Sector and AuSAE News

  • 29 Jul 2014 1:39 PM | Louise Stokes

    The New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyor (NZIQS) has secured the right to host the 20th Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS) Congress in Christchurch against strong international competition.

    The congress will be held in May 2016 and will bring 400 delegates to Christchurch and add an estimated$1.2 million into the local economy.

    “This is a timely win for Christchurch as we get back onto the world stage as an inspiring international conference destination,’’ says Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) manager Caroline Blanchfield.

    NZIQS worked with CCCB, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) on putting together the bid for the congress. It was presented at the PAQS conference in Hong Kong early June.

    The 20th PAQS Congress will see Christchurch hosting 400 quantity surveyors from all over the Asia-Pacific region for two days of plenary meetings. Many of the conference delegates are expected to bring their partners and families with them and take the opportunity to explore the South Island either before or after the congress, which will provide a boost for the local tourism industry during the off-peak winter season.

    “We are delighted to be able to host delegates from this confederation of national quantity surveying associations from the Asia-Pacific region and to be able to show them what we are doing in Christchurch. We’ve got a great story to tell and a wealth of experience to share,’’ Ms Blanchfield says.

    “We’re confident that securing this conference is the start of great things for our city’s business tourism industry.’’

    TNZ’s International Business Events Manager Bjoern Spreitzer says the work Tourism New Zealand is doing in partnership with regional convention bureau is paying off.

    This is a timely win for Christchurch as we get back onto the world stage as an inspiring international conference destination

    “We are attracting more high-value visitors to the country, who will stay longer and spend more, while at the same time growing New Zealand’s knowledge economy and our reputation abroad,’’ Mr Spreitzer says.

    “Christchurch winning the hosting rights to the 20th PAQS Congress is a great example of a collaborative approach, where TNZ, CAP, the bureau and the conference hosts NZIQS have worked together to achieve a successful outcome,” he says.

    Brett Jeffery - NZ General Manager


  • 29 Jul 2014 12:56 PM | Louise Stokes

    Posted by Sage MicrOpay

    Outsourcing payroll processing to an external provider still remains a very popular method among businesses of ensuring this critical function is completed effectively. As a result, there is currently a multitude of payroll outsourcing organisations available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Choosing the right provider for your business is an important process and many find that a thorough examination of your short-listed payroll outsourcing bureaus pays dividends in the long run. To help you during this stage, we have composed 5 questions below that should be asked to all candidates to ensure there are no hidden surprises once your choice has been made.

    Do you charge for every payroll change made?

    An organisation’s workforce is constantly changing, from adding new employees, to changing salaries, contact details and bank accounts of current staff, to terminations. One of the consequences of this reality is the subsequent alterations that need to be made to the payroll to reflect these changes.

    Bearing in mind the amount of modifications that could accumulate during the space of one pay period, discovering how each payroll outsourcing service charges for these adjustments often proves to be a prudent decision. This is especially true for those organisations with a higher number of employees, which obviously results in more changes being necessary from week to week.

    What reporting options do you offer?

    Every business is different and accordingly each has its own unique set of requirements. This also applies to payroll reporting, where all organisations have their own individual needs, typically including both standard reports plus more advanced, personalised versions.

    It is important that you clearly understand how each payroll outsourcing provider structures their report offerings and what options are available to you. Knowing exactly which reports are included with your monthly fee and also what others are available along with their cost will help you to discover whether your company’s reporting requirements will be met cost-effectively or not.

    Are there penalties for cancelling the agreement?

    Unfortunately businesses can sometimes make the wrong decision and find themselves with payroll outsourcing providers that aren’t meeting their needs. The problem can also be compounded by the company being locked into a long-term contract with heavy penalties for early termination.

    To avoid the possibility of falling into this situation, it is always a prudent course of action to ask all prospective payroll outsourcing providers what the terms of their service agreements are. Enquiries should also be made about whether there are any break costs if you decide to end your association with the provider earlier than expected.

    Finding an outsourcing organisation that provides flexible terms has many benefits. Not only does it obviously empower your company with the freedom to change your payroll outsourcing service whenever you like, it also ensures that your bureau will work harder to retain your business.

    What are your disaster recovery capabilities?

    Will your payroll data be protected in the event of a disaster? It is imperative for all businesses to ensure their employees continue to be paid no matter what adverse events the future brings.

    Finding out what resources and business continuity plans a payroll outsourcing provider has in place should a disaster occur provides you with the knowledge that your business is safeguarded in the future, putting your mind at ease. It can also prove useful to learn what your responsibilities are in the disaster recovery process, allowing you to be completely prepared if the time comes.

    What are the response times to customer enquiries?

    One of the most important aspects of the relationship between a company and the bureau that processes its payroll is how enquiries are handled. No matter which outsourcing provider you choose, enquiries relating to your payroll will inevitably arise that you will need answered in a prompt fashion.

    Discovering how these queries will be dealt with and defining a clear understanding of service levels and response times with a provider will help to ensure that you aren’t left in the dark wondering what is happening with your enquiries. It can also be a wise decision to find out exactly who will be responsible for fielding questions relating to your payroll. Is it the actual person processing your payroll or is a call centre approach used to field all questions? Many businesses often prefer a more personalised approach so identifying this can have a large bearing on their final decision.
  • 29 Jul 2014 12:53 PM | Louise Stokes
    BY Isabelle Whelan, Lawyer

    There are many reasons why you may consider removing a Director/Committee Member from your Board/Committee. In practice, however, removing a Director/ Committee Member from the Board/Committee can be difficult and there are
    certain procedural steps that must be followed to ensure the process is fair and proper. You must follow these steps so that the Director/Committee Member does not challenge their removal.

    Please click here to read about the steps to remove a Director prepared by Mills Oakley Lawyers (page 2).

  • 24 Jul 2014 2:44 PM | Louise Stokes

    We are excited to announce the second study into professional association membership trends ‘The 2014 Associations Matter Study – Professional Associations’ is now open for participation.

    This annual benchmark study carried out by Survey Matters in partnership with AuSAE examines:

    • What professional challenges keep your members up at night?
    • What does the “association of the future” look like?
    • Are you communicating with your members in ways that work for them?
    • What key factors will lead to a sustainable future for your association?
    • It will also ask for ideas about specific ways in which members think their association can help them.

    This is the only Australasian based membership research of its kind and will be an invaluable evidence based resource for Association managers. As the Principal Sponsor of this important research, AuSAE encourages all associations to take part. Participation is FREE and everyone who participates will receive a complimentary electronic copy of the overall results, and the opportunity to access your individual results, benchmarked against the overall findings.

    To register to participate in this important study or for more information please click here.

    If you have any questions about AuSAE’s participation in this annual benchmarking research project, or for the results of 'The 2013 Associations Matter Study – Professional Associations’ please contact me on the details below.

    Warm regards,

    Toni Brearley
    Deputy Chief Executive Officer
    Australasian Society of Association Executives

    P    1300 764 576 M +61 (0) 458 000 155  F +61 (0) 7 3319 6385  
    A    Suite 2.01, 433 Logan Road, Stones Corner QLD 4120 Australia
        PO Box 752,  Stones Corner QLD 4120 Australia
    E W

  • 22 Jul 2014 9:55 AM | Louise Stokes

    Do you currently face any of the below challenges as an association executive?

    • Creating a powerful membership growth plan 
    • Cultivating a high performing board 
    • Writing effective content for your newsletter and website to increase member engagement 
    • Understanding NFP Legal responsibilities and how you could be liable as an executive 
    • Staying relevant
    • Choosing membership management software and other NFP technology needs
    • Growing your team (do you hire for talent or culture in multigenerational workplaces)
    • Understanding which taxes affect your association and the tax implications of revenue generation
    • Finding sponsors that add value to your membership and keeping them year after year
    • Understanding Gamification – the current buzz word. How do you use game design to influence behaviour and build for the future?

    Did you know that the above are among the top challenges faced by AuSAE members and therefore became the foundation of our 2014 Leadership Symposium Program?

    If you haven’t yet had a peek, click here to download the program and register today! It is shaping up to be an engaging and insightful two days.

    Early Bird Registration closes on August 15. We hope to see you there!

    Warm Regards,

    Kimberley Miller
    Events and Communications Manager
    Australasian Society of Association Executives

  • 21 Jul 2014 9:39 AM | Louise Stokes
    Sending an email newsletter to customers, clients and prospects can be a great way of marketing your business.

    But there are easy mistakes to make which can annoy your customers and could even mean you end up on the wrong side of the law. Here are the top seven things not to do when sending email newsletters:

    1. Don’t spam everyone you know
    You need to put effort into building your subscriber list. It’s very important your customers and prospects agree to receive your email newsletter before you send it to them.

    Take time to build a quality list of both active and prospective customers. Use every possible customer interaction to invite them to receive your email newsletter – client visits, phone conversations, trade shows, your website, LinkedIn, etc. You may start with a few dozen subscribers but you’ll have hundreds within the first year if you make it part of your day to build your list.

    2. Don’t use your own computers to send your email newsletter
    If you send newsletters from your personal PC or server, there is a much greater chance that the email will be marked as “spam”. There is also a chance your IP address might be “blacklisted”, which means all of your day-to-day emails are much more likely to be caught as spam.

    Many companies send their email newsletters via large cloud-based email providers like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor because these services are secure and can overcome a black-listing event.

    3. Don’t attach your email newsletter as a PDF
    Your online newsletter should appear as soon as the recipient opens their email. If you instead choose the ‘old school’ method of attaching it as a downloadable file, your readers are 40% less likely to read it. File downloading is not ideal, especially on mobile devices or from within businesses with tight email security policies.

    Our research suggests that 92% of readers would rather view the newsletter in the email body than download an attachment. Meanwhile, 76% of business professionals surveyed believe companies who attach their newsletter as a PDF are “behind the times”.

    4. Don’t cram in too many words
    Most of us are time poor so we tend to skim newsletters. Make your email newsletters easier to read by separating your articles with images and white space. Each article should feature a catchy headline and a brief synopsis so the reader can click-through to the website to read more if they are interested. This technique also allows you to measure clicks, so you can see which topics resonate best with your audience. Your articles should be punchy (no more than 600 words) with clear sub-headings. Avoid long blocks of text.

    5. Writing good quality content
    Readers will soon tire of emails that are poorly written or contain irrelevant content. It’s good to personalise your newsletter with local happenings (e.g. a new staff member) but don’t overcrowd it with this type of material. Spend time to plan your content and always proof-read it (and use a spell check!) before you send.

    Don’t write too technically – the language you use in your email newsletters should be understood by primary school students. Remember, you are the expert in your field and your readers don’t want too much technical information – that’s why they rely on you.

    6. Don’t send your email and then forget about it
    Instead, you need to track your results. Take the time to review your results so you can learn about what your readers are interested in. You should expect at least 25% of your recipients open your email as this is a reasonable benchmark for a “unique open rate”. If you are writing interesting clickable content then expect at least 15% of those who open will click-through to read more. Compare your results for each and take note of the articles that get the most clicks. The article you post at the top of your email will naturally perform better than others (your readers don’t like to scroll).

    7. Don’t forget why you are writing in the first place
    If your goal is to write email newsletters to stay top-of-mind with your customers and prospects then make sure you include your company logo and contact details in both the email and on the landing pages. To maximise the number of enquiries you receive we recommend that each article should have a corresponding enquiry form to make it easy for the reader to contact you.

    A final thought. We often get asked the question “how often is too often?” when sending email newsletters. Too often and your readers might get sick of you, and you will see more readers unsubscribe. Meanwhile, if you send too infrequently, you will notice less people open your emails.

    Our statistics show the best performing email newsletters are those that are sent monthly. If you only send your email newsletter once a quarter or bi-annually then you are missing a marketing opportunity.

    Joel Montgomery is the founder and managing director of digital marketing company Affiniti.

  • 21 Jul 2014 9:38 AM | Louise Stokes

    BY Joe Rominecki / JUL 23, 2014 Sourced from here:

    One association membership pro shares his ideas for keeping colleagues ever mindful of their impact on the member experience.

    One of my favorite descriptions of an association is that it is “essentially a conglomerate of small businesses, all targeted at a highly focused market, with a consensus-based governance model slapped on top.” In that context, it’s easy to see how silos form and staff lose sight of the big picture. They focus on their business lines and not the overall wants and needs of the association’s members.

    So, it has to be someone’s job to keep everyone connected and keep membership always in mind. Dan Ratner relishes that role. Maybe even a little too much.

    “I am the guy staff members don’t want to make eye contact with in the hallway. I’m constantly pestering staff about what they are doing for members,” Ratner wrote last month in a discussion in ASAE’s Collaborate forum [member login required].

    Director of membership development and industry outreach at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Ratner says “pestering” only half jokingly. I spoke with him last week to dig deeper on his thoughts on promoting a member-centric mindset at an association, and he says the first step is “being nosy,” so he can see how every part of the association factors into the member experience.

    “In membership, at least in my current organization and in previous roles, you really have to know everything about what’s going on in the organization as the membership leader, because how does it affect your membership? What’s going on that really ends up impacting the membership experience? So, the nosiness is really about just making sure you are aware of those things, because a lot of times I’m the one getting the call from the members,” he says.

    Ratner shared a few methods he has used for getting staff at ANSI and previous associations where he’s worked to put members first:

    A monthly update on membership. He picks a few data points, works up some charts, and sends it out via email to staff at the same time every month. It’s short: two pages, with minimal text. Ratner says the reports spur conversations with colleagues. “The executive director or the other C-suite folks are coming to my office, saying, ‘OK, I’m not understanding why the numbers look like this on here,’ or ‘How can sales be up but revenues be down?’ So, I’ll explain the nuances of membership,” he says. “These data points at least give them the baseline and the foundation to ask other questions.”

    Presentations in all-staff meetings. These are good opportunities to talk about membership themes, perhaps pulling quotes or lists from books and articles on membership, Ratner says.

    Membership talks in staff orientations. Ratner says one of his previous associations developed an organization-wide retention plan, and a key part included a 10-minute visit from Ratner in mandatory staff orientations for all new employees. “We’d always talk through the main points of how they’re connected to membership, so on a daily basis they wouldn’t wonder. They would know they have an impact on our members,” he says.

    “Remember retention” mirrors. One year, after member-retention goals weren’t met, Ratner bought small mirrors for the entire association’s staff with the words “remember retention” printed on them. “We handed them out to everyone and said, ‘OK, now, whenever you’re wondering who’s responsible for retention, you know, because it’s sitting on your desk and you can look in that mirror and know it’s you.’”

    Ratner says he has also spent time listening in on customer service calls, asking IT for walk-throughs on fulfillment processes in the association’s database, and even volunteering to contribute to strategic planning, all in effort to understand as much as he can about the association and, in turn, spread the membership perspective throughout.

    He also emphasizes the importance of data in changing staff minds about membership. (See item 2 in an article Ratner wrote for ASAE in 2012, “3 New Wakeup Calls for Change.”) Of course, that requires having good data about members, whether through surveys, engagement tracking, or both.

    Despite carrying the flag for membership at the associations where he’s worked, Ratner has a measured take on how an association’s revenue should be generated. The discussion in Collaborate that he responded to had originally asked whether an association’s dues should be at least 50 percent of its overall revenue. Ratner says he thinks a good mix is roughly one-third dues revenue, one-third meetings and/or education, and one-third other nondues revenue. Balance is the key. “They should be interacting well together to boost each other’s growth,” he says. “The hard part is when one of the programs or one area goes off and ignores the membership side of things.”

    On a basic level, every association employee knows his or her work affects and is affected by members, but it can be easy to forget in the course of day-to-day work. Ratner’s ideas for changing that dynamic are a great place to start. You could also focus on shifting the culture at your association, adopting staff incentive plans for improving member satisfaction, or even simply avoiding overloading your staff to the point that their work and the member experience suffer.

    This is a challenge most association membership pros are familiar with. What have you tried at your association?
  • 18 Jul 2014 9:56 AM | Louise Stokes

    Do you currently face any of the below challenges as an association executive?

    • Creating a powerful membership growth plan 
    • Cultivating a high performing board 
    • Writing effective content for your newsletter and website to increase member engagement 
    • Understanding NFP Legal risks and how you could be liable as an executive 
    • Staying relevant
    • Choosing membership management software and other NFP technology needs
    • Growing your team (do you hire for talent or culture in multigenerational workplaces)
    • Understanding which taxes affect your association and the tax implications of revenue generation
    • Finding sponsors that add value to your membership and keeping them year after year
    • Understanding Gamification – the current buzz word. How do you use game design to influence behaviour and build for the future

    Did you know that the above are among the top challenges faced by AuSAE members and thus became the foundation of our 2014 Leadership Symposium Program?

    If you haven’t yet had a peek, click here to download the program and register today! It is shaping up to be an engaging and insightful two day event.

    Early Bird Registration closes on August 15. I hope to see you there!

    Warm Regards,

    Brett Jeffery
    General Manager - NZ
    Australasian Society of Association Executives

  • 17 Jul 2014 12:03 PM | Louise Stokes
    Social media is changing the global landscape for charities by providing new ways to reach strategic objectives. Many charities consider social media to be an important channel to deliver on their communications and fundraising goals. Some use social media to deliver services. Only a few incorporate social media as a core strategy to capitalise on its interactive opportunity to engage with new communities. These pioneers will reap the benefits.

    A new report from Grant Thornton, 'Growing communities: How charity leaders govern social media globally to thrive online', interviews charity chief executives from around the world and reveals how they are using this tool to deliver to their beneficiaries. The report features interviews with charities from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and US, revealing that there is a real need for board-level understanding of social media.

    Carol Rudge, Global leader – Not for Profit at Grant Thornton said, “Social media is a game changer. Charities looking to engage with a more technology literate audience need to harness the power of this rapidly evolving environment. Without an informed social media strategy – and the internal governance and operations to support it – funding may erode.”

    While some charities have made great progress, there is currently a social media knowledge gap at senior levels in charities worldwide – the very people expected to govern the opportunities and risks to achieve their charity’s goals. To fill the gap, Grant Thornton Not for Profit and social media specialists asked senior executives a range of questions covering five key areas: strategy, governance, education, risk and measurement.

    Their responses are brought together with insights from Grant Thornton experts to draw tangible lessons that every charity type can use. From documenting policy to informal training and measurement tools, the report places emphasis on practical advice and shared learning.

    This report also equips charity leaders with key questions to ask their operational teams, to ensure the charity’s resources invested in social media deliver greatest value to their beneficiaries.

    The 'Growing communities' report features embedded links to relevant sources and aids for charities, as well as specific calls to action that can help senior management embrace social media.

    Find out more by using the twitter hashtag #NFPSocialMedia.

  • 17 Jul 2014 8:30 AM | Louise Stokes

    I am excited to announce three inspiring Keynote Speakers who will be joining AuSAE members and other senior leaders from New Zealand associations at the 2014 AuSAE Leadership Symposium.

    Theresa Gattung  Named several times in Fortune magazine’s ‘top 50 most powerful women in international business’, Theresa is a leading New Zealand business personality, author and the past CEO of Telecom. Read more about Theresa.


    Ken Shirley entered Parliament as the Labour MP for Tasman in 1984 and served as the Minister of Fisheries, Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister of Forestry and Associate Minister of Health. Ken entered the not-for-profit sector in 1990 and has held numerous CEO positions including his current post as CEO of Road Transport Forum. Read more about Ken.


    belinda moore is Australasia’s foremost membership specialist and has assisted thousands of not-for-profit organisations with their membership challenges. Belinda’s current positions include Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Society of Association Executives and Managing Director of Strategic Membership Solutions. Read more about Belinda.


    The 2014 AuSAE Leadership Symposium is being held at Millennium Hotel Rotorua on October 29-30 under the theme: GAME ON: Leadership in Motion. To register today or more for information please click here.


    Don’t forget our special EarlyBird rate ends on August 15 (Save $100!).


    I hope to see you there!


    Brett Jeffery
    General Manager – New Zealand
    Australasian Society of Association Executives

The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Australian Office:
Address: Unit 6, 26 Navigator Place, Hendra QLD 4011 Australia
Free Call: +61 1300 764 576
Phone: +61 7 3268 7955

New Zealand Office:
Address: 159 Otonga Rd, Rotorua 3015 New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 249 8677

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