The impact of big stories on the association world seems more clear than ever. Especially when it comes to money.
I don’t typically look to the front page of the Washington Post for my association news, but in recent months, that’s where I’ve often found it. From the Post’s investigation into fraud in nonprofits to widespread coverage of proposals for tax reform, media reports have given unusual visibility to association money-management issues. It’s important, if typically backend, work—and the pressure to get it right seems higher than ever.
In “It Could Happen to You,” we take an inside look at a few associations’ experience of dealing with embezzlement by employees. As Joe Rominiecki reports, such theft does more than drain the association’s assets; it undermines trust and exposes weaknesses in organizational culture. The association executives Joe talked to share their lessons learned and the changes they made to reestablish accountability with their boards, staff, and donors.
As it happened, the embezzlement story emerged at a sensitive moment, when Congress was looking to craft a comprehensive tax-reform package. At press time, a detailed plan had come out of the House, though few gave it much chance of advancing this year. Nevertheless, Mark Athitakis’ story details what associations are doing now to prepare for the possibility of a new tax regime, sooner or later.
For something less front page and more Facebook, turn to Melanie Kaplan’s look at how associations are leveraging social media as part of their fundraising strategy. The relationships you build with your donors in social spaces can lay the groundwork for success when you make the “ask” elsewhere.