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Management of Non-Profit Organizations

"Partner or Perish"
By G.A. Taylor Fernley, President & CEO

What are Association Management Companies doing to work with clients who are experiencing a temporary (or permanent) financial downturn?

A day doesn't go by that we donít read in the paper or watch on the news that the current economy is struggling; and, according to economists, we have not even entered a recession as yet.

We all are well aware that the future is filled with challenges that will no doubt have an adverse effect on non-profit organizations. Continued industry consolidations, wide-spread lay-offs, shrinking corporate budgets, and less personal disposable income will result in decreasing membership numbers, reduced attendance at annual meetings, and an overall decline in annual revenue for associations and professional societies.

The responsible Association Management Company will see this as an opportunity to strengthen the existing relationship with clients by working with them to evaluate current financial conditions and jointly agree on potential solutions to weather the storm

One effective approach has been to first acknowledge the pain experienced by the association and then to offer creative alternatives that might include adjusting the management fee based on a modified scope of services, or, better yet, freezing or reducing the fee in exchange for select incentivized programs. The net result is creating an environment whereby the relationship continues and perhaps even grows stronger in the future.

Remember Ė Partner or Perish. Will your association survive?