How to Succeed with Nonprofit Trade and Professional Associations : What Nonprofit Organizations Are, Why They Exist, How They Operate and All the Nuan
Overview - The world of nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations is vague and not well understood by most people. Unless you've worked for one as a staff person, or served on a board of directors, what nonprofit associations do and how they operate can be very mysterious. Read more...
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More About How to Succeed with Nonprofit Trade and Professional Associations by Bill Hakanson
The world of nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations is vague and not well understood by most people. Unless you've worked for one as a staff person, or served on a board of directors, what nonprofit associations do and how they operate can be very mysterious. Associations exist throughout the world; however this book focuses on trade associations and professional societies. These two are typically organized under IRS categories 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6). There are many IRS categories for not-for-profits, but in my experience, the largest and most progressive are the (3)s and (6)s. These are the ones that serve business people and companies. There are many interesting requirements when serving a not-for-profit organization. These are the facets that prevent the job from ever getting boring or mundane. Managing and growing an association requires numerous abilities including tact, people management, communication skills, administrative abilities, legal basics, marketing bent, technical acuity, negotiating, production management, inventory control, financial insight, liaison building, etc. Every day might present a new challenge and learning experience. Unlike for-profit corporations, nonprofits involve teams of people on boards, on committees, and in memberships. There are varying ratios of staff to volunteer involvement. While some associations depend heavily on volunteers, the nature of (c)(3)s and (c)(6)s suggest a staff structure that minimizes the amount of time volunteers give to an association but maximize its impact. There are numerous structural elements and programs that are common to most 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(6)s including mission, strategic plan, budget, staffing, meetings, and structure. Additional programs like standards development, public relations, educational events, certification programs, trade shows, chapter formation, partnering and going global may or may not be undertaken by a nonprofit organization. The author of this guide has served as chief staff executive for a dozen nonprofits. In the process he has learned many nuances of nonprofit structure and programs which he is sharing here. While there are pros and cons to being employed or involved with a nonprofit organization, there's nothing more exciting than sitting down with a group of volunteers and working as a team to make a positive impact on society with the association you are serving.
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