Key Trends in Association Infrastructure: Part Three in a Five Part Series

Responding to a lack of information about trends in the “internal” environment of associations, Tecker International consultants take a look at the emerging trends in the infrastructure of associations. Trend is defined as “a change in progress and the direction of that change.” Our sources were varied. They included client SWOT assessments, organizational performance audits, environmental scans, strategic planning initiatives, operational issue consultations and TI Principal and Senior Consultants’ assessments of common high-level patterns and conditions.

Finance:

  • Increased bundling and/or unbundling of programs and services to decrease costs and/or increase revenue
  • Increased attention to non-dues sources of revenue
  • Increased cost cutting and “lean” operations in response to recession related perspectives
  • Increased attention to the search for “new” business models
  • Wider variation in association fiscal experiences depending on the economic conditions of the profession or industry served
  • Other?

Workforce:

  • Fewer volunteers; less discretionary time to give
  • More expectations and dependence on staff; static staff resources and  decision authority
  • More associations trying to “uncouple” committee structures and staff structures; models for organizing from members’ workplace continue to influence organizational design decisions
  • Increased use of full or part-time telecommuting for a wider variety of jobs
  • Increasing numbers of associations bringing core functions back in-house from outsourced provision or collaborative ventures
  • Association management software increasingly expanding into administrative functions
  • Other?

Part One: Membership and Technology

Part Two: Program and Governance

Have you identified other trends in finance and the workforce?

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About Glenn Tecker

Glenn is a Principal Consultant, Chairman and Co-CEO of Tecker Consultants International. He has served in an executive capacity with business, public agencies, and non-profit organizations. Glenn's expertise is with healthcare and allied professions, educational districts and institutions, library associations, environmental and engineering organizations, and financial institutions.

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