Category Archives: Guest post

Transforming IABC

For the last three years, IABC has been under a transformation – revitalizing programs to improve membership retention and achieve financial sustainability. As we transition from the 2014/2017 strategy to the 2017/2020 strategy, we reviewed IABC’s vision, mission, purpose and philosophy statements to give clarity to who IABC is, what IABC does and the value we bring to communication professionals.

We started the review last fall with a global listening tour, holding appreciative inquiry sessions in every region, and then opened the conversation on this blog for input back in January. Armed with your input, vice chair Sharon Hunter and I presented draft statements at Leadership Institute in Dallas.

Knowing that these statements need to work at the chapter, regional and international levels, the input we got in Dallas from IABC leaders crystalized our path forward. We knew which statements were right, and which ones needed work. We also had a better understanding of what each statement should accomplish and who the intended audience was for each one.

A few times I heard members say, “I need to explain to my CEO the business value of IABC.” Your feedback, gave us our new value proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me to the people and insights I need to drive business results.

Here are all the statements that will be added to the IABC bylaws and voted on at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 10, 2017 in Washington D.C.

  • Vision: Professional communicators at the heart of every organization.
  • Purpose: To advance the profession, create connection and develop strategic communicators.
  • Philosophy: IABC pledges to:
    • Represent the global profession.
    • Foster a diverse community.
    • Focus on insights and results.
    • Honor our Code of Ethics.
      We will achieve this by being open, contemporary and professional.

In addition, this statement will be updated in our Brand Guidebook. It is our elevator speech and will be used in marketing and communications materials.

  • Value Proposition: IABC is the only global association connecting me with the people and insights I need to drive business results.

All of these statements use the work of the Brand Task Force, led by Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CMP, IABC Fellow, as a foundation. That, coupled with your guidance, gives us four strong statements that can serve to unite us and guide our work. They reaffirm our strategic intent as an association to stay relevant into the future, underpinning the 2017-2020 new strategy framework that is currently in development. Stay tuned for more updates as we countdown to kick-off at World Conference in Washington, DC this June.

Thank you to IABC members around the globe who participated in this process and helped get us to a better, stronger place.

A brief sampling of feedback from Twitter:

How Membership Dues Are Invested

At some point we’ve all wondered how our membership dues are spent. In this post IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan ABC, sets it all out.

Chapters & Regions

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Ginger Homan

First of all, member dues are compiled from Chapter, Region and International dues. Chapters and Regions determine their fees — some Chapters charge $70, however in many cases it is more like $40. Some Chapters choose to not charge any dues at all. Regions dues range from $25-$90.

These dues are invested by your local and regional leaders in professional development, networking events etc. Speak to your local and regional Treasurer if you want to know more – and consider stepping up – it is a role that can really help you advance.

2016 IABC Who Does What
Who Does What

International

Dues to International is just one of several revenue streams to support work at the international level — 52 percent of the annual revenue; the largest single item. Next in line as sources of revenue are World Conference, Gold Quill and the Job Centre.

Some programs generate revenues, but not a cash return. These include professional development and certification. These two flagships from the 2011-14 strategy are still in the phase where they require significant investment to help them take off. They are expected to start generating a surplus in the coming years, which can then be reinvested.

You can play a part here: step up and serve one of the 22 international committees that advance this work.

Investing in our leaders and our members

Leadership Institute, chapter relations etc. are investments in our leaders. Whilst a net cost, they have a significant return in the form of impact in line with our Theory of Change.

Communication World is a membership benefit and is not designed to generate a surplus.

 

2016 theory of change circles
IABC’s Theory of Change

 

Investing to advance IABC’s strategy – and the profession

Building on the above, our dues support all IABC programs: those designed to generate a surplus for reinvestment – and those that don’t (but are benefits of membership).

2014 Annual Report Income Expenditure Breakdown donuts
Revenue / Expense breakdown at the International level – look for the next update in the annual report released this June.

Below is a list of the areas on the chart and examples of some of the items that category includes.

  • Professional Development
    • Speakers for webinars
    • Software to support the training program
  • World Conference
    • Facilities, food, beverage, Audio/Visual support
    • Keynote speakers
    • Meeting production
  • Certification
    • Development of the certification program
    • Development and management of the exam
    • Costs of administering the exam
  • Gold Quill
    • Evaluation
    • Banquet
    • Awards
    • Software infrastructure
  • Membership / Chapter Relations
    • Scholarships to Leadership Institute and World Conference
    • Chapter Management Awards
    • Bank fees for processing payments
  • Finance / administration
    • Outside professional services including attorney, auditor, finance and human resources
    • Back office computer software and license fees
    • Depreciation
  • Governance
    • Executive Director travel
    • Board travel subsidy
    • Insurance
  • Information Technology
    • Website and any other software not covered above + hardware
    • Consulting for the website and other software applications

You’ll note that the “Finance/administration” portion is 20 percent of the total investment. The norm for professional associations is 25-30 percent.  The International Executive Board is committed to keeping that number as low as possible.

Balanced Budget

The IABC staff worked hard with the Finance Committee to create a balanced budget moving in to 2016. It is directly aligned to the board’s 2014-17 strategy:

“Financial recovery and sustainability is primary, as is the loyalty and development of our members and leaders and consolidating gains from the 2011-14 strategy. Increased reputation in the profession; better brand positioning; and greater interaction with business as a revenue generator are then the big opportunity to be grasped”.

This budget includes investing in:

  • The development of certification exam for the Strategic Advisor level
  • A Learning Management System, allowing the Academy to offer self-paced classes on IABC.com
  • The Global membership survey to determine what members value most
  • An Association Management System, software needed to improve our membership records and an individual’s experience with IABC

If you have questions about IABC finances, please reach out to the IABC Treasurer, Ginger Homan, at ginger [at] ziacommunications.com

You can also find updates in the latest quarterly report. Our annual report that will be issued at the Annual General Meeting at World Conference. We hope to see you there.

Members of Finance Committee

  • Ginger Homan, ABC, IABC Treasurer
  • Michael Ambjorn, IABC Chair
  • Dianne Chase, IABC Vice Chair
  • Victoria Dew
  • Ron Fuchs, APR
  • Alain Legault, MA
  • Carlos Fulcher, MBA, CAE

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You can play a part here: step up and serve one of the 22 international committees that advance the work of the association, and the profession. Or consider running for Treasurer of your local chapter or region. It is a role that can really help you advance.