Practical Organizational Tips For Winning Association Executives

Whether you’ve been working in association management for years or just starting out, it’s safe to say that busy association executives are always looking for easy, practical ways to better manage the demands of members and employees, and to balance career with family and their busy personal lives.

In today’s electronic age, it may seem that the following tips are outdated; however, tangible tools for staying organized will never go out of style, especially when you don’t have an Internet connection, there isn’t time to start up your laptop, or you left your iPad in your other briefcase. Considering the unforeseeable, the winning association executive will make it a practice to incorporate the following five tips in managing their local chapter, region, or national association.

TIP #1: Assemble A Three-Ring “Bible” So You Are Always In The Know

This bible is a compilation of your association’s vital information. It’s designed to save you time, make you look good, and keep you organized. It’s also a great backup tool in the event of a down computer or a lost or damaged PDA or other portable electronic device.

To create your bible, you’ll need an attractive three-ring binder that you’ll be comfortable carrying into meetings and conferences, one that suits your exact needs. Consider a one or one-and-a-half inch three-ring organizer with handles.

Next you’ll need a set of extra wide dividers with eight tabs, and preferably those that are sheet protectors as well. These allow the use of the front and back of the dividers to access well referenced documents quickly.

Finally, label your tabs and collect your documents using the following list of idea starters. Depending on your organizational needs, consider inserting the first and second documents listed inside the sheet protector tab.

Tab 1 – Points of Contact (POC)
· List of Board Members with contact information
· List of Committee Chairs and Task Force Leaders
· State Representatives
· Business Card Holder
· A-Z Internal Phone Book

Tab 2 – Calendar
· Master calendar of your Chapter/Region’s events
· Master calendar of National organizations events
· Other calendars or list of deadline dates Acrylic poster holder useful to your organization

Tab 3 – Finance
· Chart of Accounts
· Sheet of pertinent financial information such as Tax ID numbers, year and state of incorporation, bank account information and contacts (but never full account numbers and/or passwords.)
· Current year Profit & Loss and/or Balance Sheet
· Year-end P&L for last few years

Tab 4 – Membership
· Current membership numbers by type
· Current database numbers for mailing and emailing purposes
· Membership criteria and application
· Info on membership process
· Any pertinent materials helpful in answering the question “who should join this organization?”

Tab 5 – Member Services/Benefits
· Membership benefit information, brochures, flyers
· Current Newsletter (copy of electronic as needed)
· Any other pertinent information needed in answering the question “what does your organization do for its members?”

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