Frankly, many associations and charities were just starting to get back to pre-2008 levels of membership and a healthy cash flow. Okay, maybe not 100% back, because I think we all understand that there’s a “new normal.” In the scampering to retrieve members and financial supporters, many boards may have missed the opportunity to realign their business structure.

How organizations operate has been reinvented over the last dozen years. Those who survived the recession of last decade are again concerned about the current signals. A worldwide survey of over 800 CEOs tells us that worries of recession are guiding their leadership.

We’ve spoken to three very different types of non-profits over the month. All responded to the last down turn by cutting in-house staff and counting on volunteers. Two have endured money mishandling because the “bookkeeper” was not a professional. In both cases, the savings in professional help did not come close to what was “misappropriated.”

Don’t wait. Reinvent how you run the business of your organization now. For the same dollars you have budgeted for one director or manager you can have an entire staff without the overhead. Association management companies (AMCs) meet the urgent need for a smarter way to operate.

A turnkey set of professional and creative personnel (like Huntington Association Management) will replace the need for an organization’s finance director, business development director, membership director, marketing director, social media manager, events manager, writer, and graphics designer. For our clients, we become the physical office or headquarters, porting phone lines, and even storage, if necessary. That saves big money.

Radical change is scary. But, with some smart, fresh thinking by non-profit boards this month, there’s a good chance to finish 2019 thriving, not just surviving.

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