membership the most. But as many marketers have discovered, the only way to confirm a value proposition’s effectiveness is to compare it with another.
We recently had a conversation with Marketing General’s Tony Rossel, who discussed this very topic. Tony called it the 80-10-10 method, and it made such an impact with our group, we thought we’d share the method with everyone.
Every association is different. But no matter who you are or whom you represent, one thing is for certain: there is lot of work to be done.
Whether it’s managing members, raising funds, contending with new rules and regulations, or delivering quality programs that serve your mission, there is only so much that can be done in a given day, week, or year.
And that’s not when you’re trying to hire new employees or keep existing ones, or reduce overhead costs, or stay up to date with new technology and ways of communicating.
Does this sound stressful? Perhaps a bit. But that’s part of the job — managing people, processes, finances, and beyond.
The most successful associations are efficient, tech-savvy, and skilled at communicating with members, sponsors, and their local (and online) communities.
Another trait these associations share: They track employee time.
Advocacy Corner: January thru Mid-February Round-Up
Michigan’s 100th Legislature, executive branch, and the Michigan Supreme Court have each seen significant movement in shaping the state public policy arena through the first several weeks of 2019. A State of the State Address, a much anticipated release of the 2019 state budget, and more are discussed below in MSAE’s advocacy round-up through Friday, February 22nd.