Top 3 Signs Your Association is Mismanaged
When associations falter, often one problem is to blame: mismanagement. Members are interested. Leadership is committed. Still, the organization suffers from a lack of solid management. Is your association one of them? It can be hard to tell when you’re in the thick of day-to-day operations. However, if you don’t pinpoint management challenges and iron them out, you may not be around much longer.
With our decades of experience in association management, FrontlineCo’s seen it all. We’ve seen associations thrive under strong leadership and good management. Sadly, we’ve seen otherwise great organizations close up shop. Why? They couldn’t get their house in order. How about your association–are you in good shape, or do you need to shape up? Check this list for gaps that might need urgent attention.
1. Financial reports are missing, muddled or massive
Association financial reports seem to be the most common problem area. If you were to write down a list of woes, “financial reports” would feature in items 1 through 5. It’s no big surprise–money makes the association world go ‘round, and it’s complicated.
Financial reports are complex, but also crucial. They provide vital information about the health of your group. They can pinpoint problem areas. Read correctly, they can guide you toward your organization’s future success.
To serve as the powerful resource they should be, financial reports should be:
● Delivered regularly. This could be every quarter, twice a year, annually or another interval. Frequency depends on your board’s needs and association size.
● Detailed… A financial report is of little benefit if it doesn’t have the right data in it.
● …but not too detailed. It’s possible for a report to be too bogged down in unnecessary data. When that happens, you miss sight of the big picture.
2. Unclear member communication
Your members are the reason why you do what you do. Too often, the line of communication between an association and its members is broken. They don’t receive industry information, association announcements, event details and other items in a regular, timely fashion.
Don’t leave your members hanging. Make sure your association has a strong informational infrastructure. It should enable you to access member data, send out vital information and provide a centralized source of important data. Your database should tell you who your members are and send out the info they need.
3. Board meetings are dreary and useless
Your regular leadership gatherings are important. These meetings facilitate sharing of current association information and planning for the future. All too often, though, these necessary meetings feel like a waste of time.
The nitty-gritty of your association operations needs to be a part of meetings. It shouldn’t be the only part, though. Is the agenda including discussion of organizational strategy? Are you covering new ground every time? If not, your leadership needs to take a look at your board meetings and restructure to eliminate repetition, and include strategic planning.
Straightening out a mismanaged association is exceedingly difficult. It requires expertise–and you might be too close to your operation to pinpoint the problems. An experienced association management outfit like FrontlineCo can provide the perspective you require–reach out to us for guidance.