Associations exist in each state to promote various trades, industries, businesses, and professions. There are more than 25,000 national associations and more than 65,000 local, state, or regional associations in the U.S., which employ over 500,000 individuals. While some associations are large and have full-time staff and funding, many are small and run by volunteers. Often, associations turn to third parties for association management because of the potentially complicated and time-consuming day-to-day operations.
There are several essential things to consider regarding the operation of an association:
- Association Executive: Does the association have top-level leadership overseeing its day-to-day operations?
- Administrative Support: Does the association have the funds to hire employees to handle day-to-day operations to assist its leadership?
- Membership: How does the association maintain positive member relations? How is the association communicating with members, and how often does it hold meetings for membership?
- Advocacy: Does the association have a government affairs plan for current legislative sessions? Can the association track legislation affecting its members?
- Marketing and Communication: How does the association market itself, including its mission, accomplishments, and goals? Does the association have monthly or quarterly newsletters? An annual event?
- Financials: Does the association have a structure in place to handle financial transactions, including dues payments, event and conference fees, etc.?
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