Avoiding Volunteer Burnout

Every association is lucky to have those few people who are so passionate about the organization that they volunteer for everything! They join the group eager to help in every way they can to keep the association moving in the right direction. You might notice that saying “few people” is not an understatement. An associations can be made up of 50 people or hundreds and it will still have a small amount of people who are willing to volunteer their time.

This can lead to the same handful of people volunteering for the board, committees, or events which can result in volunteer burnout. If you notice that your volunteers are becoming increasingly less enthusiastic, slacking on the job, or more and more negative, you might have a case of volunteer burnout on your hands. Recognizing this burnout is the first step in fixing it. Keep an eye out for when your volunteer’s excitement starts to dwindle.


Once you have noticed that a volunteer is starting to burnout, take a look at their workload and figure out how to divvy it up differently. Pass some responsibilities to those who are looking for more to do. This will allow your volunteer some more free time and a moment to catch their breath.


It is also important to show your appreciation for the volunteers. Feeling valued is often a strong motivator in someone’s work ethic. Showing the group that they are special and emphasizing the difference they are making will raise the morale of the group and keep them chugging along.


Another option to take the load off your volunteers, would be to hire an AMC. AMCs are there to do all of the minuscule things that your volunteers either don’t have time for or simply do not want to do. It allows them to focus on the bigger picture of the association, keeping the mission at the forefront.


Volunteer management can be a challenge, however, it is better to keep a close eye on your volunteers throughout their time with the organization than to run them into the ground.














Introducing our Newest Client, The National Plant Board

Impact Association Management welcomes the National Plant Board      

June 18, 2019, Madison, Wisconsin –Impact  Association Management (Impact) is excited to announce the signing of the National Plant Board (NPB) as their newest client.     

“After an extensive search the NPB chose Impact to manage our organization based on their flexibility, use of technology and ability to connect with our culture.  The NPB is looking forward to working with Impact to tap into their expertise while keeping us organized and able to quickly respond to our constituents.” shares NPB’s President, Ann Gibbs 


“After meeting with the National Plant Board, we hoped that they felt it was as good of a fit as we did and were thrilled to learn they had selected us. We are excited to see how open to change this group is and look forward to helping them become more efficient.”, adds Jodi Fisher, CEO, Impact Association Management 


About the National Plant Board 

The National Plant Board is a non-profit organization made up of the plant pest regulatory agencies of each of the states as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Guam. NPB’s mission is to “provide leadership in developing and implementing science-based regulatory policies and plant health programs, enable safeguarded trade and protect the agricultural and natural resources of the United States.” 


Ann Gibbs 



About Impact Association Management  

Impact Association Management was founded in 2006 by Jodi Fisher, and since then they have successfully supported many Associations in growing and increasing profits and memberships. Now expanded into a robust team, Impact consists of Social Media experts, Non-Profit Administrators and Executive Administrative Assistants with impressive backgrounds in Association support, small business operations and international corporations.  Their mission is to provide customized, efficient, and forward-thinking association management services to small and medium sized Associations with a highly skilled, dedicated team of Executive Administrators.  



Impact Association Management 




All Eyes on your Next Event  

When planning an event for your organization, you typically have two goals in mind: create an event that your members will love and get as many people there as possible. No pressure, right? To achieve those goals, it is best to create a promotion plan.


1.     Determine your audience. Understand who would benefit best from the event. This includes both demographics and psychographics. Do you want to include non-members? This first step will determine the direction of your promotion plan.

2.     Develop a message. Your event might have a million benefits for guests but your audience will only care about some of those benefits. Narrow down the message that you want to deliver to your audience and hone in on it. This will be a more effective way to communicate with them.

3.     Find your audience. If you are targeting an older group of people, it might be best to send out direct mail or email. If you are targeting millennials, head to the internet. Going to your audience, will ensure that the message gets in front of them and increases the chance that they will read it.


Determining these few factors can make all the difference in your promotional plan. Make sure to reach your audience more than once to nail in their attendance. Happy event planning!

Adjusting to an AMC

The changeover to an AMC can be a big one. Because of that, we have put in place an on-boarding process for each of our new clients. With this process things tend to run a lot smoother, however, we do notice some clients still have a hard time adjusting to an AMC. Below are a few tips and tricks to an easy transition.

  • Overload your AMC with information. Keep in mind that your AMC is becoming a part of your association with only the knowledge you provide and that they can research. They might be new to the industry of your association or even just the way you have done things in the past. Never hesitate to share information about your association. The more your AMC knows, the better off you will be.

  • Be available. We often find that if we are not provided information, we spend a majority of our time tracking down the person with that information. If that person is often unavailable, the process drags out. Make sure your AMC has any login information and processes right off the bat in order to avoid delay of communication. If you expect your AMC to provide drafts before publishing work, make sure to get back to them in a timely manner in order to make sure the work officially goes out.

  • Let go and let us! AMCs have the experience and skills to do the job. If you are paying for them to do it, make sure to actually let them do it. Once you have seen drafts in the first few months and have evaluated the quality of the work, learn to trust your AMC. This will alleviate you of the duties and free up time that you wanted to gain by hiring an AMC. 

Although change and depending on others can be scary, it is often for the best. If you hired an AMC it was for a reason. You also picked the AMC you picked for a reason. Learn to trust them, communicate with them, and fill them in on all things about your association will only make your organization more successful.

Saving your Email from the Trash Bin

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Email is one of the most common ways to reach members. You might find, however, that most members are not opening or receiving their emails. This can be a huge problem when it comes to attendance at events and retaining membership. Why would a member want to stay a part of the association if they have no interaction with it? Below are a few ways that you can ensure members see your emails and actually take the time to read them. 

  1. Make an announcement. Whether it is at a meeting or on social media, make an announcement to members to check their spam folders for association emails. If they are, they can change their settings to prevent this in the future. This problem happens pretty frequently. All emails that go out are most likely mass emails which are the type that typically get flagged as spam. 

  2. Make your subject concise. In future emails, make sure that your subject line is very clear while still sparking interest. If you have an upcoming event, list your association’s name and the title of the event. This should be enough to make your members open the email.  

  3. Get to the point. Similar to the subject line, keep the body of the email simple and easy to ready. You can include a few graphics and fluff but not too much. You want to make sure members do not lose their patience before they finish reading the email. 

Getting your email communication under control can improve the member experience tremendously. It keeps them up to date with the association and involved. Apply these email tips and watch your event attendance soar! 



Sharing vs Competing for Members

People who belong to an association often belong to more than one. They use them as a way to network and learn more about their industry.  Rather than competing for members in other local associations, work together! Find a way to share members and create unique benefits for each. Below are tips on how to do just that.

  • The introduction. Make sure to reach out to the association you might be competing with. Send an email or give them a phone call and explain what your association offers its’ members.

  • Talk it out. Meet up with the contact point you have with the other association and discuss areas of crossover. What do members that belong to both groups have in common? What unique benefits do they gain from each association.

  • Avoid overlapping events. Look at your schedules for the next 6 months to a year and make sure that future events do not fall on the same day. This will allow each association to have higher attendance at events and makes for happier members.

Working together will only make each association more successful and will prevent members from feeling as though they can only join one.

Client Spotlight: South Metropolitan Business Association

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One of our oldest clients is the South Metropolitan Business Association (SMBA). This organization is located in Madison, Wisconsin along with our office. SMBA’s purpose is to promote and improve the business environment in the Cities of Madison and Fitchburg and the Town of Madison by encouraging well planned, high quality and balanced commercial and residential development and economic growth. SMBA provides its members with a variety of benefits that make their membership well worth it.

The association offers members networking opportunities, information on the city and business related topics, as well as community involvement. Each month, SMBA, gathers members for a luncheon. This is an opportunity for the members and guests to network among each other and hear from a speaker on that month’s topic.

This close knit group is a unique one and one that we are proud to support. Kristen is the Executive Administrator for SMBA. She helps to organize and run luncheons, prepare for board meetings, produce newsletters and more!

Learn more about SMBA.

Rebuilding a Committee

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Losing committee members right and left? This is a pretty common problem found in associations. Volunteers burn out, run into new time commitments, or get frustrated with the position leaving your committee with empty seats. If you find yourself with a lacking committee, it is important to quickly fill those empty seats in order to keep everything on schedule.  

  • Identify tasks. Understand what the committee was originally established for, their current tasks, and any future objectives. Make sure these issues and goals are clearly established before bringing on new committee members. 

  • Determine a leader. If your committee leader has also left you high and dry, it is time to pick someone new to step into his or her shoes. Feel out the current committee members and see if anyone is willing to volunteer. If nobody is willing to take on this role, it is up to you to handle this in the meantime. This will also motivate you to continue the search for new committee members. 

  • Fill the other positions. Make sure members are aware of the opportunity to join the committee. Include it in newsletters, emails, social media, and anywhere else you are communicating with your members. If this does not entice enough members, have the current committee members make a list of members they feel would be a good fit. Once the list is created, the recruiting can begin. 

  • Check in. Once the new committee is established, be sure to check in regularly. Make sure the group is happy and understands their role in the organization.  

Moving forward, make sure to consistently remind members of committee opportunities. Remind them that they can get more involved by joining committees. This will keep it in the forefront of their minds and might lead to more people joining before it is crucial that they join. This will lead to easier turnover and a more positive experience. 

CNAP Certified

 Madison, Wisconsin (May 13th, 2019) — Impact Association Management— Ingrid Beamsley has successfully completed the requirements for the CNAP certification.  The Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) is designed to set a standard of accounting excellence in the not-for-profit sector through comprehensive qualification, training and examination.


Developed by the Nonprofit CPAs Alliance and sponsored by Wegner CPAs, this certification program is designed specifically for any professional charged with the financial management of a not-for-profit organization, including non-CPAs. The curriculum of this intensive program includes basic and intermediate accounting, as well as in-depth training on more advanced topics such as internal controls, current tax issues, IRS audits, lobbying, technology, and budgeting.




Say Hello to the All American Association of Home Inspectors!

Impact Association Management welcomes the All American Association of Home Inspectors 


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May 9, 2019, Madison, Wisconsin –Impact Association Management (Impact) is pleased and proud to announce the signing of the All American Association of Home Inspectors (AAAHI) as their newest client.        


“We were thrilled to hear that the All American Association of Home Inspectors chose us to be their AMC. Amy has experience in the Association Management world and understands all of the ways we can make a difference. I know they will be a fun group to work with and can’t wait to get the ball rolling.”, adds Jodi Fisher, CEO, Impact Association Management 


About the All American Association of Home Inspectors 

The All American Association of Home Inspectors is a nationwide association exclusively for Home Inspectors. Members of AAAHI receive continuing education, business development, industry insight, and political advocacy. The organization is dedicated to providing high quality education to home inspectors around the United States. 


Amy Newcomer 




About Impact Association Management  

Impact Association Management was founded in 2006 by Jodi Fisher, and since then they have successfully supported many Associations in growing and increasing profits and memberships. Now expanded into a robust team, Impact consists of Social Media experts, Non-Profit Administrators and Executive Administrative Assistants with impressive backgrounds in Association support, small business operations and international corporations.  Their mission is to provide customized, efficient, and forward-thinking association management services to small and medium sized Associations with a highly skilled, dedicated team of Executive Administrators.  



Impact Association Management 





The AMC Checklist

Things can get a bit hectic for a volunteer in an association. When this overwhelming feeling gets to be too much, it is time to begin your search for an association management company. Beginning this search might lead to even more of a headache for the Board of Directors, but we have made it easy! Here is a checklist of what to look for in an AMC. 

  • Size fit. If you are on the board of an extremely large association, make sure that the AMC you choose has the capacity to take you on. This applies to smaller associations as well. You want to make sure that you are at equal priority to the AMC’s other clients. This ensures that things do not slip through the cracks and the work is done. 

  • Passion. Look for a group of Executive Administrators that has a true passion for what they do. Find an AMC that becomes a partner and cares about your goals and milestones. This will guarantee that they are just as dedicated as you are to the organization. 

  • Culture Fit. You are going to be working with the Executive Administrator closely. It is important that you and that person get along, communicate well, and have a strong understanding of one another. If you prefer working with someone more laid back than intense, keep that in mind when conducting your AMC interviews. This relationship will be something you are maintaining for the length of the contract and should be a positive one. 

  • Transparency. Find an AMC that holds themselves to high standards when it comes to ethical business practice. You are handing your AMC highly important information and access when you work with them. Make sure that the AMC you choose has an open and honest policy about how they are spending your time, what they do for you on a regular basis, and any information they might hold during their time with you. It is important to know that your money is being used properly and that if the partnership were to end, your information is readily available. 

  • More than one dedicated Administrator. It is a smart move to look for an AMC that will provide you with at least two dedicated Executive Administrators. Two Executive Administrators allows you easier communication, more collaboration, and a back up plan. If you are working with one Executive Administrator and they have to take a day off or leave the company, you have someone who has already been working with your association to train a new staff member. This keeps things running smoothly and prevents a chaotic transition if your primary administrator is unavailable.  

  • Experience. If you are lacking in marketing, financial support, or member communication, find an AMC that has that experience. Question them during the interview and look for examples that line up with what your organization is looking for. This guarantees a good administrative fit. 

    The hunt for the perfect AMC might be a stressful one, but once you find the right fit, the stress will quickly fade. The AMC will allow you to redirect your focus to the mission of your association and leave the administrative tasks to your new partner. 

Client Spotlight: Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association

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Each association we support has a unique purpose, mission, and group of leaders. At Impact, we enjoy learning about the different industries we work with. This week we are taking a closer look at The Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA). WEMTA is an organization that serves school library media and instructional technology professionals. The association aims to provide leadership and professional growth in the educational community. WEMTA`s mission is “To provide learning experiences that prepare students to flourish in an information-rich world.” 


WEMTA, like most of our clients, is supported by two Executive Administrators. Ashley and Tammy are the Executive Administrators for this group. These two provide support by responding to calls, email management, financial management, preparation and planning of the annual conference. They also helped execute the Battle of the Books campaign. This annual campaign promotes a love of reading among students. Ashley and Tammy have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of such a positive organization and look forward to seeing the difference they can make. 

The Key to Potential Members’ Hearts: Events

It can often be hard to explain what makes your association unique when putting it on paper. Some things are hard to describe in words and the feeling of community and experience that your association offers are two that you might have a hard time describing to a non-member. If this is the case, try to reach potential members in person. Plan events!

Current events. Open up some of your current events to non-members. Showing potential members what they are getting involved in is your number one recruiting tool. Make sure, however, to keep some things exclusive to members. You don’t want your current members questioning why they are paying for a membership or feeling under appreciated.

Speed networking. We know that people join associations to network and meet people in their industry. Open up a speed networking event to both members and non-members. This allows the two to meet while giving them something they are looking for in an association. To follow through with this, make sure that attendees are clear of the industry you are in to ensure like-minded professionals. You could also give your speed networkers talking cards. This could get the ball rolling on the conversation. Throw in the topic of the association. Are they a  member? What do they like about it? Have your members do the recruiting!

Get involved in the community. Offer fun events for members and non-members. This could be a picnic, a holiday celebration, a sporting event, and more. This will stick in the mind of the guests and provide them with a  positive experience.

These experiences will shape potential members’ opinions of your association. It will also create brand awareness and spread the news to other potential members. Get started on these events this summer!

Client Spotlight: Center for Operator Performance

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We have been incredibly grateful lately for all of the new clients coming our way. We always ensure that our current clients remain a priority especially during times of change for Impact. This week we are focusing on a client that we have had for almost a year now, the Center for Operator Performance (COP). The Center for Operator Performance is made up of industry, vendor, and academia representatives. This group concentrates their attention on human capabilities and limitations with research, collaboration, and human factors engineering.


Members of COP include companies such as BP, Chevron, CITGO, Emerson, and more. The founding member was Beville Engineering, Inc. COP provides many resources for both members and the public. On their website, you can find training videos, recommended books, and industry news.

Tammy is COP’s Executive Administrator. She handles financials, general email management, and anything the group comes to her with! They are a great group to work with and Tammy has enjoyed her time with them so far.

Welcome Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison!

Impact Association Management welcomes the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison Chapter

April 18, 2019, Madison, Wisconsin –Impact Association Management (Impact) is pleased and proud to announce the signing of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison Chapter (AFP Greater Madison) as their newest client.   


“We are looking forward to our partnership with Impact. We are impressed with the quality of work they can provide for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and we know we are in great hands.” shares AFP Greater Madison’s President, Janie Winston  


“We were ecstatic to hear back from AFP Greater Madison about beginning this partnership. The organization has a strong group of leaders that will be a great group to work with. I know the Executive Administrators assigned to them will do a fabulous job and I look forward to seeing how we can grow the association.”, adds Jodi Fisher, CEO, Impact Association Management


About the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison Chapter

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Madison is a strong chapter within AFP that consists of over 200 members. These members are fundraising professionals and community members. The members and Board of Directors work towards AFP Greater Madison’s mission which states, “AFP Greater Madison is a partnership of people and organizations devoted to advancing ethical and effective philanthropy through education, professional development, networking and outreach.


Janie Winston, AFP Greater Madison President 




About Impact Association Management 

Impact Association Management was founded in 2006 by Jodi Fisher, and since then they have successfully supported many Associations in growing and increasing profits and memberships. Now expanded into a robust team, Impact consists of Social Media experts, Non-Profit Administrators and Executive Administrative Assistants with impressive backgrounds in Association support, small business operations and international corporations.  Their mission is to provide customized, efficient, and forward-thinking association management services to small and medium sized Associations with a highly skilled, dedicated team of Executive Administrators. 



Impact Association Management









Client Spotlight: Meeting Professionals International Connecticut River Valley

In February of this year, we partnered with the Meeting Professionals International Connecticut River Valley. MPI Connecticut River Valley has over 100 members and is made up of local colleagues that specialize in meeting and event planning as well as supplier members. The organization provides networking opportunities, educational programs, leadership development, and professional recognition. MPI CRV understands the needs and wants of their members and ensures delivery. Their mission is, “To provide MPI members, chapters and the global meeting and event community with innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and to act as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry.”  


MPI CRV has strong core values that guide what they do and who they are. These values include being focused on people, having enthusiasm and passion, empowering trust and integrity, dedication to collaboration, and a commitment to principled profitability. Sticking with these values has proved successful so far. 


Impact assists MPI CRV with their email management, website management, financials, chapter meetings and events. Chassidy and Tammy also work with MPI CRV on member communication by creating newsletters, email blasts, and social media content. These first few months with this chapter and have gone swimmingly and we are excited to watch them grow! 

Email Blasts that Deliver

Whether it be newsletters, announcements, or meeting invitations, your organization is sending out email blasts. No matter how many people you have on your list, however, you might find the results to be disappointing. Design and compatibility for email blasts are often lacking from membership management websites. Luckily, we have found two great alternatives.

Constant Contact

We often use Constant Contact for clients that are willing to invest a small amount of money into their email platform. It allows for simple yet visually appealing designs, email tracking, and contact information management. Constant Contact costs $45 a month and has proven to be worth it for our team.



MailChimp is another platform we often use at Impact. It is free up until you reach 2,000 subscribers. This can be a treat for smaller organizations hoping to grow through their email campaigns. MailChimp is easy to use, allows for contact lists to be imported, and has a responsive customer support staff.


The platform you use for email blasts can make a difference in the look, quality, and reach. If you are taking the time to reach out to your members, do it well.

Client Spotlight: International Personnel Assessment Council

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At the start of 2019, Impact started a partnership with the International Personnel Assessment Council. This week we are sharing more about the organization and how we work with them to meet their goals. The International Personnel Assessment Council is a nonprofit organization made up of HR directors and managers, specialists in staffing, recruiting, organizational performance management, and more. These professionals have interest and expertise in development and effective use of HR selection and assessment methods. IPAC’s mission states, “To serve personnel assessment practitioners and scientists by facilitating interaction with a community  of  peers  and  experts  and  delivering  the  practical  tools  they  need  to  achieve  professional success.”  

Caroline and Tammy are IPAC’s Executive Administrators. These two have been hard at work transitioning IPAC over to Impact. There are many steps involved in on-boarding a client and they have managed to do so quickly and efficiently while learning the day to day tasks involved as well. Caroline and Tammy have also been supporting IPAC by helping with chapter event planning, email management, website updates and maintenance, membership data, and more. We look forward to helping this group grow in every way possible!

Investing in a Member Management System

As a group of Executive Administrators, we see a variety of ways to handle different obstacles in an association. Most of our clients use an online member management system including WildApricot, Your Membership, StarChapter, and more. If you are hesitant about investing in a member management system, here are a few reasons you should make the switch.


1.     Storing data. Nobody wants to maintain paper documents filled with important information scattered around their office or locked away in filing cabinets. Luckily, member management systems can store information about members, events, expiration dates, committees, and more. Having it in the system makes it convenient to search and quickly find information.

2.     Easier payments. With an online platform, you can have members easily pay for membership renewals, events, and conferences. This eliminates the act of sending a check, waiting on it to be received, and the drawn out process involved.

3.     Personalized adaptions. Membership management systems are completely designed to work with associations. This makes building your website and any special features easier. Creating new and varying membership models is an option you can find on a membership management system that you could not find on a standard website.


If your association can relate to one of these points, it is time to make the move to a member management system. The difference it can make is astounding!


If you are interested in investing in a member management system, read our blog on Wild Apricot!

Client Spotlight: Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association


The Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association is a client we took on a few months ago. This group consists of funeral homes and their funeral directors, employees, and interns. Members get the benefits of continuing education opportunities throughout the year, satisfying biennial licensing requirements, opportunities to contribute to the Madison conduit, ability to connect with other members, and a discounted rate to the WFDA Convention. 


WFDA is a part of the National Funeral Directors Association whose mission is to be, “The worldwide source of expertise and professional resources for all facets of funeral service. Through education, information and advocacy, NFDA is dedicated to supporting members in their mission to provide families with meaningful end-of-life services at the highest levels of excellence and integrity.” This is something WFDA follows closely as well. 


WFDA’s Executive Administrators from Impact are Caroline and Heather. These two support WFDA by handling the financials, website updates and changes, event planning, and member communication. These duties also include social media, newsletters, and learning more about the industry. Their hands have been full helping to manage this large client. They have both loved the experience so far and look forward to seeing where they can take WFDA.