November 17, 2020

Navigating Financial Turbulence for Associations 

Creative cost-cutting measures are an increasingly vital endeavor to keep many organizations afloat during the current economic climate, but how much should they cut?  It may be tempting to eliminate as many expenses as possible, however, going overboard can adversely impact an organizations exposure and outreach.  Creating a relatively conservative cash flow projection for the next year will help to develop a budget that will both reduce expenses and position you for success when economic conditions improve. 

Strategically cutting non-essential costs enables organizations to maintain their presence, and focus on areas that provide the most return on their investment.  Social and email marketing provide affordable, highly effective marketing opportunities.  Members are more engaged than ever in social media and are eager for current content that is relevant to their professional development and interests.  Expanding your online presence through additional webinars and virtual meetings is another inexpensive way to keep members engaged.  Broadening these marketing campaigns to include prospective members can also pay significant dividends in future revenue.  Having a relevant and engaging online presence will also distinguish your organization from the competition.

All organizations and vendors are dealing with the same economic circumstances, which presents an opportunity to negotiate reduced fees.  After all, they need to stay afloat as well and are likely willing to negotiate short-term deals that are mutually beneficial.  As competition increases, it may be an opportune time to seek better prices from competitors of your current vendors.  It is prudent to review and search for more affordable options, whether it’s a supplier, software, or marketing services provider.  Organizations that have a lot of office space are also well-positioned to negotiate more favorable lease terms or pursue more significant savings through downsizing their physical office space. 

Many associations can benefit from outsourcing or upgrading their management services to a well-established Association Management Company (AMC) like STAT.   The unique industry insights and expertise that an AMC provides empowers associations to stay focused on their core mission while leveraging the guidance and resources of their AMC to prosper through tough times and beyond.  

While there is no cost for an organization to make plans for dealing with financial turbulence, failing to adequately adapt to the new economic realities can be the most costly mistake an organization ever makes.

October 12, 2020

Keep Your Certification Program Striving Through Tough Times

Is your organization equipped with the tools and expertise it needs for its certification program to prosper through these unprecedented times?  

Modernizing all aspects of a robust certification program is an essential transformation that can ultimately decide the fate of how successful your program is in the years to come.  Staying on top of current industry trends helps prevent stagnation and provides new opportunities to promote active engagement with your members.  Digital badging is a relatively new industry trend, which enables your organization to distribute professionally designed digital badges to your certified members. The digital badges can be shared and displayed through all major social networking platforms, which promotes engagement and extends the recognition and branding of your certification program.  Don’t get left behind in these changing times, modern certification holders want more than just a printed certificate on the wall.

Virtual proctoring is now becoming the standard way to take exams, enabling test takers to test in a remote environment, while also upholding the integrity of your examination process.  There is a wide range of virtual proctoring options, from fully-automated AI technology to one-on-one proctoring via a webcam. From deciding on the right virtual proctoring provider to use, to creating a digital badge program for your designees, navigating this new landscape can be daunting.  This is where the expertise and guidance that STAT provides for a certification program is invaluable.  Our decades of experience in successfully managing certification programs put us in a unique position to modernize any certification program, custom-fit to meet the needs of your organization.

As competition increases for job openings, having a certification is also more valuable than ever for your members.  Making them aware of this is also a vital marketing endeavor that should not be overlooked. Employers can’t afford to have unsuccessful hires, and in many cases have a prerequisite certification requirement in place to screen applicants. Having the right credential on their resume can be the deciding factor in landing their next job or promotion. In these uncertain times, upgrading their professional qualifications can be one of the smartest decisions they ever make for their careers.

Organizations will benefit greatly from adopting a modernized approach to their certification program.  Combined with a targeted marketing campaign, certification can provide a vital non-dues revenue stream for your organization.  As your certification program continues to adapt and evolve, it increasingly adds value to your membership and enhances the credibility and name recognition of your organization.