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Five Association Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep in 2020

by MYB, on January 2, 2020


Happy new year! As 2020 begins, we’re all feeling ambitious about wanting to do bigger things in the new year, and a little fearful that by mid-January we’ll all be back to the same-old-same-old. But instead of trying to launch giant moonshots for your association, you have a better chance of reaching your goals by making sure they’re simple and achievable. Here are five association resolutions that we think fit the bill.

Get smart about data. If you’re reading this, you know that we’re big fans of data. We know it has the power to attract the right people to what your association does. And a commitment to being a more data-driven association can start with some straightforward housekeeping tasks: Making sure that your legacy systems aren’t holding you back, learning more about data consolidation, and thinking about the kinds of questions you want to ask your members and attendees. Asking critical questions this year will establish benchmarks that will help you set and meet goals in the years to come. 

Commit to strategic planning. Every association wants more members and attendees, but plenty of surveys suggest that associations haven’t started the strategic planning processes to figure out how to achieve that growth. It’s time to get specific about where you want to be. Do you want more student members? Stronger engagement from your most senior members? More international attendees?

Change up your meeting formats. Attendees come to your meeting to learn, but members aren’t all the same when it comes to learning. Some want lectures; others want interactive experiences. Some want bite-sized sessions; others want deep-dives. Now is the time to get educated about different learning styles, beta-test different session formats, and for as many of your member groups as possible.

Get the stakeholders you need. How do you find your board members and volunteers? For too many associations, it’s little more than a popularity contest: Organizations are attracted to long-tenured figures with big personalities, but those people aren’t necessarily the visionary leaders you’ll need to see through the changes you want to make. When you know your goals and the skills you need to reach them, you can identify volunteers much more easily.

Escape your bubble. And that can be true throughout your organization: There may be people who feel disengaged or under-served by your association’s activities. Commit to reach out to people who are keeping your association at arm’s length: The stories they share can help you identify some blind spots, and encourage more people to champion your association’s work.