Sector and AuSAE News

  • 20 Dec 2019 12:15 PM | Toni Brearley (Administrator)

    AuSAE in partnership with Survey Matters are excited to announce we are embarking on a research project to discover what defines a successful association.

    Your participation will contribute to comprehensive results that reflect the breadth of experiences across all associations. Click below to start the survey:

    This research is intended to support association executives, to enable their organisations to remain relevant and leverage meaningful change.

    The Associations Matter - Defining Successful Associations in 2020 Report will:

    • Provide a timely overview of the sector
    • Identify common sector challenges and what others are doing to overcome them
    • Identify high performing associations and what drives their success
    • Allow you to benchmark your association
    • Help guide your strategic planning

    All participants will receive an electronic copy of the report.

    We thank you in advance for your participation.  Your contribution will help build our collective understanding and impact of our sector.

    Warm regards,
    Toni Brearley
    CEO, AuSAE

  • 20 Dec 2019 12:05 PM | Toni Brearley (Administrator)

    As recognition of our partnership for the #WIAL event in Melbourne this year,  RACV Conferences and Events have generously extended the below offer to the AuSAE community at the RACV Cape Schanck Resort.

    Book a new event to be held in May or June 2020 at RACV Cape Schanck Resort and receive*:
    • Complimentary upgrade to the Peninsula Suite for 1 VIP (valued at $2,500)
    • 30 minutes of canapes or 45-minute wine tasting
    • 10% discount at One Spa for treatments booked throughout the event dates or 2 x Hammam Bathing Vouchers

    With a special event lawn for dinner under the stars, RACV Cape Schanck is a breath of fresh air.

    Call 03 5950 8000 or email Advise of AuSAE offer.

    *Event bookings are subject to availability. Valid May & June 2020 for new bookings only. Minimum event spend is $20,000. Accommodation in Peninsula Suite is subject to availability.


  • 18 Dec 2019 8:34 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    Let’s make a bet. I bet that if you pull any association’s job posting for a leadership opening, you will find the word “innovation” at least half the time, either as a requirement of the type of person or a descriptor of where the organization is going. I also would bet that if you walk into most associations and ask their team the last time they innovated, they would have to think about it and wouldn’t be able to name more than one innovation in the past year.

    With the push for associations to innovate and think more like businesses to maintain relevance long-term, there seems to be a gap in how associations see innovation.  

    Here’s my final bet: If you asked an association leader what innovation is, I bet they would describe a strategic initiative that would drastically change or evolve their offerings or operations.

    This is not the only way to define, measure or think of innovation. I want to invite you to the real world of innovation: small-sized innovation.

    Rather than think of innovation only as large, shiny new projects, think of it as any change that moves the needle toward your goals. Here are three examples of small-sized innovations we’ve implemented in 2019 at the Professional Pricing Society. These changes took small amounts of staff time, funding and resources:

    1. Member newsletter: Each month, we would email our members that the newsletter was ready for them to view in their portal electronically, but the conversion of users logging in was not as high as we would like and we received feedback that they would prefer we attach the newsletter directly to the email. While we were nervous they might share the newsletter with non-members, we realized they could download the PDF and share it regardless, so why not embrace this potential marketing and give our members what they want? Now, instead of an alert to login with a link to the member portal, we email them a link to view the newsletter directly without login.  This turned a 4-click login process into a 1-click viewing process and made our members much happier.
    2. Transcriptions: As a global organization, we receive a few requests annually for our online courses to be offered in other languages. While that could be a large, costly project, we determined a quicker, more efficient way to meet our member needs after talking with them directly. Nearly every requestor agreed a transcription of the online course would be sufficient as they could run it through Google Translate to follow along. To get the transcriptions, we used an artificial intelligence program that cost 10 cents per minute of audio with 99% accuracy to transcribe with timestamps. We uploaded each course individually and within ten minutes, each one had a transcription we could upload as a Word document into our LMS for immediate availability. A bonus win: this advanced our online accessibility, too.
    3. Membership value: In addition to our current member benefits, one goal we had was to include a monthly new learning opportunity for all members across the skills needed in the industry we serve so tat they can see an increase in the ROI of their membership and increase member portal logins to increase engagement with other member offerings and retention. Originally, we were mapping a new series that would take a lot of time every month. After some consideration, we decided instead to invest in a videographer to record our keynotes at our two main annual conferences. Across these, we have 16 keynotes, so we can afford to throw out any that don’t perform well or save one or two for free content marketing while still retaining 12 for our monthly offerings each year. The two-time recording and editing costs were much lower than doing new content each month, so we essentially exported the content creation as our keynote speakers were already presenting rather than having staff make new content, and it added an additional benefit because it showed members who didn’t come to the conference what they were missing.

    As we focus on these types of small-sized innovation, we are able to more clearly articulate to our president, board and members many innovative wins each year rather than placing all of our innovation eggs in one large basket.  As a result, staff morale is higher, we find ourselves more open to large and small change, and we tackle bigger innovation projects with confidence and enthusiasm because our small wins have built us up.

    Dr. Michael Tatonetti is the Director of Certification and Education for The Professional Pricing Society, where he oversees global training and development of pricing professionals and their organizations through conferences, online courses, virtual summits and private trainings. His areas of expertise include education, membership, marketing and sales.

  • 12 Dec 2019 4:27 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    How should association communicators balance the needs of their business, the priorities of their organisation’s leaders and the resources at their disposal? Who are their audiences, and what do they need in their lives as members – or prospective members? And what matters most when it comes time to measure success?

    Those are the types of questions we were asking at The Ohio Society of CPAs as we thought about our content. We wanted to know:

    • What content we should create and distribute.
    • Who should consume it.
    • How they would consume it.
    • How to measure value and success.
    • How to identify things we should stop doing.

    That’s an important and complex discussion even if we were to stop there. But we’re also living in a world of swift and constant change, not only for our members in the accounting profession but for us in the communication business. As the OSCPA content team discussed our strategy, we realized we could take the time to develop a list of specific to-dos for the next 3-5 years. But we understood there was a strong chance our plan could be obsolete or worn away by sudden events or changed minds before we reached the end. We did not want to relitigate our strategy again in a year or two. Instead, we needed something that would continue to guide us through those very times that make planning difficult: when the world evolves and organizational priorities shift. Something, as we said at the time, that we could frame and hang on the wall like the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Of course, you do need to get specific things done, and we’re fortunate at OSCPA to have a systematic way to do it. That’s our “plan of work,” an organization-wide structure we began using around 2015 to prioritize and coordinate efforts based on the direction of our executive board. The plan, which is updated annually, details strategic priorities, the steps needed to achieve them and the responsible staff and volunteers. It guides our planning and helps us prepare our annual operating budget.

    The plan of work also removes the burden of including our to-do list in our departmental strategy, allowing it to instead be a stabilizing force over time. So, we created a content strategy intended to be a nimble, adaptable framework to inform the things our communications department is doing within the plan of work. The intent was to provide objectives we can turn to each year, in conjunction with the directives we receive from the executive board and CEO.

    It consists of four goals, each of which is supported by a list of objectives. In summary:

    Support strategic objectives. This is about alignment. We need to make sure what we’re doing is tied to the strategic priorities identified annually (or sometimes more frequently) by the board and CEO. Our measurements are based on the organizational objectives, for example: growth in membership, revenue, audiences or engagement.

    Communicate and provide value to our audiences. This is about providing knowledge on two levels. First, we provide content members need to be effective in their jobs. Second, we give members information about our organization itself; how they benefit by being members, learning opportunities we offer and ways they can further engage with the accounting profession.

    Demonstrate thought leadership by serving as an authoritative, influential voice for the accounting profession. This ties closely to our organization’s strategic initiative of advocacy for the accounting profession. Listening is an important part, as we need to keep tabs on the important issues CPAs care about, as well as the ones they aren’t concerned about yet, but should be. We also need to think differently and find opportunities to stand out by offering information and opinion that contrasts with the status quo.

    Drive member discussion and engagement, which may include prompting people or groups to action. This ties to our strategic initiative of community and speaks to our need to foster community by providing a framework and forum for members to connect with one another and benefit from those connections.

    This strategy has served us well, and it remains a work in progress. Though we’re still implementing some ideas we had when we wrote it, we’ve remained aligned within our organization, we’re aiming at our goals and we continue to make progress. We’ve tweaked it over the years and remain open to changes, but knowing our direction has made it easier for us to concentrate on the work of serving our organization and members’ needs.

    Gary Hunt, Communications Director at The Ohio Society of CPAs. 10 Dec 2019

  • 14 Nov 2019 12:47 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    Have you recently assessed the risks and opportunities for your future success because of the exponential changes in member engagement methods, expectations and technology?

    Have you considered if your current operations would work as effectively in the future?  Join industry expert, ASI’s Paul Ramsbottom at 1pm NZDT on Wednesday, 27 November for a special complimentary webcast and we'll help you gain the knowledge, and know-how needed, to help drive the improvements essential to future-proofing your Association’s success. 

    ASI is proud to be an AuSAE Alliance Partner. for all listings

  • 04 Nov 2019 12:25 PM | Toni Brearley (Administrator)

    October saw us deliver our final networking series events for 2019 under the banner of “Why Associations Matter”.  It was a pleasure to bring together association leaders in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra to discuss the impact of associations.  Through robust discussions and frank conversation there were clear themes that presented which include

    • As a sector Associations make a significant contribution to the economy through workforce development, upholding of standards and influencing policy.  There is an association in almost every industry and profession contributing to society, and this is largely unseen.
    • Professional Governance frameworks and skilled Directors are essential to an association’s future
    • Associations need to take a stand on issues that matter on behalf of their members
    • Collaboration within industry sectors could and should be improved.  It is possible to work with “competing” associations without losing your identity
    • Rather than an Apocalypse or Utopia – Associations are in a phase of “Phoenix rising” with those that are willing to evolve, listen to their members and be fit for purpose will survive and thrive.

    A big thank you to all our panelists and participants who made for such rich discussions, and we look forward to bringing you more on this important topic in the new year.

    In the so close but yet so far run to the end of the year we have many events and professional development opportunities to engage in, including our new Member Experience #MX2019 in Melbourne on 25 November.  We are looking forward to a fresh format, lots of discussion and the opportunity to talk all about membership for the day. We are delighted to welcome via video link “the Membership Economy” author, Robbie Kellman Baxter who will share her research around creating the ‘forever’ transaction.

    #WIAL events will return in December and we are exploring the theme “Diversity beyond Gender”.   Dr Elizabeth Shoesmith will keynote the events and share her research on building truly inclusive organisations.  

    We are also re-looking at how we deliver value for membership and will be introducing a new membership structure for 2020 with will deliver better value and more opportunities for members to up-skill, network and connect.  Look out for your membership renewals in your inboxes in the coming week.

    And finally, we have announced our premier event of the AuSAE calendar, the AuSAE Conference and Exhibition (ACE) will be held in Melbourne 31 March – 2 April at Melbourne Pullman on the Park. Early registrations are open now!

    I hope to touch base with many of you in the next few months and wish you well in the last few weeks of the decade!


  • 08 Aug 2019 6:46 AM | Toni Brearley (Administrator)

    One of the many pleasures of my role at AuSAE is the opportunity to experience and learn from a broad range of professional speakers, association leaders and topic experts through AuSAE’s comprehensive events program.

    Our speakers collectively contribute enormous value to our member community through their sharing of knowledge and experience and I would like to take a moment to say thank you to the hundreds of speakers who have graced our stages in the past,  and those fearless enough to do so in the future.

    This past week I have had the absolute pleasure of travelling with and hosting Yamini Naidu – who is both a teacher and a scholar of Business Storytelling.  Yamini speaks of Bombay trains, Nelson Mandela and brussel sprouts in a way that not only engages but also delivers value to her audience.

    We were introduced to the concept of subtle, soft power and how story power can assist us in our roles of connecting, consulting and influencing to create change.  The power of storytelling is a skill that can be learnt, and I believe we are only beginning to discover this in a business sense.

    For those that were unable to attend one of Yamini’s presentation her brand new book “Story Mastery” which we were pleased to help her launch can be found here

    I hope to bring back a swag of stories as I prepare to attend the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Columbus, Ohio next week.   The meeting attracts over 5000 delegates from the USA and across the association world and I am looking forward to joining forces with my fellow Aussies and as we seek out the latest trends, common challenges and great ideas that I can share on my return. In particular I am keen to hear how associations are using AI in their marketing channels and seeking presentations on association growth.  Keep an eye on the AuSAE social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) for commentary and highlights.

    Looking forward into September we will bring some exciting partnership announcements which I am very keen to share with you, and ones that I hope will assist you to strengthen your associations.

    Until then, take care

    Warm regards


  • 30 Jul 2019 4:04 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    YOU ARE INVITED to help shape the 2020 New Zealand Not for Profit Salary Report.

    Click here to begin the survey

    ALL respondents can purchase the Report at a substantial discount of $NZ99 (RRP $NZ195).

    The Survey is now open and closes 11 pm Wednesday 31 July 2019.

    With over 20 years of experience in providing Not for Profit Salary Surveys

    ALL CEOs, Board members, managers, and staff of NFPs are encouraged to contribute. This benefits the whole NFP sector.

    Enterprise Care is pleased to partner with NZ AuSAE in this New Zealand Salary Survey.

    Please note that as this is an anonymous link, you will need to complete the survey in one (1) sitting.  If you would prefer, you can ask for a personalised link.  This link allows you to complete the Survey in multiple sittings.

    A checklist of the information you will need to complete the New Zealand 2019 Not for Profit Salary Survey can be found here.

    Enterprise Care fully respects and upholds your rights to privacy protection.  Throughout the Report only aggregated responses will be used and no identifiable information is disclosed.  Your trust is critical to us.

    If you have multiple people with the same Function and Level (position), contact Enterprise Care, who will assist you with including this information in the Survey.

    All questions about the Survey, please contact Enterprise Care on +61 3 8862 6315 or

    We look forward to your contribution and to helping you with your salary strategies.

    Thank you in advance.
    Managing Director

  • 05 Jul 2019 7:30 AM | Toni Brearley (Administrator)

    Melbourne, VIC (01 July 2019) Advanced Solutions International (ASI), a leading global provider of software and services for associations and non-profits, announced today it has committed to an exclusive, three-year Premium Alliance Partnership with the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE).  AuSAE is the leading association for current and future association leaders in Australia and New Zealand representing more than 12,000 professionals.

    ASI’s partnership will help support AuSAE’s educational and professional development programs, including conferences, webinars, and networking luncheons, as well as research and advocacy efforts.

    “ASI has supported AuSAE initiatives for many years now and we’ve been impressed with the level of professionalism and the value the organisation delivers to its members by providing a place where they can connect while learning and advancing their careers,” said Paul Ramsbottom, Managing Director of ASI Asia-Pacific. We’re thrilled to make this long-term commitment to AuSAE and are very proud to support their exceptional programs and initiatives across Australia and New Zealand.” 

    “AuSAE’s philosophy behind securing mutually beneficial partnerships is to enhance and complement the capacity to link our members and industry in an exclusive environment,” said Toni Brearley, AuSAE’s Chief Executive Officer.  “We strive to create a sense of belonging while providing guidance and inspiration.  We’re very gratified ASI believes in this mission and will be providing the support we need to continue our vital work in the years to come.”

    About AuSAE

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) is the peak not-for-profit professional society representing more than 12,000 individual leaders working in organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand.  With offices in Australia and New Zealand, AuSAE's purpose is to provide the tools, information, and networks not-for-profit professionals need to achieve the visions of their organisations.

    About ASI
    Advanced Solutions International (ASI) is a recognised global, industry thought leader that focuses on helping associations and not-for-profits increase operational and financial performance through the use of best practices, proven solutions, and ongoing client advisement. Since 1991, ASI has served nearly 4,000 clients and millions of users worldwide, both directly and indirectly through a network of over 100 partners, and currently maintains corporate offices in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia
    . Learn more at


    Marla Nelson                                                                                                                                    Advanced Solutions International
    Ph: +61 3 9869 7503

  • 04 Jul 2019 4:52 PM | Toni Brearley (Administrator)

    It’s hard to believe we have just crossed the half-way mark of 2019!  What a great first 6 months we have had here at AuSAE.

    Our standout highlight was the fantastic ACE2019 held here in Brisbane just 4 short weeks ago.  

    We welcomed 357 delegates, representing over 220 associations from 3 continents.  It was a fantastic 3 days of learning, sharing and connecting with like-minded association colleagues and I would like to take the opportunity to thank every person who attended, exhibited and contributed to making the event such a memorable one. 

    For a great wrap up of the event I share a blog post written by Nicki Hauser from FineHaus (thank you Nicki) and of course a picture speaks 1000 words – a big shout out to the fabulous Shane & Nat from Oneill Photographics who, as always, did an amazing job capturing those special moments throughout the conference.  Check out the photo gallery here

    Following the AGM at the end of May we saw some changes to the AuSAE board,  most notably a change in leadership with long-serving President Graham Catt stepping down from the position and from the board, and the appointment of Lyn McMorran as President for a term of 2 years following her successful reelection.  

    We welcome new incoming Directors Michelle Blicavs and Peter Saffin who were successfully elected this year and we said farewell to Richard Stokes who stepped up to serve on the board at a critical time in early 2018 and made a valuable contribution during his time.

    AuSAE have a super busy second half of 2019 to share with you starting off with a special executive briefing series from our Partners Mill Oakley focusing on the pending Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with a disability.

    Our August Networking lunch series will feature one of the highest rated speakers at the recent ACE conference, Yamini Naidu who will talk to us about Business Storytelling.

    I will be heading off to Columbus, Ohio during August to attend the ASAE Annual Meeting and connect with association executives and colleagues from across the globe.  If you are considering attending the conference AuSAE have an exclusive discounted rate for our members.  More information can be found here.

    In September I urge you to consider heading to the gorgeous region of Napier to attend the 2019 LINC conference in New Zealand.  I have available 5 complimentary tickets for Australian members to attend – email me if you would like to join us (first in first served).

    We hope all our members enjoyed receiving the Associations Now magazine produced by ASAE. A big thank you to Higher Logic for making this happen.

    As always,  I am open to hearing your thoughts and ideas of how we can serve our membership better,  so please reach out via email

    I look forward to catching up with many of you in the coming weeks.

    Take care

    Toni Brearley
    Chief Executive Officer,  AuSAE

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software