AES Newsletter


Thumbnail for Is it Time for Your AGM? What You Need to Know

Tuesday November 12, 2019

For many associations, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is not the most popular meeting—it tends to be a very dry and formal process that does not allow for a lot of debate regarding the management of the association. Despite this, all associations need to run AGMs. But what are the protocols to ensure the meeting is run effectively and is compliant with your association’s Constitution? Critical Things You Need to Understand About AGMs What is an AGM and why does your association need ...
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Thumbnail for How to Obtain a Quorum at Your AGM

Tuesday November 12, 2019

In a recent meeting with a CEO of an AES member association, the issue of obtaining a quorum to run the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was discussed. At the member association's recent AGM, there were not enough members present to constitute a quorum because the association had adopted the Model Rules. The President was very anxious that the Model Rules allowed only members to attend, rather than a quorum, which he believed posed some risks to the association.  Do you have similar questions ...
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Thumbnail for Does Your Association Need a Lawyer? Some Practical Tips for Engaging Counsel

Wednesday October 09, 2019

AES members include both Board members and executives such as CEOs and Executive Officers, all of who may need to obtain legal advice at some stage. For the last 15 years, I have been a friend of John Crosby a very experienced Barrister and Solicitor and former General Council for Shell Australia. He has been my legal mentor since then and I would like to share in this newsletter some of what I have learnt when seeking legal advice.    Confidentiality All communications between ...
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Thumbnail for How to Get Your Association’s Magazine Read

Wednesday October 09, 2019

The majority of associations produce some type of magazine, usually included as part of a member benefit package. And, unfortunately, for the majority of associations, the task of compiling their quarter magazine can be arduous, and seemingly without return. Instead of viewing the next edition of your magazine as a chore, try to think of it as an opportunity; an opportunity to help your members, to connect with your members on a personal level, to tell the story of your association, ...
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Thumbnail for The Most Important Question For Any Association Leader: How Are You Using Your Strategic Plan?

Wednesday September 18, 2019

Associations can be very dynamic organisations. They can bring together like minded members to share information, ideas, and best practice processes within their industry or area of interest. Modern society prospers as result of this type of collaboration; it has instigated breakthroughs in science, changed societies values, and influenced government policies. An effective member association can serve the community in any number of ways. So then, what do dynamic, effective member associations have in common? Generally, they can demonstrate best practice in ...
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Thumbnail for Top Association Finance & Tax Questions Answered

Monday August 19, 2019

Have you recently been appointed to a mangement position within an Australian association? Do you have questions about finance and tax? Not sure if you need to complete a self assessment? Don't understand the difference between an audit and a review? Or unsure as to how much surplus you should generate per annum? Luckily, in the article below, Aaron Fitchett (Director and Tax Partner at Baumgartners) answers all these questions and more. Aaron is a Chartered Tax Adviser with 18 years’ experience advising private and ...
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Thumbnail for Need to Change Your Constitution? Practical Tips To Save You Time and Money

Sunday August 18, 2019

Outdated rules and conditions—documented within an association’s constitution generations ago—are one of the major barriers for associations. Restrictive constitutions can stifle the activities of an association, preventing the organisation from becoming successful and vibrant, and meeting the needs of its members. While we all know that Boards and Directors must adhere to an association’s constitution, the more prescriptive and outdated the constitution, the more difficult it can be to change the organisation, to make it more responsive to the modern-day needs ...
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Thumbnail for Does My Association Need an Audit or Review?

Thursday August 08, 2019

The requirements for an association to have an audit or review will depend on a number of factors, including: Is the association incorporated under the Corporations Act (as a Company Limited by Guarantee) or under State based legislation. Size of the association Whether the association has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status Association’s constitution or other governing document Companies Limited by Guarantee A few years ago, the legislation was streamlined to reduce the compliance burden for many small and medium sized companies limited by guarantee, with some ...
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Thumbnail for The Future Association: The Argument for Outsourcing Everything

Wednesday August 07, 2019

There are over 25,000 associations in Australia, covering all types of human pursuits—there really is an association for just about everything. Most associations are classed as small businesses, employing less that 20 staff. Many of their administrative functions rely on a combination of full-time, part-time employees and volunteers managing the needs and expectations of members.  Over the last 20 years, we have seen significant changes in the structure of businesses, as well as in the management of associations. Technology has revolutionised how ...
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Thumbnail for Engaging Government: Is Your Association Ready?

Tuesday July 16, 2019

Association leaders often want to know when and how to engage government. Any time is good, as long as you are prepared, but some times are better than others. Different stages in the political cycle provide different opportunities. Pre-Election The State and Territory Government elections in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Northern Territory and Queensland in 2020 provide a great opportunity to engage with governments and the opposition. Each is looking for policies that are going to appeal to voters, and you can help ...
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Thumbnail for Defamation Law and the Power of Associations

Tuesday July 16, 2019

Over the last twelve months, a number of AES members and clients have been the focus of both print and social media—they have either been involved in Royal Commissions, or other high-profile events that have attracted media and social commentary. In most cases, the articles and comments have been passive. However, there have been some incidents where the reporting has been totally incorrect or the social media comments have been inflammatory, offensive, and downright wrong. Not-for-profit associations, in particular, can be ...
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Thumbnail for The 2019 Logies: A Wake Up Call For All Association Member Awards

Tuesday July 02, 2019

For the last 60 years, the Logies has been an annual event that recognises individuals who have achieved excellence within the Australian Television Industry. The major prize is the Gold Logie, which is awarded to the personality who receives the greatest number of votes from the general public. This year, the Gold Logie was taken out by comedian Tom Gleeson. In his acceptance speech, Gleeson stated, “I’m in a terrible spot because I like it and I hate it as ...
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Thumbnail for Don’t Write Off Your Unfinancial Members: Here’s Why

Tuesday July 02, 2019

Most member-based associations have an annual renewal event. Renewal notices are sent out to members with the general letter from the President inviting member to renew. This letter usually contains a generic script outlining the reasons as to why the member should renew and the benefits offered by their membership fee.  No matter how effective your association is in the delivery of services to members, there is always a group of members who have not paid their subscription, have not indicated ...
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Thumbnail for Shire Industry Associations Shine Despite Council Sacking

Wednesday June 26, 2019

Last week the Victorian Government sacked the South Gippsland Council and appointed an administrator. According to the Weekly Times, the sacking occurred as a result of a report commissioned by the Victorian Government around the disruption of the Council. The report outlined serious disruptive behaviours amongst Council members, “such as shouting and overt aggression in meetings, the shutting down of alternative points of view, intimidation of those seeking different outcomes by bombarding emails and phone calls, restricting access to information to those ...
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Thumbnail for Recently Appointed as an Association Leader?  Stand by for the First 100 Days

Tuesday June 25, 2019

Managing an association can be a highly rewarding and exciting experience. There are some fantastic opportunities within not-for-profit associations for leaders who can steer their organisation in the right direction, helping their organisation achieve its goals and objectives. As with any leadership role, managing a not-for-profit association can have its ups and downs. There are often several challenges that association leaders need to be aware of, and address, if they are to be successful. Here at AES, we often hear stories about ...
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Thumbnail for Commonly Asked Association Tax Questions, Answered

Thursday June 20, 2019

We recently covered some of the types of associations and organisations that may be eligible for a full income tax exemption under Australian tax law, and are therefore not required to lodge an income tax return. This time, we will examine some of the most common income tax questions, which may arise when an organisation does not qualify as income tax exempt, but when they may still be eligible to have certain income treated as exempt under the mutuality principle. Under the ...
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Thumbnail for How to Manage and Investigate Breaches of a Code of Ethics

Tuesday June 11, 2019

Most associations have a Code of Ethics (also known as a Code of Conduct) by which their members must abide, which is referred to in the Constitution, by-laws or Board policies. Unfortunately, over the years, the team at AES has witnessed several breaches of codes of ethics, including their fall-out. Increasingly, associations that fail to act quickly and efficiently in response to breaches of codes of ethics are leaving themselves open to public scrutiny.   We asked AES Adviser Val Smith, former head of Crime ...
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Thumbnail for Does Our Association Need To Lodge An Income Tax Return?

Tuesday June 11, 2019

In Australia, an exemption from income tax is available for qualifying not-for-profit organisations, including associations formed for certain purposes. If an organisation is exempt from income tax, it does not have to lodge income tax returns or pay income tax. Where a full exemption is not available, special rules may apply to determine a not-for-profit’s taxable income and rates of tax. This exemption does not extend to other potential tax obligations such as GST, PAYG withholding and Fringe Benefits Tax; each ...
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Thumbnail for Seven Lessons Learnt While Running Association Conferences

Wednesday May 29, 2019

Nearly every year, associations create conferences and events that enable their members to come together, learn new ideas, increase their knowledge, and build collaborative relationships.   Conferences and events are normally the biggest revenue earners for an association, but they can also be the biggest risk. Getting your conference wrong can have serious implications—not only for the financial stability of the association, but also for the credibility of the association.   I know of several associations that have really got their conferences ...
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Thumbnail for What To Increase The Value Of Your Membership? Try Certification

Wednesday May 29, 2019

Most associations struggle to maintain and grow their membership. The old membership model that offers a list of benefits works in some sectors, but has no impact in others. As such, it is important to stop and consider why people or organisations join an association. Over the years and throughout all the surveys we have conducted, we have found that there are two key reasons for an individual or an organisation to join an association. The first reason is that the association ...
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