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American Associations Day: 4 Great Reasons to Celebrate

American Associations Day is a day of education and advocacy to help inform and urge policymakers to support the association community across the nation. We recognize the importance of associations and we want to celebrate them!

Holiday Shaped Cookies on White and Grey Textiles

American Associations Day takes place in March and yes, it is the day to celebrate associations!

There’s nothing better than a day dedicated to all that associations do! Whether you’re planning on joining ASAE at Capitol Hill and meet with Congress, or if you’re working in your local area, your association is making a difference. With over 66,000 trade and professional associations recorded in 2013 alone, there’s a lot of power to be recognized.

Here at Web Scribble, we recognize the impact that associations have every single day. However, we’re very happy to have a special day to celebrate! And believe us - there are many reasons to celebrate.

We’re giving you our top 4 reasons to raise a glass and toast to associations on American Associations Day. We’ll also be mentioning some associations that exemplify the impact and change that makes American Associations Day so meaningful. Enough introduction, let’s get into the real discussion: Here’s what to celebrate about associations.

1. Their volunteerism

It’s no secret that associations thrive off of helping others. It’s what we love about them, and it’s also what makes them appealing to those looking to lend a helping hand. Associations Now reports on the benefits of volunteering through an association and/or nonprofit organization in their article, Career Coach: The Value of Volunteering.

“Volunteering for a professional society or trade association provides several benefits, including the opportunity to network with your peers around your professional background or interests. It also exposes you to trends and best practices within your profession and gives you leadership training and experience.”

This importance is reflected in volunteer numbers as well. In 2013, around 63 million Americans volunteered through a membership organization. So, we know that volunteering is a beneficial activity for professionals across the country. But without associations, these volunteer opportunities would be few and far between.

Associations are the backbone and the channel for impactful volunteerism. They provide the structure and organization volunteers need when looking to provide help in a specific area. Take a look at how the American Nurses Association (ANA) allows members and non-members alike to choose from a variety of volunteer opportunities on its “Volunteer Now!” page.

We know how challenging it is for associations to juggle all of their responsibilities at once. On top of that, providing volunteer opportunities for others to get involve shows the dedication and pride associations have for making a change within their community.

2. Their professional guidance

Associations are selfless. They work for the people, looking to improve their lives and better their surroundings each and every day.

Oftentimes, people look to associations to improvement in their professional lives as well. Yes, career services are highly sought after when it comes to audiences looking to become members of an association.

Around 57 million American adults take formal professional courses or trainings each year. In addition, 69% of those individuals receive those courses from either a private business or a professional association.

Associations do an amazing job providing expertise help for professionals looking to advance their careers. It’s one of the most valuable resources an association can provide, especially for younger generation members. Take a look at the National Career Development Association (NCDA), for example.  An entire association dedicated to empowering individuals looking to excel in their respective career field.

But you don’t just have to be an association about career development to provide helpful professional resources. The American Philosophical Association (APA) offers its members a wide variety of career development tools. Members can look for jobs, seek out career guidance, and learn best practices in their professional field. We admire associations for working with their members to reach a new career level and succeed in their profession.

3. Their leadership

Behind every good association is a great leadership team. Strong leadership is the foundation for impactful change, and it’s what American Associations Day is all about. A great leader in an association knows what members need. They can engage members within their association, generate traffic, and even help boost overall revenue.

ASAE’s article The Leadership Skills Required of Association CEOs speaks on what it takes to be an effective leader for your association. They claim that the association CEO needs to wear many hats in order to bring the right amount of leadership to their staff and members. And they’re right. An association leader takes on the role of brand ambassador, thought leader, corporate executive and anything else that results in a leadership role.

Chances are, your association has a strong leadership that your members admire. It’s what they come back for and look to for guidance in their professional fields. ASAE collected thoughts and advice from associations on their leadership action style.

Here’s what the executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) had to say about their own leadership style: "What comes naturally to me is the desire to connect ideas, experiences, stories, efforts, and people. Sharing relevant information at opportune times in ways that enhance outcomes is energizing. Communication skills, timing, including all stakeholders, and ego-free interactions are keys to successful leadership."

Another association mentioned is the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). The CEO of ACG had an inspirational look on leadership, stating: “The ultimate measure of a leader is what happens in your absence.”

Strong leadership skills are important in any business model, but associations take leadership to the next level every day.

4. Their creativity

It takes a strong sense of creativity to keep members engaged with an association for years on end. With the average attention span in 2018 at a leveling under nine seconds, it’s tough to get anyone to focus in on something for a stretch of time. However, associations work each and every day to come up with new, innovative ways to peak their members interest.

For example, the content associations are providing for members these days is seriously impressive. Whether it’s a podcast, video series, or blog posts, associations are paving the way for creative content for their members. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has an entire web page full of podcast content for audiences to enjoy. You can check out their latest podcast, as well as how to access the rest of their podcast content, on their podcast web page.

Another creative source of content comes from the American Bar Association (ABA).ABA offers its members a business law content library, which is a convenient way to search for all useful business law content available.

Members of ABA as well as non-members can search through a variety of materials, from articles, newsletters, audio recording, webinars, and many more forms of content. The content can also be searched by date produced, legal topic, collection/publication, and committee. It’s a foolproof source of content for anyone in the legal field.

The imaginative minds behind association content are what keep members intrigued and coming back for more. It’s also what helps promote positive growth and learning for members, even entire communities.

So, there you have it. 4 reasons associations should be celebrated, not just on American Association Day, but every single day of the year. Make sure your association gets out there and commemorates the day with your members. Reach out to them, let them know how important American Association Day is, and maybe even send out some free content to celebrate.