Member Resources Add Value to Your Association
What do potential members look for when joining an association? Along with continuing education and networking opportunities, your audience is often seeking specific resources to assist them in their professional development. Associations are in a great position to provide resources that advance the skill set of their members.

Association leadership should assess the current needs of their members, and see if the association can pool their resources and knowledge to address those needs. Agentis has worked with a client to develop a collection of study materials for a new certification course. Members assisted with compiling a study guide book, and a series of recorded webinars that cover the information in each section of the course. Association leadership also assisted in teaching live seminar courses to help prepare their members in taking the certification course.

The project was a win-win for the association. By offering the materials for a fee, revenue was generated for the association. New prospective members accessed the course materials and later became members of the association. And, most importantly, the need for study materials for an important certification exam was fulfilled by the association. This not only serves the needs of the membership, but also increases the recognition of the association as an expert source.

Why Student Membership is Vital to an Association’s Future Success
It’s no secret that students and young professionals are the future of any association. All professional associations must continually attract new recruits in order to cultivate the next generation of leaders.

Increasing student membership in the ranks of your association is a win-win for both the association and the student. For students, the experience provides them with an excellent opportunity to network with professionals in their future field, especially if the association offers a mentoring program. Mentoring provides students with invaluable benefits that they will use throughout their careers. In today’s competitive work environment, networking is imperative to landing a job in your field after graduation. Student members also have access to resources and networking opportunities that can help them as they begin their professional careers. The quality of these resources will ensure that students continue on as full-time members after graduation.

For associations, student membership programs provide early access to future leaders. Also, many associations are dealing with declining membership, and student outreach is a great way to counter this trend. Student members can also assist in identifying needed resources for the association that are desirable for both students and other members.

Why Select an Accredited Association Management Company (AMC)?
An accredited AMC must prove through an independent audit that it meets or exceeds industry standards. The AMC must show that it has defined processes and that systems are in place. In addition, it must show success in areas such as, but not limited to:
  • Client Contracts
  • Financial Management and Internal Control
  • Record Keeping Requirements
Once accredited, the AMC must apply for re-accreditation every four years, demonstrating continued high standards. Why is this important to an association looking for management?

The value to an association in selecting an accredited AMC is having access to full-time experts who are experienced in the not-for-profit and association world, acquainted with best practices, and knowledgeable about shared resources. Accreditation demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing the unique and diverse services that association’s need. It provides documented processes and regularly evaluates service performance in a formalized manner. Finally, the knowledge that a third-party auditor has performed a review of the policies and procedures and ensured that they are applied by the AMC provides peace of mind to clients.

An accredited AMC is a valuable partner and resource for an association and will provide the strongest commitment, highest quality, and best results for the organization.

Home Is Where the Heart Is, or Why You Should Be Meeting with Legislators in District
It has been said “all politics is local”, and even policymakers at the highest levels of government are accountable to their constituents. From United States Senators all the way to a city council member, the most effective advocates often come from their home district. The best legislators take the concerns of their constituents extremely seriously. Those that don’t risk a serious challenge in their next general election, or even a primary.

When asked about the importance of hearing from constituents, Kelsey Cooper, State Communications Director for US Senator Rand Paul, said “Senator Paul and his staff are absolutely committed to ensuring every Kentuckian's voice is heard, whether it’s through in-person meetings, phone calls, letters, or emails. Many of the Kentucky specific issues and legislative action items on which Sen. Paul is currently working were brought to him by folks at his 150 town halls held across the Commonwealth last year or through regular meetings with our field representatives, so it really is important for Kentuckians to contact our office regarding issues affecting them or their communities.”

With this in mind, where better to advocate for your cause then back in the legislator’s home district? While not a replacement for meeting the legislative support staff, who often are more well versed in specific policy than even the member themselves, meeting in district can help to establish a vocal advocate for your cause.

Contacting the office of your member of Congress to set up a “reverse fly-in” during their recess periods is a great way to expose the member to your industry and provide them with valuable background information as issues germane to your field cross their desk. Given the demands of their schedules, it is important to look far ahead when scheduling these appointments. Agentis Management can be a valuable asset in this regard. Leveraging our experience in setting up exactly these kind of events, we can focus on the details while members of your association can concentrate on the issues in question.

When the legislature is in session and members want to raise an issue with their member of Congress, often the most direct route is to speak with a member of their Field staff. Establishing a relationship with members of the field staff is essential to insuring your issues stay top of mind. At the end of the day, your elected representatives are exactly that, your representatives. The skilled legislator engages with constituents and encourages them to contact their offices, and they weigh that input heavily in their decision-making process. Seizing the opportunity afforded to make your issue heard can single handedly make the difference between success and failure.