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Associations play a vital role in supporting the growth and sustainability of many different professions and industries. SBI Association Management believes in the crucial role of these organizations and partners with them to help provide valuable networking opportunities, professional development, and the establishment of industry standards within their sectors. For an association to thrive, there are several key factors that must come into effect to pave the way for membership growth and engagement.

SBI’s Healthy Association Checklist:

Clear Vision, Mission, and Values: Well-defined vision, mission, and values communicate the association’s purpose and direction, serving as a compass to guide decision-making and prioritization. 

Up-to-date Bylaws: Bylaws serve as the foundation for governing an association. Keeping them current, with regular reviews, ensures transparency, compliance, and adaptability to evolving needs.

Strategic Plan: A strategic plan provides a roadmap with tangible goals for achieving an association’s mission and serving member needs and interests. It provides a way for the association to meet its objectives and strategies to do so.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is key for a healthy association. Implementing DEI initiatives creates an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute. 

Streamlined Membership Processes: Streamlining membership and renewal processes makes it easy and convenient for individuals and/or groups to join or renew. Many associations are looking into alternative membership structures, such as group memberships which see higher membership rates.

Strong Communication: Effective communication fosters engagement, transparency, and collaboration within the association. Utilizing multiple communication channels, with built-in opportunities for feedback, helps promote offerings and the mission to both members and the wider community. 

Board Diversity and Onboarding: A diverse board brings varied perspectives, expertise, and networks to the association’s leadership. SBI specializes in leading comprehensive board orientations for new directors to understand their roles, responsibilities, and the organization’s culture, finances, and strategic direction. This helps support a healthy board culture.

SBI works to establish and refine these industry best practices for all of our clients, contributing to their success and growth. In the past five years with SBI, the International Ombuds Association (IOA) updated their bylaws, developed a 4-year Strategic Direction,  implemented an online learning center and online community, and bundled educational opportunities with dues, making resources more accessible to broader audiences. They also expanded the number of virtual education and connection opportunities to reach a wider audience. IOA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging Committee (DEIAB) has a vital role throughout the association, creating a greater sense of belonging among members through educational programming and resources. These factors and more have contributed to a 39% growth since teaming up with SBI in 2019.

Similarly, the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) witnessed significant growth by introducing group memberships and providing access to updated resources and best practices. Within two years, ADRP saw a 140% growth in membership with this as an option. Now larger organizations can save on membership dues with tiered group membership rates and manage them with one main contact. 

The Association of Advancement Services Professionals (aasp) experienced a 5% membership growth in their first year with SBI. “Since coming to SBI just over a year ago, we have increased membership by about 1,000 for aasp by operationalizing the renewal process and enhancing our communications to members and non-members alike,” Tiffany Hanzo-Martin, aasp Association Executive and SBI Director of Member Services. 

How can SBI help you reach your association’s goals and maintain a healthy status? Contact us today to see if a relationship with us is the next right step for your organization.