AES Newsletter

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Thumbnail for AES Survey Results - The Impact of COVID-19 on Associations

Thursday June 04, 2020

Association Executive Services recently distributed a survey to Australian associations seeking information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Download your copy of the AES Survey Report: The Impact of COVID-19 on Australian Associations. We understand that many Australian associations rely on revenue from membership, events and education; most of which have been cancelled or postponed over the last couple of months. The survey focused on these kinds of issues, and called for feedback on the support needed by Australian associations. We received ...
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Thumbnail for How to Engage With and Look After Remote Association Teams

Tuesday April 07, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many associations’ teams to work remotely from home. This new way of working can have a huge impact on individuals’ mental health. In certain instances, it might make your team members feel disconnected from others, and it can certainly disorient their daily routines. For leaders of associations whose teams are currently working remotely, it’s important that you implement practices which will help to boost the morale and wellbeing of your team members. Gavin Sharp, AES Advisor and ...
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Thumbnail for The Biggest Challenge For The Association Sector Is Yet To Come

Tuesday April 07, 2020

As many of you may know, Association Executive Services provides secretariat services to a number of associations representing a range of members. As such, the AES team members responsible for supporting these associations are at the frontline of the Australian association sector. They are witnessing, first-hand, the impact that COVID-19 is having on associations. Clearly, the impact of COVID-19 on all businesses will be significant. While some businesses may actually benefit in the long-term, what I am witnessing is a potential ...
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Thumbnail for How the Government Stimulus Package Applies to Associations

Tuesday March 24, 2020

Amid mounting concerns over the economic fall-out that will be caused by COVID-19, the Federal Government has announced several measures to help Australian businesses. On Sunday 22 March, Prime Minister Morrison released a second $66.1 billion stimulus package designed to help boost income support payments, introduce changes to superannuation, and provide cash flow support payments of up to $100,000 for small business employers. Some of these measures are available to not-for-profit entities.    If your association is experiencing financial hardship, we encourage ...
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Thumbnail for AES Launches 10 Areas Of Best Practice For Associations Model

Monday February 17, 2020

Association Executive Services (AES) is pleased to announce the launch of its 10 Areas of Best Practice for Associations Model. This Model will help associations attain the level of excellence they need to thrive. Associations (and their members) come together to represent a specific purpose and to forward the interests of a specific group of people. More and more, members’ expectations of the services, support, advice and benefits delivered by their association are on the rise. As such, association leaders must ...
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Thumbnail for What are the Main Weaknesses in Association Governance in Australia?

Tuesday January 21, 2020

Over the nine last years, Association Executive Services (AES) has captured information about the performance of associations in Australia. Using the AES Association Best Practice Self-Assessment tool, we have gathered data from over 450 association leaders. All these association leaders have self-assessed their organisation against 10 key areas: Governance Strategic Planning Leadership People Systems and Procedures Risk Management Financial Membership Information Technology Association leaders complete 66 questions covering all 10 of these criteria; the results enable them to benchmark their association’s performance against similar associations (that have also completed the ...
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Thumbnail for Maximising Your Worth in a Disruptive World

Tuesday January 21, 2020

Over the last 12 months, we have seen a high turnover of association leaders throughout Australia. While some of this turnover may have been planned, in many cases, association leaders have resigned from their positions, suffering from high levels of anxiety. This anxiety often results in a number of personal issues. As such, we have asked one of AES’s key advisors, Gavin Sharp, to contribute his thoughts on how to maximise your worth in a changing world. Gavin is a psychologist ...
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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 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 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 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 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 The Challenges for New Leaders of Associations

Thursday May 16, 2019

Managing a not-for-profit association can have its ups and downs but there are rewards for leaders who are able to facilitate change. New leaders in any association, from the President through to the Executive Officer, are often in the spotlight. The best way to win the acclaim of the members whilst in this spotlight is to achieve the goals and objectives of the association.  But be warned, there are many instances when the new job suddenly becomes a nightmare and you really ...
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Thumbnail for What You Need to Know About Association Insurance

Tuesday April 30, 2019

Managing an association or a not-for-profit organisation carries significant risk of liability to both individuals and the organisation itself. In different circumstances, board members and senior managers can be held personally liable for a failure to act or their actions. As an association or a not-for-profit organisation, investing in a comprehensive insurance policy is something that cannot be overlooked. As an association or a not-for-profit organisation, investing in a comprehensive insurance policy is something that cannot be overlooked. David Federici (Director of ...
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Thumbnail for Are You Dealing with a Troublesome Board Member?

Wednesday March 27, 2019

Most not-for-profit Boards and Committees are made up of volunteer members. As such, it can be difficult to encourage members to join your association’s Board or Committee—everyone is time poor these days. But, having a diverse, experienced Board offers many benefits to an association. Volunteer Board members bring with them a range of skills, abilities, expertise and experience, all of which contribute to the overall management of the association. Yet, on the rare occasion, Boards sometimes find themselves with members who ...
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Thumbnail for What Does ‘Good Governance’ Look Like For Associations?

Tuesday February 26, 2019

In my many years of experience reporting to, providing advice to, and being a member of, not-for-profit Boards, one of the most common issues I’ve experienced is a lack of understanding when it comes to governance.   There is a perception that governance encompasses only the legal obligations of a Board, Committee, or Council. However, whether it is an association, a not-for-profit, or a commercial business, governance should encompass everything that a Board, Committee, or Council requires to deliver sound, informed ...
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