Sector and AuSAE News

  • 17 Jun 2014 12:19 PM | Louise Stokes

    Blog post sourced from:

    By Katie Bascuas / JUN 13, 2014

    Among the key findings of the 2014 edition of the “Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report” was that more than 50 percent of associations reported an increase in membership. The report also explored some of the ways associations are contending with common challenges of growing and retaining membership.

    Association membership keeps growing, at least for 53 percent of the almost 900 respondents to the 2014 “Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report” from Marketing General Incorporated.

    “It’s good news,” said MGI Vice President, Eric Schonher, during a webinar discussing the study’s findings this week. “The industry continues to grow.”

    This is the fourth year in a row that roughly half of the survey’s respondents reported a year-over-year increase in membership. Last year, 52 percent reported an increase. And for those associations that saw a rise in members in 2014, roughly a quarter reported at least a 6 percent increase in membership.

    Associations did, however, report less new member acquisition this year compared to 2013. Fifty-eight percent of respondents reported an increase in new members, down from 63 percent last year. Despite this decline, new member acquisition is still strong given other factors.

    “This drop is quickly offset by the decrease from 2013 in the number of associations citing a decline (16 percent to 13 percent) and the increase in the number of associations that are maintaining the number of new members acquired from 2013,” the study noted. “In review of these results we quickly see that new member acquisition is very strong.”

    In terms of the most effective ways to acquire new members, the MGI report found that word-of-mouth recommendations and email are still among the most successful marketing methods as in previous years.

    While new member acquisition may have been strong, member renewal was less so. Most associations, 36 percent, reported renewal rates were unchanged this year, and 31 percent of respondents reported an increase in renewals. That’s down from 35 percent last year.

    “While it appears that membership continues to grow, it becomes apparent that it is now primarily due to the success associations are having in their member acquisition programs,” the report noted. “As most associations count on their membership to provide the majority of their income through nondues purchases, the decrease in renewal rates could have a severe negative impact in the not too distant future.”

    As for the reasons why members are not renewing their memberships, lack of engagement came out on top this year, replacing budget cuts and economic hardshipsundefinedthe top reason in both 2013 and 2012.

    Associations seem to be aware of this lack of engagement as increasing engagement was reported as the top membership goal by 67 percent of associations. Other top goals included increasing membership retention, membership acquisition, and the understanding of member needs.

  • 17 Jun 2014 12:15 PM | Louise Stokes

    Blog post sourced from:

    Compassion goes wrong when it coddles. Tough compassion calls for extraordinary commitment that stretches people.

    Coddling prevents people from achieving their best.

    Coddling compassion:

    Don’t coddle at the beginning of challenging projects. Never say,

    1. I don’t want to over-work you.
    2. I’m concerned that we won’t make it.
    3. Let me know if this is too much.

    Every escape hatch you open before it’s needed is an excuse for failure.

    Coddling compassion invites excuses and mediocrity. The hidden message of coddling is the mission isn’t worth your sweat. Never provide excuses for mediocrity before you reach for exceptional.

    Tough compassion:

    “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Elliot

    Tough compassion says:

    1. I believe in you.
    2. Our mission is worth commitment and sacrifice.
    3. I’m with you all the way.
    4. We can do this.

    Tough compassion:

    1. Stretches people and walks beside them at the same time.
    2. Protects people while they give their best, not before.
    3. Monitors the well-being of teams and takes action when things begin to go dark.
    4. Models the pursuit of excellence.
    5. Expects more of itself than it expects of others.
    6. Invites people to struggle and sweat because its worth it.
    7. Acknowledges challenge and difficulty but believes teams can step up.

    The most important aspect of tough compassion is monitoring the team as they work. Step in when shoulders droop and frustration persists.

    People never know how far they can reach until they reach for something that’s out of reach. Coddling suggests people can’t do it before they try.

    Warning: Constant pressure eventually defeats. Time off and fun energize teams to bring their best.

    Tip: Celebrate wins!

    Failure to celebrate devalues success.

    How can leaders walk the line between stretching people and pushing too far?
  • 17 Jun 2014 11:59 AM | Louise Stokes

    Blog post sourced from:

    One of the reasons I think so many organizations are stuck is that they have too much of management set on auto-pilot. There are too many things that we do in managing our organizations that are done automatically, without thinking, and without questioning. Think staff meetings, how we use email, much of Human Resources, the design of our office space, etc.

    I understand whey they are on auto-pilot: it reduces the complexity that we face. When we can take some things away from our immediate attention, it frees us up to deal with the other complexities that feel more pressing. And since those other things have seem to have been well for a while, we’re happy to put them on the back burner (to change metaphors) so we can focus on strategy, or social media, or those dang Millennials.

    But here’s the problem. While those things sit on the back burner, the world continues to change. What was once useful can easily become not useful, and things we THOUGHT were useful can be discovered to be quite problematic once we learn more about how things work. So the trick is to know when we need to pull some of those things off the back burner and work on them.

    Take “meetings,” for example. There’s a nice post on HBR that documents some of the huge waste of time and resources that are put into internal meetings in every organization. It also shares some research: that for every person above 7 that attends a meeting, the chances of being able to make a “good, quick, and executable decision” goes down by 10 percent. Once you’re beyond 17 people, the chances drop to zero. Now not every meeting needs to be about those kinds of decisions, but still, do we think about this when we convene meetings? Or do we convene them because that’s how we’ve always done it.

    If you’re not continuously bringing some things off that back burner and reinventing them, then you’re setting yourself up for a slow decline.
  • 27 May 2014 12:35 PM | Louise Stokes
    With sustainability and future-proofing high on the agenda for many Not for Profit executives, CBB's third Community ExecNet will explore mergers, collaborations and partnerships that are already happening in the sector, as well as practical tips on how these avenues could be explored for your Not for Profit.

    When: Thursday 18th June 2014 from 7:00am – 9:30am
    Where: Rob Roy Hotel, Halifax St, Adelaide Cost: $45*+GST perhead
    Cost: $45*+GST per head – including a hot breakfast

    *$5 from each ticket will be donated to St Raphael’s Aged Care and matched by CBB’s Community Development Fund.

    To register please click here:
  • 27 May 2014 10:54 AM | Louise Stokes
    Hart Square appoints a Commercial Director in Australia to provide a truly independent offering exclusively for the NFP sector in the CRM, business process reform and digital marketing space!

    Hart Square are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mick Clarke as their new Commercial Director for Australia. Mick is already well known in the NFP sector and has been working closely with AuSAE members and staff for the past few years. This new role will allow him to offer independent services and objective advice for the first time.

    Hart Square needed a seasoned professional with a passion and focus for the NFP sector to head up their Australian arm and drive the business forward. Mick provides this and so much more with his knowledge of the sector, together with his passion to drive success for NFP organisations Australia wide.

    Mick has expressed his delight and excitement as he beds into the new role, speaking in London where Mick met the Hart Square UK team and introduced his unique style and character, ‘I am delighted to be working with Hart Square for several reasons, not least for the ability to continue to work in this sector, but to offer truly independent services to NFP’s in both Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, I am not focused on products, but instead concentrating on delivering solutions that improve the business processes of NFP’s via a wide range of services’.

    Mick also brings a wealth of experience in the digital space with him to Hart Square and this will support new service offerings in both Australia and the UK over time. These services will include Digital/Social Strategies, Content Marketing, Online Presence and more.

    Mick has over 15 years’ experience in the online marketing space and is happy to impart some of this knowledge to improve your online presence.

    In Brief:
    • Experienced Industry professional
    • Passionate about the sector and its challenges
    • Truly independent and objective service offering
    • Solutions focused
    • Offer true value to all areas of the sector
    About Hart Square

    Hart Square is an independent specialist in providing CRM & CMS vendor selection services, Business process reforms, change management and solution based digital strategies for charities and not-for-profit (NFP) and membership organisations. We have worked exclusively in these sectors for over 20 years, so we really understand them – in fact, each of our dedicated team of experts comes from an NFP or membership organisation background.

    Hart Square has expanded into Australia to extend the range of services that have been offered in the UK and is the only truly independent provider of these services in the NFP sector. We are proud to be AuSAE annual partners and we see this as a long term relationship as we have deep seated knowledge and passion for this sector.

    Media Contact:
    Mick Clarke, Commercial Director, 0406 175 300
    10/50 Market Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
  • 23 May 2014 4:45 PM | Louise Stokes
    Tourism New Zealand together with Inland Revenue invites you to attend a seminar to understand the changes to the New Zealand GST Act and how you may benefit when holding your next event in New Zealand. Refreshments will be served 30 minutes prior to the start time.


    Tuesday 03 June
    Stamford Plaza Brisbane
    Cnr Edward Street & Margaret Street
    10.30am - 12.30pm

    Wednesday 04 June
    Stamford Plaza Melbourne
    111 Little Collins Street
    9.00am - 11.00am

    Wednesday 04 June
    Stamford Plaza Melbourne
    111 Little Collins Street
    1.00pm - 3.00pm

    Thursday 05 June
    Sydney Sir Stamford at Circular Quay
    93 Macquarie Street
    9.00am - 11.00am

    Thursday 05 June
    Sydney Sir Stamford at Circular Quay
    93 Macquarie Street
    1.00pm - 3.00pm

  • 19 May 2014 4:29 PM | Louise Stokes
    nib foundation is encouraging community organisations with innovative health and wellbeing initiatives to apply for funding of up to $50,000 as part of its 2014 Community Grant round.

    Applications will be open from 2 June – 27 June 2014 for the sixth annual community grant round which aims to foster improved health outcomes in local communities across Australia. More information on eligibility, assessment criteria and application process at
  • 19 May 2014 11:53 AM | Louise Stokes
    Date: Wednesday, 18 June 2014 
    Time: 10am - 11am (NSW time)
    Where: Online - join via your computer!
    Presenter: Brenda Mainland of Survey Matters & Ivan Schwartz of ConferNet
    Cost: Free!

    Click here to register  

    About the session

    There is no doubt that these are challenging times for associations. Not only do you have to keep your volunteer board and your Boomer members happy, but the increasing take up of various social media platforms means you also need to think about how you attract, engage and retain your (social media savvy) younger members.

    Recent research by Survey Matters (the Associations Matter Study) revealed that many members are tuning into, or actively using, social media to keep up with information, trends, and news about their profession - 88% reported using internet searches for information about their field of expertise, 31% use webinars or podcasts and 17% are already part of a private social network.

    The proliferation of online news and best practice information is shining a spotlight on the value proposition of associations. Members want tangible value from their membership, and in this “internet era” weekly or monthly e-newsletters, some professional development events and an annual conference are simply not enough.

    So, with your members increasingly “going social” how do you remain relevant to them?

    The good news is there are ways to achieve this, and to create better value for them as well. But firstly, you need to know your members:

    • who they are...
    • why they belong...
    • what they value...
    • how they want to interact...
    Once you have this information you are able to craft your strategies to meet their (different) requirements. Invariably, this will mean identifying how they want to communicate. Email is the method they overwhelming prefer right now, but email is one to one interaction. We think the next step for associations is in creating an interface by which members can communicate and discuss in like-minded groups. In the words of one member:

    “What is lacking is a truly progressive interaction within the profession of many to many - there is not good dialogue and engagement on this level which is the way of the future. This dialogue needs to be happening all the time and be instant” (Associations Matter Study, Member aged 30-45)

    Private online communities can provide this platform. And they have become a very popular way of providing that “many-to-many” interaction between people who share common interests. They allow members to actively participate in discussions, network with their peers and share information and knowledge. Private online communities provide the means to create tangible value for your members, which delivers higher engagement levels and increased retention.

    To learn more about understanding your members, private online communities and “going social”, register today to take part in our FREE webinar to be held on Wednesday 18th June at 10am EST.
  • 15 May 2014 2:29 PM | Louise Stokes
    Before agreeing to become a director or committee member of a not-for-profit board or committee, you should do your homework. This involves understanding what the organisation is about, and whether or not you will be able to work with the organisation and make a valuable contribution.
    To assist you in this exercise, Mills Oakley has prepared a Due Diligence checklist for new directors/committee members. To see the checklist, please click here.

    If you have any questions about the checklist or any other legal issue, please do not hesitate to contact Vera Visevic on (02) 8289 5812 or
  • 15 May 2014 12:05 PM | Louise Stokes
    This year’s approach to the Budget has seen the new Coalition Government pull very tightly on the fiscal reins against a backdrop of hard choices and even harder decisions. The Government says it has acted to ensure it is not hobbled by galloping domestic debt and an economy that has been up and down like a rodeo ride.

    Despite many of the Budget’s key measures being released prior to Budget - which may have softened the blow to the public - BDO considers that while there will be some pain, the impact will not necessarily be the hard whipping previously imagined. However, there will be a number of issues that both business and individuals will need to face as we focus ‘less on consumption and more on investment’.

    There are a number of key issues from this year’s Federal Budget including:
    • Increases in the tax rates applying to high income individuals and fringe benefits
    • A reduction in the corporate tax rate for smaller companies, but a non-creditable levy on larger companies that will increase the tax paid by all shareholders
    • A reduction in the value of the R&D tax incentive
    • Significant reductions in welfare programs and an increase in the cost of higher education for most students.
    The budget measures continue to tinker around the edges of real tax reform. BDO has persistently called for holistic tax reform to be debated and then implemented. It is to be hoped that real reform will come out of the proposed White Paper process later this year. In that process, BDO encourages the Government to seriously consider remedies previously identified, including a review of the GST, to ensure sustainability of the economy and stability in taxation policy into the future.

    Just as it is not easy to break in a wild horse, repairing the budget was never going to be an easy task. Only time will tell if the impact from the 2014 Federal Budget will reduce the economy to a slow trot, or ease it in to a comfortable canter.

    “….there will be a number of issues that both business and individuals will need to face as we focus ‘less on consumption and more on investment’. ”

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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