The NPA is short for "The Non-profit Association"
The NPA's Mission is to be
"The Ultimate Resource for Executives Managing an Association"
The Objectives of The NPA is:
There are more than 25 different types of non-profit associations, and each has a separate classification. There are four (4) non-profit classifications that we interact with - they include:
1) Chambers of Commerce
2) Convention & Visitor Bureaus
3) Economic Development Agencies, and
4) All Other Non-profit Associations, such as:
c. The Red Cross
d. United Way
e. Big Brother
f. The YMCA & YWCA, etc.
Successful Meetings need to be structured. Agendas must be prepared, outlining what will be included in the meeting, what is old business, and what is new business. Information such as dates, times, and location are mandatory. The order of business should be timed, so that meetings begin and end on time. Meetings should be professional, and negativity and cell phones should be left at the door. The board/committee chair should control meetings using Robert's Rules of Order.
Ther answer is there is no perfect number of members to serve on a board of directors. However, it is imperative that the number of board members be an odd number. This assures that a vote will never end in a tie. The number of board members can range from as few as five (5) members to as many as 12 individuals. A rule of thumb might tie the number of board members to the size of the community/membership - the greater community/membership, the more board members serve on a board.
This is a question that should be asked of every board/committee member before they begin serving their term. The answers to this question will assist your future board/committee members with defining what their association is and what it stands for. Having a detailed program of work/business plan will enable board/committee members to pick up the pieces and continue business as usual if something traumatic happens, such as a fired, flood, or other type of catastrophe.
You may have heard the expression "Let George Do It," well the answer to that question depends on how your associations program of work/business plan addresses issues within the community. If the association ceased to exist progress in the community might stop, or even worse it might go backwards. An association/chamber of commerce if the heartbeat of a community and without it nothing happens.
The question should be "What do you want the association/chamber to do for you?" You directly get out of any association/chamber of commerce what you put into it! This is why chambers of commerce/associations have boards of directors, committees, and committee members. Without a strong group of volunteers that wish to see progress, must work collectively to see results. Remember, "There is Strength in Numbers!"
The chamber of commerce/association if the clearinghouse for any community. All things revolve around the chamber/association. From tourists asking for directions, to developers seeking demographic information for the next big manufacturing plant, the chamber/association is the place for information. Perhaps that is why a chamber/association is the keeper of information -- Information is knowledge and "Knowledge is Power!"
Economic Development vs. Industria Development -- What's the Differ? In short Economic Development is an overall comprehensive community effort to make your community a better place to live, work, and play. Industrial development is the activity that involves manufacturing and/or industrial businesses. But what about the rest of the community, such as retail and professional business? This is what we call "Community Development." Community Development is the combination of all three (3) type of development.
Many associations have what they call Business After Hours (BAH) and call it Networking! What they have is a Socializing Event, where the same old group of friends gather in a click, have a few drinks, eat the appetizers, tell a few stories, and go home unproductive. If your association wants to hold a Networking event you need to have your members mill around the room and get to know other businesspeople that you do not know. Have an elevator pitch, a very short description of who you are, what you do and why you should get to know each other on a business relationship. Networking attendees should walk away from the activity with at least 3-5 business cards form people you do not know and follow-up with them during the next 3-5 days.
The question should be -- "Why not join an Association", as there is strength in numbers! An association can accomplish what no single individual could accomplish by itself. Why not join other like-minded individuals and make a difference? The world is run by those that show up -- so, show up and make a difference!
Every association executive must be aware of what their members thirnk of the association. You could create a member survey and distribute it via snail mail or electronic mail, but we believe the survey return rate would minimal and not provide good feedback. A better survey method might be to personally ask your members the survey questions. The downside of using this method is the number of personal contacts. EXAMPLE: If your membership is 500 you need to have a personal contact with 500 individuals -- WOW, that's a lot. If you break your 500 members into smaller blocks (say 25) you would need 20 people to make the contacts. If you utilize your ambassadors you could easily complete your survey with a 100% rate of returm!
If your association is a chamber of commerce20 peoplem individuals to large corporations, and from brick-and-mortar businesses to online businesses, there are a wide variety of prospects -- you just need to research and document the information in a database for your prospecting program.
The short answer is "Why Not?" If you are looking for future business, networking is a great way to go. Networking is NOT going to a social gathering, hanging out with your friends, eating the free snacks, drinking a few beers and telling a few stories. Networking is for the hardcore...Ne
Many communities have development committees at work. Some recruit andindustrial manufacturers, and other promote aretail and service businesses. But what about all the other projects that build a better community? This is what we call Community- Development -- a comprehensive development plan that includes projects like promoting a local sales tax taht would pay for a community center or working collaboratively to bring the white-collar and blue-collar communities together. Community Development is more than a single mission - - it is the collection of works that dont neatlty fit into the othefr development organizations.
If your association has been doing things the same old way and getting the same old results, then you are not ised for the next generation -- not by a long shot. You need to take your board chair for a visit to an extremely successful association nearby in your region. Spend the day visiting with thet executive, the staff, some committee members, and soak in all the information you can. If you like what you see and hear, ask the successful executive to guide your association leadership through a strategic planning session -- this will propel you to the next level.
There is power in numbers -- a group is more powerful than one individual. You are encouraged to build a coalition of individuals that can provide the power to accomplish your goals and objectives. Remember -- "There is Power in Numbers and Knoweledge is Power!"
Every organization has competitors -- the trick is to know what your competition is and how you will combat it. EXAMPLE: You have the state chamber of commerce asking your members to join their organization, and you have the nation chamber of commerce wanting your members to invest in their cause, so how do you compete with each other and still get along? And then there are the many local clubs and organizations in your community asking for donations. In summary, you have to be rise above the others, know your place in the overall scheme of things, develop and implement the best program of work and produce results for your members -- do this repeatedly and you will be successful.
Just like you want to know if your committees are successful you want to know if your program is successful. One way to find the answer is to ask your community how you are doing. Develop a community survey, asking leading questions regarding how they see your organizations leadership and success. Above all else, if you want to hear positive remarks give the community somethings to talk about -- provide solide programs and services!
This is an area where you, as the execututive, must keep, an open mind. We suggest you use the US Chamber of Commerce's Accreditation Guide for revviewing all aspects of your association's performance. This guide is fair and equitable, and we believe if used appropriately you will successfully rate your associations performance.
We believe this is an extremely important questions to answer affirmatively! If you are not happy with some aspects of your association's leadership team now is the time to do something about it. Making changes needs to be subtle and timely. We encourage you to get to know your leadership individually, as well as collectively, and involve them in team building exercizes whenever you can - at least one at each meeting.
One can either learn about what changes need to be made up-front, or you cna learn about them along the way -- the choice is yours! You might be surprised at how open some individuals can be on a search committee -- all you have to do is ask! Knowing the answers might make it easier to make a decision if offered a position.
Many of you have asked yourself -- "When is it Time to Move On?" The answer depends on the individual or the circumstances -- but one thing is certain, you will know when the time comes! Some executives say that it snuck up on them, while others told us that it hit them like a ton of bricks. If you have not experienced, it yet -- you will. Just knowing that it could arise at any time gives one a sense of insecurity. If you dread going into the office, or or your board chair call and you dread taking the call, you should start looking for a new job. If you wake up feeling exhilarated about going to work, chances are you will not need to start looking for a new job anytime soon!
The Non-profit Association (The NPA)
1422 Sunset Street, Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007, United States
Copyright © 2008
The NPA - All Rights Reserved.