Open letter to the Australasian Sponsorship Industry

18 Feb 2014 8:51 AM | Louise Stokes
Monday, 17 February 2014

Dear Members,

It is with much sadness that we write to you today to inform you that the board of Sponsorship Australasia has taken the decision to officially wind up the association.

This regrettable decision has been made for a number of reasons:
  1. Ongoing financial viability of the association
  2. Lack of resourcing to effectively operate
  3. Difficulty in offering a meaningful value proposition to members
This decision follows the communication to members on 28 August 2013, seeking feedback on Sponsorship Australasia’s relevance in the industry currently. The communication was distributed to over 1648 people on the Sponsorship Australasia database, and also to the sponsorship industry in general via Sponsorship News.

Feedback, simply in terms of numbers, was disappointing with only 48 people responding.
This limited response was mixed. 10% believed there was no need for an association, and the rest split with 45% unsure if there was a need and 45% believing there was a role for the association.

It is clear that an association looking to be relevant and meaningful in the modern industry needs more backing than this if it is to be successful.

Sponsorship Australasia was established at a time to fill a void with sponsorship conferences being rare and not relevant, no sponsorship news services, minimal training opportunities and specialist sponsorship consultancies only just starting up.

Fast forward to 2014 and the sponsorship industry is mature and its value recognised as an important part of the overall marketing mix. Specialist sponsorship news agencies exist to provide the industry with up to date news on happenings across the sector. Sponsorship consultancies are providing specialist advice and services to both corporates and rights holders. Professional conference organisers now offer multiple conference options for the industry and other bigger marketing associations embrace sponsorship as part of the overall marketing industry.

This all leaves Sponsorship Australasia struggling to offer a compelling value proposition to current and prospective members. Whilst Sponsorship Australasia is currently solvent, it no longer has the ability to engage a professional secretariat to run the association day to day. This means that the association has been run for the last 18 months on an entirely volunteer basis. This situation is not sustainable, particularly given the workload that professionals in this field currently undertake and given the work required to run the association in a way that offers real value to members.

All this has, regrettably, left the board with no choice but to wind the association up.
In accordance with the Constitution of the Association, all surplus funds will be dispersed to an association that has similar values and reflects the vision/ mission of Sponsorship Australasia.

The board have elected to disperse funds to The Fundraising Institute of Australia.

The Board would like to officially like to thank all people past and present who have contributed to Sponsorship Australasia over the past 18 years. There have been many people who have contributed much blood, sweat and tears over the years – particularly at conference time, which is not to be forgotten. Your efforts have paved the way to the existence of a mature Australian/New Zealand industry where practitioners have achieved internationally recognised success – and will continue to do so.

Regards,

Paul Dykes and Simon Gray
Executive Board Members
Sponsorship Australasia National Association Inc
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The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

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