1 Outsourcig Toolkit a special advertisig supplemet to the SEPTEMBER 2009 issue of Associatios ow published by asae & the ceter for associatio leadership
3 2009 Outsourcig Toolkit What s the best way to maage your associatio s products, programs, ad services? Is your staff s time beig put to its best ad most missio-cetered use, or are there areas where a outside parter could help you leverage time ad resources? If you ve ever asked yourself these questios, you ll fid isights ad guidace from 12 iovative compaies i our 2009 Outsourcig Toolkit. Tap ito their expertise by readig these articles: Outsourcig A Iovative Approach to Reducig Costs i a Dow Ecoomy Iovatios i Fiacial Reportig Treds i IT Outsourcig Real-World Advice o Buildig Bleded Teams Liste, Tell, Coect, ad Move Should Your Orgaizatio Outsource Accoutig? Webifyig Your Orgaizatio Hidde Treasures of Associatio Maagemet Outsourcig Outsourcig Helps You Build a Stroger Associatio The ABCs of Outsourcig Grow Your Associatio Globally The Great Migratio: From Software to Service This toolkit is desiged as a takeaway. File it close at had for the ext time you eed outsourcig advice. Associatios Now Supplemet September
4 Outsourcig A Iovative Approach to Reducig Costs i a Dow Ecoomy By Aa M. Hofmeister, CPA As the ecoomy has take a major dowtur i the past year, a sigificat umber of members ad cotributors are elimiatig or deferrig discretioary spedig such as memberships, travel, ad givig. As a result, may oprofit orgaizatios have see as much as a 25 percet reductio i reveues. Faced with icreasig pressure to cut costs, oprofit leaders must fid ew ways of creatig cost efficiecies while also providig for the log-term sustaiability of the orgaizatio. Doe properly, outsourcig some or all of the fiace fuctio ca result i sigificat efficiecies while icreasig the accuracy ad usefuless of fiacial iformatio. Cost savigs ad efficiecies. Outsourcig of fiace ad accoutig fuctios ca be a itegral part of your orgaizatio s strategy to cut costs ad improve efficiecy. Outsourcig professioals employ the latest techologies ad ca recommed procedures ad processes based o best practices adopted by hudreds of similar orgaizatios, ofte resultig i sigificat cost savigs due to greater efficiecies. Access to greater expertise. May fiace departmets simply do ot have the breadth of experiece or kowledge to implemet process improvemets. Outsourcig accoutig ad fiacial fuctios to competet professioals that specialize i oprofit fiacial operatios ca offer a rage of additioal beefits such as access to high-level fiacial expertise ad leadig practices. At a time whe every dollar couts, oprofit leaders must have cofidece i the orgaizatio s fiacial iformatio to make better iformed decisios. Improved timeliess ad quality of fiacial iformatio. May orgaizatios do ot receive timely or accurate fiacial iformatio, which impedes maagemet s ability to make timely decisios ad ca result i sigificat losses to the orgaizatio. After outsourcig, fiacial iformatio is timely, accurate, ad more meaigful. Furthermore, there are o major surprises durig the year ad the idepedet audit is completed faster, resultig i few, if ay, adjustmets, with o sigificat maagemet letter commets. The outsourcig team sets up the fiacial statemets based o their experiece with multiple orgaizatios ad their discussios with maagemet to determie what iformatio is meaigful to them. Icreased focus o the orgaizatio's core competecies. As a result of outsourcig, maagers do ot eed to worry about keepig separate spreadsheets or providig eedless iformatio, thus allowig them to focus o 2 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
5 what they were hired to do, which is to take care of their costituets. I additio to the cost savigs achieved i the fiace fuctio, a orgaizatio achieves sigificat gais by allowig its ofiace ad accoutig persoel to focus o highest ad best-use activities (such as fudraisig ad program services) that allow for the cotiuity of missio critical agedas. Better iteral cotrols. I tough ecoomic times, oprofits face plety of challeges, ad most employees rise to the occasio. But as fiacial pressures icrease, some will exercise poor judgmet. With staff reductios, fewer resources are devoted to iteral cotrols, ad that ca icrease the risk of fraud. The outsourcig firm takes a outside look at balacig operatioal efficiecy ad iteral cotrols. While clearly part of your team, they are boud by professioal stadards as practicig CPAs. This is a reassurig feature of outsourcig. If you work with a orgaizatio i eed of reducig its ifrastructure costs, I ecourage you to seriously cosider this cost-savig opportuity. If you are fortuate eough to work with a orgaizatio that is ot beig seriously affected by the ecoomy, you should still cosider this opportuity, as it's cosidered a leadig practice, somethig we all should implemet as our boards expect it. Aa M. Hofmeister, CPA Compay Bio Tate & Tryo is public accoutig firm that specializes exclusively i oprofit orgaizatios. Our accoutig professioals have extesive experiece ruig efficiet ad effective oprofit accoutig/fiace departmets. Our services iclude CFO ad cotrollership services, moth-ed close, fiacial statemet preparatio ad aalysis, budgetig, year-ed projectios, cash flow aalysis, grat reportig, tax retur preparatio, facilitatio of the aual audit, accoutig records review ad cleaup, ad accoutig software coversio ad maiteace. We also provide maagemet advisory services to help oprofit orgaizatios develop ad implemet strategies for improvig the efficiecy ad relevacy of their busiess, fiacial accoutig, ad techology processes. Cotact: Aa M. Hofmeister, CPA, Parter, Outsourced Accoutig Services Tate & Tryo th St., NW, 9th Floor Washigto, DC Phoe: Associatios Now Supplemet September
6 Iovatios i Fiacial Reportig By Joh G. Wooldridge, CPA Most associatios struggle with presetig meaigful fiacial iformatio to their boards or members. Key questios ofte arise, such as: How much iformatio should I preset? What level of detail should I iclude i the reports? How do we compare to other similar associatios? Will stakeholders be able to effectively iterpret the reports? Below are some iovative tools ad approaches that should help improve the quality of your orgaizatio s fiacial reportig. Dashboard Reportig If you wat to sigificatly ehace the ability of your leadership to iterpret fiacial iformatio, the dashboard reports are a great tool. Dashboard reports are desiged to summarize key performace idicators (KPIs) i a easy to read ad ofte graphical format. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousad words is certaily true whe it comes to the presetatio of fiacial iformatio. Most associatio leaders or stakeholders do ot have a fiacial backgroud. Therefore, it is very helpful to preset iformatio i a meaigful ad cocise maer usig charts ad graphs. If your associatio has historically preseted page after page of fiacial reports to your leadership, it is likely that this iformatio has bee largely igored or misuderstood. Dashboard reports ca effectively preset fiacial iformatio, as they are desiged to cosolidate iformatio i a summarized, meaigful format. Key Performace Idicators Key performace idicators are the fiacial or other idicators that your associatio determies are the most critical to closely aalyze o a periodic basis. Each associatio s KPIs will vary depedig o the orgaizatio s characteristics. Idetifyig the fiacial KPIs for your associatio will sigificatly help improve focus i the area of fiace. The process of determiig what KPIs to moitor is similar to settig the strategy or goals of your orgaizatio. We recommed that your associatio try to develop a top-10 list of key fiacial idicators. This will aid the associatio i keepig its focus arrowed dow to the most importat items. Some KPIs your associatio may fid useful are et assets or reserves as a percet of expese, membership dues reveue as a percet of total reveue, program service expeses as a percet of total expeses, ad et icome or profitability measures. Bechmarkig It is always helpful to measure or bechmark your associatio agaist other similar orgaizatios. This will allow maagemet to compare your associatio s results agaist key competitors or the marketplace i geeral. We recommed that bechmarkig be doe usig KPIs. However, the bech- 4 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
7 markig should also iclude a compariso of some more basic fiacial iformatio such as total reveue, total umber of members, reveue growth, total reserves, ad reveue by source. Bechmarkig will assist the leadership i aalyzig idustry treds, which should allow for better overall decisio makig o a strategic level. Give the difficulty of aalyzig treds o a mothly basis, we typically suggest that high-level or orgaizatioal bechmarkig be doe o a quarterly or aual basis. Adaptive Budgetig As the speed of chage icreases i society, it is more critical tha ever for your associatio to be able to accurately forecast fiacial results based o ew circumstaces. Your associatio will eed to have a system i place to allow it to ru various what if scearios. This ca be accomplished usig spreadsheet software or other programs. Also, a recet tred has developed whereby associatios are usig sophisticated iteret-based software to hadle forecastig. The use of web-based tools is becomig icreasigly the orm, as it is ofte quicker ad more cost-effective to utilize these platforms. I today s ecoomic climate, it is more importat tha ever that maagemet evaluate timely, easy to uderstad reports i order to make effective ad quick decisios. The tools outlied above should help your associatio make better fiacial decisios. Joh G. Wooldridge, CPA Compay Bio LarsoAlle is a leader i assurace ad accoutig, cosultig, tax, ad outsourcig throughout the coutry. We serve more tha 2,500 oprofit ad govermet etities atiowide. We also uderstad the uique challeges of buildig a flexible, sustaiable orgaizatio i today s marketplace. You live to meet your missio. Each part of your orgaizatio must be able to adapt to the eeds of your costituets, but also resiliet, i order to be successful i a chagig eviromet. With the right support, the potetial exists for your orgaizatio to move i ew, uimagied directios. Servig you is our missio. Cotact: Joh G. Wooldridge, CPA, Pricipal, Outsourcig LarsoAlle CPAs, Cosultats, ad Advisors 2900 South Quicy Street, Suite 150 Arligto, VA Phoe: Fax: Associatios Now Supplemet September
8 Treds i IT Outsourcig By Cort M. Kae As the ecoomic dowtur persists ad pressure to reduce budgets itesifies, outsourcig cotiues as a prime topic amog associatio executives ad IT professioals. It has bee both lauded i the IT commuity for creatig real efficiecies ad cost savigs, ad criticized as hard to maage ad more expesive tha hirig additioal staff. So how does this shake out for the associatio commuity? Outsourcig all or part of a associatio s geeral IT fuctios still raks umber oe for IT outsourcig, alog with the move to data ceters ad the adoptio of ew backup ad disaster recovery systems. While i the past year we have see a growig tred i associatios outsourcig all of their IT fuctios, may still view outsourcig as a adjuct to their i-house IT staff. We have oticed a growig umber of associatios reducig or elimiatig IT staff ad adoptig the cocept of outsourced maaged services support plas to meet this budget challege. The adoptio of a maaged service eviromet equates to real efficiecies, improved customer satisfactio, ad cost reductios. Maaged services is a eterprise ed-to-ed solutio to fully maage your IT operatios i a way that is fiacially out of reach of most orgaizatios. It icludes ulimited helpdesk support to staff durig ormal busiess hours for desktop ad applicatio questios, ad costat remote maagemet ad moitorig of servers, desktops, ad the core ifrastructure. I short, maaged services ca be broadly defied as trasferrig day-to-day admiistratio of your distributed computer systems as a strategic method for improved, effective, ad efficiet IT operatios. The developmet of very effective remote support tools have revolutioized remote helpdesk support, elimiatig cocers by ed users that it is ecessary to provide support oeo-oe at their physical workstatio. Robust remote tools eable a helpdesk operator to rapidly resolve complex ad missio critical support icidets ad hadle icreasig call volume remotely, icreasig staff satisfactio with IT problem solvig. Aother compoet of maaged services is remote moitorig ad maagemet of servers 24 hours a day, all year. I today s associatio eviromet of o-demad computig by members ad staff, server availability has become missio-critical ad expected by your users. The oly way to guaratee 99.9 percet uptime is to moitor ad proactively maage the server eviromet. Most maaged-service providers offer a host of other services, ad decidig whether your servers should be premises based or housed i a secure data ceter has bee a hot topic i the last year. Data ceters provide icreased security ad redudacies i such thigs as power, coolig, ad 6 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
9 iteret coectivity that would be costly to try ad duplicate o your premises. Movig your computers to a secure data ceter offers ot oly the redudacy of your systems (traslatig to higher availability of systems), but easier maagemet. The ewest tred here is to move to a cloud computig server eviromet, where your server applicatios are hosted o a service provider s hardware eviromet usig virtualizatio techology. This solutio has tremedous redudacy ad high availability of applicatios. Ad best yet, you will ever buy or maage aother server. Outsourcig backup ad disaster recovery has grow tremedously i the past year. Solutios which utilize etwork-attached storage devices i cojuctio with virtualizatio techology allow for disk-to-disk backup of server eviromets, backup to offsite data ceters, ad the ability to act as stadby servers i the evet of a failure as well as quick, baremetal restores. This powerful ew techology provides real disaster recovery plaig ad is available at reasoable pricig models. Cort M. Kae Compay Bio desigdata has bee providig associatios with a exclusive combiatio of idepedet cosultig ad etwork support services sice Our techology ad maagemet cosultig services iclude existig systems evaluatio, IT strategic plaig, security audits, disaster recovery plaig, systems selectio, cotract egotiatio, implemetatio maagemet, web strategies, staffig aalysis, ad busiess process re-egieerig. Our full-service IT outsourcig divisio provides etwork desig, system cofiguratio, ed-to-ed outsourced etwork maagemet ad moitorig, helpdesk, CIO/CTO, security ad mobility plaig, ad istallatio ad idepedet IT assessmets. Our data ceter offers cloud computig optios as well as colocatio services. We make IT easy. Cotact: Cort M. Kae, COO Craig Leopard, VP Sales & Marketig desigdata 7606 Lidbergh Drive Gaithersburg, MD Phoe: Fax: Associatios Now Supplemet September
10 Real-World Advice o Buildig Bleded Teams By Jaeé Pelletier, MBA, CMP Associatio executives hire cosultats for may reasos, ad outsourcig ca quickly fill temporary gaps whe staff resources are at a premium. However, more ad more orgaizatios are egagig cosultig firms as log-term parters. There are firms that will go beyod the basics ad support your associatio i a true partership, but selectig good parters requires careful plaig. The followig are real-life lessos from three associatio executives who egaged a cosultig firm to help them durig a period of trasitio. Roadmap your eeds. Ambitious plas ofte require big chage. Oce you have decided to outsource, preparig a detailed roadmap will help parters uderstad where you wat to go. To esure quality resposes, Diae Darrow, trasitio maagemet specialist ad former executive director of the Natioal Associatio of Retail Collectio Attoreys, recommeds that leaders be hoest i the RFP process take some time to uderstad ad represet the busiess so prospective cotractors kow what they are dealig with. Julie Coos, presidet ad CEO of the Arligto-based Electroic Retailig Associatio, was lookig for a parter firm with the right perspective ad experiece to tur aroud a coferece ad tradeshow i declie. To fully support her eeds, Coos wated a parter who has the experiece, ca ad will take decisive actio, ad will stay i commuicatio with you about progress, challeges, ad solutios. Liberate the staff. Outsourcig allows staff to focus o other priorities without compromisig quality of service. For Collee Eubaks, CAE, executive director of the Natioal Child Support Eforcemet Associatio, it just made fiacial sese to outsource the meetig plaig fuctio. It freed up staff ad maagemet resources to really focus o the missio of the orgaizatio ad try to better serve the members i other aspects. Cosultats ca also supplemet your staff durig trasitio periods whe the workload might otherwise be overwhelmig. Because cosultats are experieced at jumpig i durig periods of crisis, they ca get a project off the groud quickly whe time is of the essece. Icrease credibility. Because cosultats work across a variety of idustries, they stay abreast of the latest iovatios, techologies, ad challeges ad brig that kowledge to your orgaizatio. Darrow otes that a outside firm ofte offers professioals with sigificatly more experiece ad credibility. A top-otch professioal will carry more weight with your stakeholders, particularly o a thory topic. Beware, however, that cosultat is ot ecessarily syoymous 8 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
11 with respected. It is critical to trust ad have a ope, hoest relatioship with the parter firm, cautios Eubaks. The hospitality idustry is so small ad collegial especially i the oprofit/associatio market ad meetigs affect a associatio s reputatio with its members ad corporate parters. To esure that a firm coducts busiess i a forthright ad ethical maer, Eubaks recommeds requestig idustry or peer refereces to demostrate a cadidate s reputatio withi their commuity. Trust your isticts. Whe it comes dow to it, the decisio is about more tha just a cosultat s ability to complete the work; chemistry ad commitmet are perhaps eve more importat. Coos says you have to trust your isticts. You evaluate the questios they ask. You evaluate if the parter has respoded to your cocers i their proposal. You evaluate the reportig tools ad timelies they outlie. But for all the data you receive ad use i makig your decisio, you must trust your gut i believig that you have established a rapport ad cofidece i your parter such that they will go the extra mile for you. Jaeé Pelletier, MBA, CMP Compay Bio Coferece & Logistics Cosultats, Ic., is a full-service coferece maagemet ad cosultig firm specializig i associatio meetigs sice Named as oe of the DC area s top evet plaers for the last 12 years, we are kow for our customer chemistry, commitmet, ad cofidece. Our full meu of services icludes executive level plaig ad timelies, strategic meetig developmet, trasitio plaig, site selectio ad egotiatios, logistics, exhibits ad sposorship, marketig, registratio, budget developmet ad maagemet, sessio submissio ad program developmet, ad speaker coordiatio. From cocept to culmiatio, Coferece & Logistics Cosultats, Ic., ca take you there. Your successful meetig plaig starts here. Cotact: Jaeé Pelletier, MBA, CMP Vice Presidet Coferece & Logistics Cosultats, Ic. 31 Old Solomos Islad Road Aapolis, MD Phoe: Fax: Blog: Associatios Now Supplemet September
12 Liste, Tell, Coect, ad Move By Sadia Mir Effectively leveragig the web is a key challege facig today s associatios. Liste, Tell, Coect & Move presets a simple framework to guide a associatio s olie strategy that will yield outstadig results. Liste You already kow how importat it is to liste to your members. By leveragig low-cost tools, you ca effectively liste usig: Web aalytics. Track what site visitors are doig o your site. Google Aalytics ca idetify top cotet, search terms, ad visitor demographics. Aalytics ca report the coversio success of marketig campaigs such as membership reewal appeals ad aual coferece registratios. The secret? Web metrics are discrete so you ca track, tweak, compare, ad improve your website s performace over time. Social media listeig. Whether you like it or ot, people are probably talkig about you somewhere o the web. With the social web here to stay, moitorig these coversatios where they occur will yield valuable isights. Use a tool like TweetSca to moitor what people are tweetig about you ad Techorati to see what they are sayig about you i the blogosphere. User feedback. Kow how members experiece your site. Osite satisfactio surveys provide a low-cost ad immediate referece poit to idetify key eeds ad measure improvemet. Oe-o-oe iterviews ad usability evaluatios provide cadid feedback regardig member eeds ad perceptios of your olie offerigs. Tell While tellig has bee the traditioal role of sites for years, associatios have bee reluctat to place cotet outside of member-oly areas. While memberoly cotet is still a viable strategy, the availability of similar cotet elsewhere o the web will likely erode its role as a key driver of membership value. Providig access to coect with other members will likely be a stroger value propositio i the log ru. As you rethik what iformatio ca be shared i a ope forum, cosider ehacig how you tell by usig RSS feeds, blogs, or podcasts to deliver cotet. Allow users to defie the push or pull of cotet through subscriptios based o their eeds. Haress the power of text messagig to provide critical updates to your membership. Cosider how you ca share cotet o other sites your members visit. Post highlights of your aual coferece o YouTube or make importat aoucemets through Twitter rather tha a ewsletter. Facebook is a great awareess-buildig tool. You ultimately wat to drive users back to your site. Havig cotet outside of your ow site will help icrease the recogitio of your brad, reiforce messagig, ad evetually yield ew members. 10 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
13 Coect Coectig with other like-mided idividuals is a key reaso members joi ad reew each year. Thik critically about olie commuity buildig based o your member demographics. Discussio forums, user-geerated cotet, cotet ratig ad commets, user blogs, kowledge sharig through wikis, expaded user profiles, ad photo sharig all create value through ad-hoc etwork developmet. Cosider how you ca tap ito orgaic iterest groups that exist o sites such as LikedI ad Facebook. Rather tha igore exteral sites, cultivate a relatioship ad use these chaels to market your evets ad products. Move Are your goals legislative advocacy? Icreased member recruitmet? Higher evet attedace? Doatios for special projects? While listed last, your strategies to Liste, Talk, ad Coect should all emaate from your Move goals. As Stephe Covey states, Begi with the ed i mid. Followig this framework will help you develop a successful olie strategy tailored to your eeds. Start small with each facet, measure improvemet, ad expad as your resources allow. Your members ad board will thak you. Sadia Mir Compay Bio TerpSys helps you use techology. Our taleted staff creates solutios that help orgaizatios cure cacer, eradicate illiteracy, reduce poverty through the power of eterprise, ad eable workforce mobility, just to metio a few of our efforts. We deliver web-based solutios to a wide variety of associatios, charities, ad foudatios both i the Washigto, DC, area ad across the coutry. We are a trusted IT solutios provider, helpig our cliets avigate the complex world of techology ad assistig them i applyig techology to produce exceptioal results. Let us help your associatio with your eeds i website desig/developmet, AMS-web itegratio, custom applicatio developmet, SharePoit, iteractive desig, ed-user support, ad etwork services. Cotact: Matt Crudello, Director, Web Solutios TerpSys 1201 Seve Locks Road, Suite 300 Rockville, MD Phoe: x Associatios Now Supplemet September
14 Should Your Orgaizatio Outsource Accoutig? By Mike Buzas Outsourcig is ot a ew cocept. Eve the Romas practiced outsourcig. They solved their chroic labor shortage by hirig mercearies to defed their far flug ad expadig empire. Outsourcig is ot ew for associatios, either. For years, associatios have trasferred routie projects such as fudraisig, membership, ad publishig to specialized third party firms. A recet tred has see more associatios ad oprofits outsourcig their accoutig processes as well. Why this growig tred? Sometimes it s a crisis that moves a associatio to cosider outsourcig its accoutig fuctio. Botched or delayed fiacial statemets, turover i the accoutig departmet, a bad audit report, or suspected fraud ay of these circumstaces ca wreak havoc ad cause a associatio to cosider outsourcig. Outsourcig the accoutig fuctio does t have to be a actio drive by crises. I fact, outsourcig ofte is a soud busiess strategy. It eables associatio executives to focus o what they do best providig services to their members ad accoutability to their boards. Especially i small or midsized associatios, which ofte require staff to work across differet fuctios, accoutig ca be doe more competetly ad cost-effectively by outside, traied professioals. Whe Is Outsourced Accoutig a Smart Busiess Strategy? Outsourcig is more tha a preferece for havig someoe else perform your detailed, routie tasks. It s more tha savig moey ad cuttig operatig costs. It s a strategic busiess tool that ca geerate broad busiess beefits. A survey coducted by Acceture foud that rewards from outsourcig are ot frotloaded i cost savigs durig the first year oly to declie over time. Outsourcig actually helped compaies perform better, ad performace ad satisfactio with outsourcig icreased over the log term. So, whe should a associatio outsource? Whe accoutig eeds to be doe better, faster, ad cheaper tha ihouse staff resources ca do it. Simply stated, accoutig trasactios have to be doe correctly, ad withi certai time costraits, all the time. Havig a outsourced team dedicated solely to your accoutig fuctios rather tha a i-house staff that may have As associatios cotiue to require leaer budgets, some have foud that outsourcig certai fuctios is a good way to keep quality up ad costs dow. 12 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
15 several competig duties icreases the likelihood that your accoutig will be doe cosistetly, accurately, ad efficietly. Whe the associatio eeds to streamlie its computer hardware ad software resources. Techology cetric outsourced accoutig firms eable associatios to better cotrol their capital expeditures ad operatig costs. They ca provide a excellet, low-cost opportuity to coect you with your secured data from aywhere at ay time. This saves your associatio valuable budget dollars while avoidig expesive upgrades ad hardware chages that ca disrupt or threate your operatios. Whe the associatio eeds iformatio ad guidace from a objective poit of view. The outsourced professioal accoutat with years of experiece ca tell you more tha the umbers. The accoutat ca spot problems affectig your busiess, provide cash maagemet advice, ad help you to aalyze treds ad take corrective actio i a timely maer. The key to determiig if outsourcig is right for your associatio is decidig whether outsourcig, as a busiess strategy, provides ecoomic beefits ad improves accuracy ad timeliess of your curret trasactio processig. The orgaizatio ca the rely o reputable fiacial expertise ad profoud idustry kowledge to deliver quality service, accurately ad more cost effectively tha geeralists or part-time staff. Read full article at Mike Buzas Compay Bio At HB&P, a Washigto, DC, metro area CPA firm, our goal is to free up precious time for our cliets ad atted to their matters because we uderstad that a successful relatioship with our cliets is depedet o their eeds, coveiece, ad satisfactio beig met. May of them have stayed with us for years because they have experieced our deeply held values of trustworthiess, itegrity, ad above all else, commitmet to their success. Our outsourced accoutig services eable a orgaizatio to improve the quality ad sophisticatio of its fiacial reportig, while reducig costs associated with iteral accoutig cotrols ad processes. Cotact: Mike Buzas, Parter ad Practice Director for Maagemet Advisory Services Halt, Buzas & Powell, Ltd. 99 Caal Ceter Plaza, Suite 230 Alexadria, VA Phoe: Associatios Now Supplemet September
16 Webifyig Your Orgaizatio By Jill Kurtz Workig with a web developmet firm ca be a cost-effective way to exted your orgaizatio s resources. Egagig that firm as a full parter, rather tha just as project help, ca brig ew levels of effectiveess to your orgaizatio. You kow your busiess the latest developmets, the eeds ad pai poits of your membership, ad what s o the horizo. Web developers kow the same about web-based techologies. Marry these together ad you are i a solid positio to leverage the web to catapult your orgaizatio to higher levels. Parterig for Success To get the most out of a relatioship with a web firm, set the toe for a ogoig partership. Educate your web parter about your associatio. Articulate your orgaizatio s visio ad goals. Allow the firm to develop a sese of ivestmet i your orgaizatio. Techology impacts every aspect of your associatio. A parter that is egaged at the highest level of the orgaizatio has the opportuity to offer you wide-ragig strategy ad solutios. A web parter will leverage web-based techologies to help you accomplish your goals as well as idetify other ways to improve performace. Where the Web Fits I Your website is a way to share iformatio ad create awareess about the orgaizatio. But it has greater potetial. Web techologies ca support all your orgaizatio s goals. The web ca help you to traslate busiess practices to efficiet olie processes, itegrate isolated techologies, brig best practices to your website, ad more. The followig case studies illustrate some opportuities that webifyig your orgaizatio ca brig. Case study: Streamlie busiess practices. A oprofit with a small staff had a lot to maage: state reportig, attractig ad servig members ad doors, evet plaig, ad trackig lad acquisitio work, just to ame a few. Staff members were trackig the same data i multiple places ad eeded careful commuicatio to coordiate cotacts with costituets. Not a ideal situatio. The orgaizatio reached out to a web compay to fid a better way. CiviCRM, a ope source solutio, was idetified as a viable solutio to streamlie busiess processes. Ay web firm could set it up, but this project wet much deeper. The oprofit partered with the web firm to get the most out of the effort. By explaiig curret processes ad the busiess eeds that drive them, they eabled the web firm to create a customized implemetatio that addressed eeded work flow ad outputs. The orgaizatio ow does the bulk of its work olie. Case study: Itegrate a associatio maagemet system (or ay other 14 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
17 busiess tool). A large trade associatio ivested i a state-of-the-art associatio maagemet system (AMS) to maage relatioships with members ad streamlie iteral processes. The associatio s web parter offered a way to get more out of the ivestmet leverage it o the orgaizatio s website. Through the use of a sigle sig o (SSO) protocol, users ca log i to the website ad see cotet accordig to their roles. They access the AMS to set up ad maitai membership iformatio. Trasactios are recorded i oe place, helpig both members ad associatio staff with olie ad offlie activities. Case study: Optimizatio aroud busiess goals. A small orgaizatio was lookig to geerate awareess i the marketplace ad attract customers. Its website was relatively ew, but it was t geeratig results. The compay foud a web parter to help. The ower shared his busiess pla ad his goals. He briefed the web compay about the busiess model. The web firm evaluated the site ad web metrics ad idetified opportuities for improvemet. Implemetatio happeed over time as part of a ogoig commitmet to targetig ad meetig specific goals. Systematically, the orgaizatio achieved the results it eeded. Jill Kurtz Compay Bio Balace Iteractive, established i 1997, is a well-respected web developmet ad desig cosultacy that excels i meetig associatios goals usig olie techologies ad tactics. Our cliet list icludes a who s who of tradeshows, associatios, ad ecoomic developmet etities. Balace Iteractive has a uique web practice built upo a balaced offerig of strategic advisory ad implemetatio services delivered with ethusiasm, expertise, ad itegrity. Lear more at Cotact: Tracy Betts CEO Balace Iteractive 8136 Old Keee Mill Rd, Ste A-201 Sprigfield, VA Phoe: Fax: Associatios Now Supplemet September
18 Hidde Treasures of Associatio Maagemet Outsourcig By Hak Phillips The case for outsourcig a associatio s maagemet utilizig a associatio maagemet compay (AMC) is ofte made o the basis of cost savigs ad other efficiecies that ca be achieved. Although those cosideratios are both accurate ad importat, they ca leave the impressio that usig a AMC is little more tha the ecoomy pla of associatio maagemet. Ofte overlooked are equally importat, but lesser kow, quality beefits that come with usig a AMC. Let s explore some of these hidde treasures of quality. Residig withi the walls of a multicliet AMC is a wealth of diverse associatio experieces ad expertise. With our compay, a mid-sized AMC, we provide full service maagemet to 11 associatios ad orgaizatios, ad project-based services for may others. That meas that simultaeously we are dealig with dozes of boards, memberships, ad evets dozes of everythig! We are cotiually havig ew experieces, growig, refiig, ad sharig our expertise amog our staff members ad with our cliet associatios. Thik about it this way: We all kow how ivigoratig ad beeficial it is to atted a ASAE & The Ceter coferece or evet where we are able to share issues ad solutios with peers from other associatios. At a AMC we have that experiece a little more frequetly every day. That everyday learig, idea exchage, ad best practices refiemet gets passed right alog to our cliets. Aother treasure of AMC quality revolves aroud specializatio. AMC staffs iclude teams that are specialized i certai fuctioal areas. Meetig plaig, techology, ad data maagemet are a few commo examples. The various cliet associatios the draw from the resources ad expertise of both the core staff ad these specialized teams. With this specialized focus comes quality. Staffig redudacy ad cotiuity are other qualitative beefits that come with outsourcig to a AMC. If a AMC experieces a vacacy i a positio or a exteded leave, that may be a problem for the AMC, but it will ot be oe for the associatio. It is the AMC s resposibility a cotractual obligatio to maitai the agreed upo level of service, irrespective of vacacies. I short, for a associatio maaged by a AMC, a staffig disruptio does ot mea a service iterruptio. A particularly ofte overlooked cosideratio i usig a AMC is accoutability more specifically, added accoutability. Whether a associatio s maagemet is carried out by employees or is outsourced to a AMC, the staff is accoutable to the board of directors. I the case of a associatio that uses a AMC, the board ot oly has the 16 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
19 accoutability of the idividual staff members who support it o a day-today basis, but also has a secod level of accoutability i the form of the maagemet compay. It is iroic that some associatio leaders perceive that there is less accoutability or cotrol whe maagemet is outsourced to a AMC. Exactly the opposite is true. With commo board-staff issues such as commuicatio, adherece to proper roles ad resposibilities, resposiveess to board directio ad policy, ad performace i geeral, the board has recourse to its chief staff perso, but also to the maagemet compay to maitai accoutability ad to resolve issues. Whe a associatio s leadership cotemplates outsourcig its maagemet, the iitial thikig may revolve aroud budgetary cosideratios. By diggig a little deeper, what awaits the associatio is the discovery of a treasure chest of beefits that are all about quality. With the rage ad quality of services available from AMCs, associatios ofte choose to expad their higher-value services, icludig govermet affairs, public relatios, ad issue research, to provide eve greater quality beefits for their members. Joh A. Ruffi, CAE Compay Bio Ruig a associatio is more challegig tha ever, especially i today s fast-movig busiess climate. AMR Maagemet Services parters with associatios to stay o top of emergig treds, stay i touch with members, ad deliver quality services. AMR Maagemet Services is a AMC Istitute charter-accredited compay that ot oly maages associatios, but has the resources, experiece, ad iovatio to tur a associatio s visio ito actio through full-time or project-based outsourced services. The AMR team delivers broad-reachig expertise i all aspects of maagemet to associatios across the atio icludig providig a professioal headquarters office, executive staff leadership, fiacial maagemet, board ad committee support, goverace ad strategic plaig, coferece ad evet maagemet, techology, marketig, ad creative productio services. Cotact: Joh A. Ruffi, CAE, Presidet ad Chief Executive Officer AMR Maagemet Services 201 East Mai Street, #1405 Lexigto, KY Phoe: Fax: Associatios Now Supplemet September
20 Outsourcig Helps You Build A Stroger Associatio By Patrick R. Motgomery Customer-service calls, beefits acquisitio, web desig, member fulfillmet. These are just a few of the resposibilities you juggle as you maage the dayto-day operatios of your associatio. With so may admiistrative ad operatioal duties o your plate, it s difficult to fid time for big-picture activities that deliver a high retur o ivestmet activities such as focusig o your missio ad growig your membership. Outsourcig ca give you the time you eed to do what you do best build a bigger ad better associatio. By delegatig some or all admiistrative fuctios to a associatio maagemet firm, you ca save time ad moey. Ad you ca work with firms that brig taleted professioals to every project. Fuctios That Ca Be Outsourced May associatios ow outsource activities such as call-ceter services ad website desig ad maiteace. But that s just a start. Other fuctios that are easily outsourced iclude Pritig member cards ad fulfillig welcome packets for ew members; Sedig ewsletters; Member retetio programs; Compilig, pritig, ad mailig ewsletters to keep members ivolved; Coordiatig ad distributig marketig collateral to attract ew members. All of these services ad more ca be expertly hadled by professioal maagemet compaies that specialize i meetig the admiistrative eeds of your associatio. Outsourcig Will Potetially Save You Moey The possibility to save moey is oe of the most compellig advatages of outsourcig. Associatio maagemet compaies ca access ecoomies of scale that small associatios simply ca t match. That meas you ca save moey o services that rage from pritig ad mailig to cotet maagemet ad member services. By outsourcig, you have the opportuity to reduce the costs of huma resources. Rather tha staffig up to hadle day-to-day operatios, you ca tur those job duties over to a service provider. You ll save moey o payroll, employee beefits ad overhead, yet still retai cotrol over the quality ad timeliess of your projects. You could also save moey by usig a associatio maagemet firm located i a Souther or Midwester city, where labor, productio, ad overhead expeses are lower. That may traslate ito savigs o the cost of doig busiess savigs that ca be passed o to you. Outsourcig Saves You Time For your associatio to thrive, you eed time to cocetrate o your core com- 18 Associatios Now Supplemet September 2009
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