News

  • 24 Feb 2017 10:17 AM | Deleted user

    Traditional face to face and CPD training models

    Most organizations recognize the value that training and CPD brings to their members, volunteers and staff. Providing timely, regular and meaningful training or CPD can be an expensive exercise. This is especially true, if you have a large or geographically dispersed target audience. Organising and paying for industry experts to talk at your events can be a challenge. E-learning and online training is more affordable now than it was in the past, and it is worthwhile considering whether it is a good fit for your organization.

    Webinars

    One of the simplest and most cost effective methods of delivering training or CPD is through webinars. Webinars can be easier and more cost effective to organize than face-to-face, as you cut out costs such as venue hire, travel, parking and catering.

    Most webinar software allows you to record your webinar, giving those that are unable to attend the webinar an opportunity to view it at a later stage. The webinar video can be added to a password protected area of your website, learning management system or E-learning portal. Therefore, it can be viewed and revisited at a time that is convenient for your members or staff.

    Webinars offer an easy way of getting an out of town expert to present to your group and can be an income source for your organization.

    Online CPD / Online training courses

    Does your organization schedule a lot of CPD / training, have a geographically diverse membership, have a compliance training requirements or run a lot of volunteer inductions? A learning management system is a cost effective way to offer self-paced and self-marking training courses. It can save your organization hours of time in administration.

    Most modern learning management systems allow your organization to manage your online training courses, generate reports on who has completed certain courses and accept payments for the courses.

    If a course offers CPD points, the learning management system can be set up to produce a certificate when the course has been passed and completed. The certificate can state the number of CPD points achieved by passing the course.

    If you would like to chat about how E-learning could save your organization time and money please email calum@convergedesign.com.au

    If you are interested in increasing efficiency and choosing the right CPD / training software tools for your organization download this free pdf at http://www.convergedesign.com.au/get-efficient


  • 23 Feb 2017 1:36 PM | Deleted user

    Online engagement is now pretty much the norm for everyone. The ground shifts so quickly, and the rules of engagement change with each channel and user community, so we have avoided being too prescriptive, instead setting out behaviours and indicative guidelines for best practice. The guidelines are consistent with who we are as PR and communications people, and are closely intertwined with our code of ethics. We need to keep pace with these technologies, and not be left behind. We need to have a sound digital strategy that includes listening. We need to behave well online, and be clear about who we are and why we are there. We also need to disclose our conflicts of interest, balance openness and privacy, and manage data responsibly.

    We welcome any feedback on the guidelines.


  • 23 Feb 2017 12:58 PM | Deleted user

    There is no question in my mind. The highlight of our Australian events calendar is definitely going to be ACE 2017 at the International Convention Centre. On the evening of 10 May, the who’s who of the association world will gather for the welcome function at the latest and greatest convention centre in the entire universe! The keynote presentations will be “Out of this world”. The most inspiring, intelligent, high quality line-up of speakers ever assembled for a conference, ever!

    We’ve garnered a wonderful, no … brilliant, wait a better description is … fantabulous array of exhibitors to provide a marketplace of ideas, innovation, products and services that you won’t want to miss, and a learning lab has been incorporated into the exhibition space. The breakout sessions have been carefully crafted into a masterpiece of educational insights, information and intrigue. Benefit from the ample opportunities to engage, network and connect with peers and colleagues from across the spectrum. And to cap it all off, there’s a mind-blowing surprise of fun and frivolity in store for everyone at the official function on the evening of the 11th. I hope you can make it to the one and only ACE 2017!!! Register now at here.

    Brendon Ward - Chief Executive Officer
    Australasian Society of Association Executives


  • 23 Feb 2017 12:53 PM | Deleted user

    Nominations for the 2017 Women in Governance Awards are now open! Click here!

    Women on Boards New Zealand is pleased to again offer the national Women in Governance Awards programme that recognises and celebrates innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to diversity by both organisations and individuals. For category information and an application form, visit the Awards page on our website today!


  • 23 Feb 2017 11:38 AM | Deleted user

    Recent activity in the not-for-profit sector has made it clear that many organisations are beginning to operate in a more commercial manner.

    With such changes occurring, not-for-profit organisations may wish to consider how to best protect their assets. Commercial ventures can, in some instances, create environments in which it is possible that customers or other third parties will sue, increasing the importance of asset-protection. Equally, the commercial activities run by not-for-profits can generate significant income, which is important to protect.

    Separation of Operation and Assets

    One of the foremost ways in which an organisation can protect its assets is by separating its structure into essentially two arms – an operational arm, and an asset-holding arm. The simplest way to do this tends to be by setting up a subsidiary organisation, or even several subsidiaries. Following the restructure, one of the entities in the corporate group can hold particular valuable (or even all) assets, and the other entity can run all of the operations.

    If an organisation is to be sued, it almost invariably arises from its operations. If the organisational entity is sued, and the valuable assets are held by another asset-holding entity, it is less likely that the assets will be exposed in a litigation context. This is not always guaranteed, however, due to various legislative provisions. It is recommended that organisations seeking to restructure in order to protect their assets seek legal advice on how to best do so.

    Types of Restructure

    The seemingly most straightforward way of facilitating such a restructure is to keep all of the current assets in the existing entity, and to create a new entity (as a subsidiary) to which the operations will be transferred.

    The benefit of this approach is that fewer items and assets need to be transferred, which can be logistically simpler. In this approach, some assets will still need to be transferred (or licensed) to the new subsidiary, such as intellectual property and employees, but this is not as complicated as needing to transfer across all assets.

    Transfer of certain types of assets can attract significant taxation implications, such as stamp duty, capital gains tax, and possibly GST. Keeping the assets in the already established entity can help to mitigate this, by lessening what needs to be transferred (thereby potentially minimising any taxation liability). Before effecting a restructure, the taxation implications should be considered with reference to the types of assets being transferred, in which jurisdiction, and which laws will apply.

    If an organisation does not currently hold significant assets, but plans to hold more in the future (such as real property), then the organisation may alternatively prefer to set up a new subsidiary to purchase assets, with the existing entity continuing to run the operations. Under this model, the new subsidiary can make its assets available to the current entity, through documented agreements such as leases or licences. The benefit of this approach is that fewer administrative changes will be required for the current operational entity. It will not, however, be appropriate if significant assets are already held in the corporate group.

    Not-for-profit Status

    When an organisation separates its assets and operations between two entities, once the new structure is set up it is almost inevitable that the two organisations will need to freely move assets between each other.

    For instance, if the asset-holding entity holds the organisation’s monies, it may need to distribute these funds to the operational entity to allow the organisation to be able to fund its activities. If one entity in the group is a charity, it will need other entities to also be charities in order to legally make distributions to them. Charitable status provides taxation benefits, in particular if one is a deductible gift recipient.

    This raises the question of whether moving monies or assets between the entities in the group will affect either entity’s charity status. Particularly relevant is that in such a structure, the parent will be a member of the subsidiary; charities are generally forbidden from making distributions to their members.

    However, under taxation law, there is an exception for charities that make distributions to charitable body corporate members which have similar objects. In such a parent/subsidiary relationship, it is foreseeable that both will have similar (or even the same) objects, as they are both part of the same larger charitable group. This will allow them to legally make distributions between each other.

    The ‘Word Investments Case’

    In a corporate group following an asset-protection restructure, the asset-holding entity will essentially only exist to make its assets available to the other entity in the group.

    The High Court case of Commissioner of Taxation v Word Investments Ltd [2008] HCA 55 (known as the Word Investments Case), considered the issue of whether an organisation that only fundraises for other charities, rather than directly conducting charitable activities itself, still has charitable objects and is eligible to have charitable registration.

    This case stands as authority that such an organisation can be registered as a charity. This extends to particular types of charities; for instance, an organisation can be a public benevolent institution if its purpose is to raise funds for other public benevolent institutions. The same is also true for health promotion charities.

    The relevant consequence of this is that an asset-holding subsidiary can still be a charity if it has charitable objects and only applies its funds for those objects, even if it does not directly conduct charitable activities.

    Potential Taxation Issues

    As mentioned above, there can be significant taxes that apply in a restructure. However, there are exceptions that can apply, which require detailed consideration on the particular facts.

    The exception to GST of a ‘sale of a going concern’ can apply to a transfer where the transferor gives (or makes available to) the transferee everything that is needed to run the business. This can be difficult to satisfy, as if anything required to run the business is not transferred, then it may not be a sale of a going concern.

    There are also stamp duty concessions for certain charities. Charities should bear in mind that as stamp duty is a state tax, ‘charity’ is not defined the same as by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. An organisation that is a registered charity may not be considered a charity (or sometimes even a not-for-profit) under the relevant state Duties Act. Only the transfer of certain types of assets gives rise to stamp duty, so this may not be an issue to begin with.

    We recommend that an organisation which is seeking to restructure in order to protect its assets seeks legal advice on the various implications, such as protection in litigation, and also the taxation consequences.

    This article was written by John Vaughan-Williams, Lawyer.

  • 23 Feb 2017 11:05 AM | Deleted user

    I recently drove 350 miles, one way, to visit a member of my association.

    To be fair, it was more than just a "member visit." We're planning an activity in this member's community, they are helping to host and support it, and there were (and still are) a lot of logistical details that need to be identified and resolved. We got a great start on that business, but the trip provided me with another lesson of how important it is to get out of the four walls of my association office and visit my members in their natural environment.

    Because of the timing of my arrival, the first thing we did was have lunch. I run a trade association, which means our members are companies, not individuals, and this company is one of our largest members, with their own cafeteria. As we sat around one of those common tables, in a room full of people, all employees of the member company, the small talk conversation perhaps naturally turned to the people I might know in the company.

    You see, the folks I was meeting with were all relatively new to me. They were part of the planning group for the activity I described. So as I started listing off other people I knew in the company, it was reported to me where that person might be. Oh, he's in Europe today. Or, She's in. We should swing by and say hi. Or, Yes, he knows you're here today. He's going to try and come by our meeting later.

    Then, the best thing happened. Someone I knew, but whose name I had forgotten to recite, walked by. I jumped up from the table and shook his hand. He was glad to see me. He hadn't been in the loop and hadn't known that I was going to be visiting.

    It was then that I realized how many people I actually knew in the company--and, by extension, how deeply involved this company was in the activities of my association. This person is on our board, and that person chairs one of our committees. This person appeared in a promotional video our association produced, and that person comes to every education conference. This person relies on the market data reports we produce, and that person works within our standardization initiatives.

    This company is not just a member of our association. It is a "power member," getting tremendous value out of the things we do and strongly supporting our initiatives and activities. I somewhat belatedly realized what a delight it was to have the opportunity to spend a day on their campus, greeting everyone I knew individually, and letting them know how much I appreciated their support.

    Was it worth driving 700 miles in two days? Absolutely.

    This article was originally sourced from Association Universe and written by Eric Lanke.

  • 23 Feb 2017 11:00 AM | Deleted user

    If you read [Mizz Information], you already know I have a tendency to skew kind of negative on things. Lol. Ok, so yes, maybe I’m stating that a bit more mildly than is precisely accurate but whatever…my point is that, people often accuse me of being too negative. I personally just call it being a realist, but that’s me.

    Regardless, imagine my surprise when I read this post about the 12 not-so-great realities about nonprofits and social media and my immediate thought was “Ok, yes, some of these are true, but there are a lot of great things about nonprofits and social media.” Who am I now, an optimist? Apparently. Because while, yes, there are some real truths in that post and managing social media and/or online communities for nonprofits absolutely has its challenges, there are also some real upsides. While I don’t have time to go point-for-point with the 12 in that post because I only have a few minutes […] but here are five reasons I think that nonprofits have the edge when it comes to social media and online communities:

    1. Nonprofits have great content to share. The second point in the post I’m referencing is that nonprofit social media managers are bombarded with depressing content. I personally think it’s just the opposite. Granted, your experience may vary, but in my time as social media manager for various associations I had the privilege of sharing really great, powerful content that really resonated with people–videos of babies hearing their mom’s voice for the first time (I defy you not to tear up watching that), great blog posts, breaking news that has the potential to save people’s lives, etc. Compare that with the content brands get to share–pictures of their products! Expensive professional videos that nobody cares about!–and I’ll take nonprofit content…and, frankly, so will most audiences.

    2. Nonprofit social media managers get to deal with people who are passionate about their cause. Yes, every social media manager ever has to deal with her share of trolls and nasty people, but I’ve also had some really uplifting experiences managing social media for nonprofits. People who truly appreciate the hard, often thankless work of what is a 24/7 job that is mostly under-appreciated, under-funded (or not funded at all) and misunderstood within the org. How many brand social media managers have stuff like this to show for their work?

    3. Going viral is BS anyway, so don’t worry about it. Yes, we’re all happy that the ALS Association went viral with their Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago. And, despite my personal beef with the whole thing–mainly that people were blindly doing the challenge without giving so much as a thought to the what or the why–it raised a ton of money that went on to fuel great things. But, as the post I’m referencing points out in point #12, going viral hardly ever happens. The upside of that is WHO CARES? Not going viral isn’t as glamorous or headline-inducing, but you can still do a ton of good with slow and steady.

    4. Online communities and nonprofits are made for each other. Granted, that article didn’t mention online communities, only social media, but I’m just adding it here because, as much as social media does have its challenges when it comes to nonprofits and brands have an advantage at least in terms of resources, online communities are one area where nonprofits–especially associations–have a distinct advantage over brands. Rather than reinvent the wheel writing about why here, I’ll just send you down the rabbit hole of my previous posts about associations and online communities. Many brands launch online communities then struggle to get people to find a reason to want to participate, but associations already encompass one of the key elements of online community success: people who want to interact and share content around a shared interest. They have already opted in to the org by joining–the same can’t be said for customers who have merely bought a product from a brand or maybe feel passionate about a particular product or service. Sure, I love Diet Pepsi, Dunkin’ Donuts and many other things, but do I want to participate in an online community around those things? No. But community management, association communications and other topics that interest me professionally–do I want to participate in communities with peers in those spaces? And do I find great value in the private communities of organizations I belong to around those topics? Absolutely, and there’s value for both me, the member and the org because of that.

    5. There are lots of free or cheap tools and resources to do social media. Yes, managing social media for an organization with no budget for social media management, measurement or listening tools is a challenge. However, the good news is that there are lots of free or cheap tools available so, while maybe less than ideal, at least you can cobble together workable systems with little or no budget. Here are some posts I’ve written about free and cheap tools, social media measurement, and other resources that nonprofit social media managers can use:

    • Small staff association resources
    • Social media tools and resources for social learning
    • Social media measurement resources for associations
    • Making sense of social media analytics

    Just to clarify–I’m not bashing Nonprofit Tech for Good’s post at all–there’s a lot of truth there. However, setting aside things that money can buy–social media advertising, expensive social media management platforms, graphic design and video production–the disadvantages specific to nonprofits with regard to social media end there, IMO. Well, unless you want to touch on the silo thing, the culture thing, the pay thing, etc…but I’ll digress and let you think I’ve turned into Sally Sunshine.

    This article is originally sourced from Social Fish and written by Maggie McGary.


  • 23 Feb 2017 9:58 AM | Deleted user

    The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) President, David Templeman, is encouraged by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement at the National Press Club this afternoon that the Australian Government will place “in 2017, a new focus on preventive health will give people the right tools and information to live active and healthy lives.”

    “PHAA’s believes that health protection, promotion, prevention are essential to improving the health of individuals and populations,” said Mr Templeman.

    “Preventive health care measures will be critical to reducing the coming impact of chronic disease on Australians and on our economy.”

    “The evidence is in. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Australia’s health 2016 report shows that funding for health prevention initiatives in Australia has reduced from 2008 levels of 2.2% to 1.4%.”

    “Combine this with the rise in chronic disease and the number of Australian’s with multiple chronic diseases also increasing, our health capacity and response capability is severely compromised.”

    “A new focus is needed, particularly on the key drivers of increasing chronic disease in our society and start tackling the causes of the causes before people require major treatment interventions and hospitalisation.”

    A 2014 report by the McKinsey Global Institute concluded that the costs caused by tobacco use, obesity and alcohol abuse were the 1st, 3rd and 4th most expensive social burdens on the world economy.

    “So the Prime Minister’s commitment today that his government’s 2017 agenda includes a specific focus on preventive health is fantastic news,” said Mr Templeman.

    “His government’s response could significantly improve the future wellbeing of all Australia’s individuals and families, as well as the productive strength of our economy.”

    This media release was originally sourced from PHAA

  • 22 Feb 2017 4:32 PM | Deleted user

    Leading healthcare associations are working together to craft strategies for better engaging members. Even as the healthcare industry continues to change, a new report offers six recommendations to boost engagement that associations in all sectors can learn from.

    It’s rare for someone to be excited about a doctor or dentist appointment. These routine check-ups are good for you, but they interfere with life, and they can be stressful or painful.

    If you get cold sweats before entering the exam room, then maybe, just maybe, you can take some satisfaction in the fact that healthcare associations are likely to break a sweat thinking about membership engagement.

    “Healthcare associations typically look at membership and engagement as a static solution, when in reality it’s a dynamic problem,” says Dean West, FASAE, president and founder of Association Laboratory, Inc., a consulting firm based in Chicago. “Historically, these associations needed very little modification, but emerging membership models have forced them to change and become more customizable and adaptable.”

    At the same time that membership is changing, the healthcare industry is changing too—thanks in no small part to politics, technology, and generational trends. What isn’t changing, West says, are the demands on doctors’ time and attention. “It can be a chaotic and unpredictable environment for medical professionals, which is why associations are putting some serious thought toward their membership engagement strategy,” he says.

    Whether you’re in the healthcare space or not, there are probably a few lessons to be learned from Association Laboratory’s recent whitepaper, “The Future of Healthcare Membership and Engagement” (ASAE log-in required). The report cites six common strategies that healthcare associations are using:

    1. A robust market understanding
    2. Customized engagement models
    3. Integrated and sustained experiences for members
    4. Community outreach and development
    5. Sustained engagement throughout the membership lifecycle
    6. Adaptive governance, staff, and operational systems

    Nearly 50 healthcare trade and professional associations were analyzed for the study. The findings are helping organizations, like the American Dental Association (a study participant), to evolve their strategy.

    “One thing about this report that I found interesting was that we all seem to have the same struggles, yet we don’t compete directly with each other,” says Bill Robinson, vice president of member and client services at ADA. “Associations go after different market segments, based on their profession, which is why I’m convinced that we have to solve membership engagement challenges together.”

    Getting associations talking is the first step in the right direction, West says. ADA is using an adaptive strategy that’s currently being tested and piloted with membership.

    It includes upfront engagements with dentists at the beginning of their career. ADA has a membership partnership with the American Student Dental Association, and it’s piloting a program where student ambassadors coordinate membership events between national and state-based dental associations.

    “We also have strategies that target first-years coming right out of dental school,” Robinson says. “That transition—when someone is starting their career—is arguably when an association can be the most helpful.”

    THINKING ‘COMMUNITY FIRST’

    Usually when associations think about their engagement experience, they immediately think about their member first. But really, associations need to be thinking in broader terms, West says. They should be thinking about their members’ community and content understanding. By looking at membership in segments, associations can target each group’s unique challenges and needs.

    One of the membership societies that West studied, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, traditionally relied on conference tradeshows for revenue.

    Under the leadership of President and CEO Stephen Lieber, HIMSS changed its focus to a “community first” model, creating and delivering content to specific membership segments when they needed it the most.

    As a result, the association’s credibility and influence within the healthcare technology sector has increased, and revenue has grown by 765 percent in the last 15 years. Even today, HIMSS continues to grapple with the question: What are the resources and information that membership segments need at any given moment?

    “You reverse-engineer your strategy, based on the audience and their needs, not on you and your organizational structure.” West says. “Members’ challenges are dynamic and evolving throughout their lifespan. If you don’t understand your community, then you can’t define a solution for each individual members.”

    In some respects the healthcare association space has been immune to change. Senior leadership and the “cultural tailwinds” theory—the notion that medical school students will automatically join an association because of institutional forces—don’t challenge some associations to think differently, West says. “While much of that culture remains, there are new avenues for healthcare professionals to solve some of their biggest challenges and issues today,” he says.

    For example, ADA is keenly aware that student debt is a primary concern for younger members, especially those just exiting dental school. ADA targets new members with debt consolidation services, as way to save members money. But ADA is also competing against a widening field of services, including online debt consolidation companies, which have grown in size and popularity in the last few years.

    NO ‘ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL’ APPROACH

    One of the biggest advantages and challenges for ADA when it comes to membership engagement is its tripartite structure: Enrollment guarantees membership at the local, state and national levels. But the membership experience can vary, particularly for state and local dental associations. Bigger states have more resources to engage their members than smaller states. For ADA, technology tools can help to level the playing field a bit.

    “We think technology will help to tackle the variability in membership experiences,” Robinson says. “It’s not going to be a one size-fits-all approach. We want members to be able to select their levels of engagement with us.”

    Right now, ADA is in the process of selecting a technology firm that will help to expand its digital footprint. The hope is that communications and online services can be tailored to members, regardless of where they live.

    In many ways the six key findings in the Association Laboratory report can serve as a routine checkup for all associations to take, regardless of their industry or focus.

    What problems does your association face when it comes to membership engagement? And, what strategies or tactics are you using to solve them?

    This article was originally sourced from Associations Now and written by Tim Ebner.

  • 22 Feb 2017 4:13 PM | Deleted user

    The 2017 Directors’ Alert was issued this month by Deloitte Global. This year’s publication is based on the need for courageous actions in the boardroom, highlighting the benefits of diversity and discussing some of the main disrupting factors that boards must address: technology, transparency, innovation and culture. The report serves as a useful tool for boards to approach these issues.

    We strongly recommend you at least read the key “Q’s for directors to ask” on strategy (page 7), Culture (page 11, and the table on page 10), technology (page 19), disruption (page 23) and diversity (page 39). Or we have attached the summaries in the Snapshot pdf here.

    The insights and challenges equally apply to profit focused businesses and public benefit entities.

    Related to the challenges facing all organisations is the generational disruption that millennials are to employers. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 provides an update on how millennials view the world and work.

    Last year, many millennials seemed to be planning near-term exits from their employers. But, after 12 months of political and social upheaval, those ambitions have been tempered, according to Deloitte Global’s sixth annual Millennial Survey. Young professionals now indicate they’re less likely to leave the security of their jobs, more concerned about uncertainty arising from conflict, and—especially in developed countries—not optimistic about their future prospects nor the directions their countries are going.

    Next month we will cover benchmarking. As we have found that benchmarking has a very strong impact on organisation performance and also the outcomes achieved across the relevant industry. The highlighting of key differentiators in high and low performance can sometimes be surprising and definitely focus the efforts of an organisation to improve their outcomes!


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