Grau & Associates, LLC (G&A) offers the complete range of association management services; a-la-carte or complete management. Our approach to services and client relations is client-centric and tailored for each organization’s specific needs and priorities.
However, overall G&A’s association management philosophy is holistic and based on five steps in an association’s “life cycle.” Hopefully, unless it is part of an initial finite strategy, the last is never reached. They are:
I. Establishment - Before it can grow and support its members, an association must have appropriate beginnings and a clear vision. G&A works with clients just starting out and those revisiting their starts to: formulate missions and visions, create appropriate legal entities, and identify and prepare leadership.
II. Development - Once an association is established, its members must come together and dig deeper to develop the organization’s framework; the rules and protocols that will direct its activities. Again, G&A works with nascent groups and those seeking to revamp their frameworks to: formulate bylaws, build membership structures, develop dues structures and budgets, outline committees and their purposes, draft governance protocols beyond the bylaws, and identify membership services and their best delivery.
III. Management - To succeed for its members, an established and developed association demands constant attention. Day-to-day activities and focused initiatives, such as annual meetings and board retreats, require a broad understanding of an association’s purpose and goals and consistent attention to every detail. G&A’s core, therefore, is its ability to provide:
IV. Expansion - A well-managed association needs opportunities to expand and build new ways to benefit its members. For its established clients, G&A pays equal attention to new program development and innovations for membership drives, PAC growth, new partnerships, and creative new income streams.
V. Conclusion - Not all associations are meant to last forever. Some come together to accomplish a specific goal and then decide to undo what they’ve built and distribute its assets. G&A also helps associations through this process.
G&A minds these milestones with all its clients whether well-established or just beginning and we spend as much time as necessary on each step in the life cycle, whether it is months or years, to incorporate, establish, and develop a new association or manage and expand a mature association.
Finally, describing G&A is incomplete without describing its staffing and professional relationships. To manage its costs and therefore its clients’ costs, G&A relies on longstanding relationships with professional contractors; experts in their respective association management niches and dedicated to G&A and its clientele. These relationships are seamless to our clients and their members. We pride ourselves on that and our associate teams are assembled based on each unique project to reflect each client’s needs and priorities. This ensures our clients receive the best minds for the job at the best price. G&A’s team includes event planners, public relations and marketing professionals, federal lobbyists, membership services specialists, caterers, hotel reservation and contract specialists, accountants, and digital artists. All are creative, innovative, and team-oriented.
The National Job Corps Association (NJCA) is a Washington, DC based coalition of for-profit and non-profit companies with a vested interest in the United States Department of Labor’s Job Corps program. The Association has close to 100 members and an annual budget of roughly $1M. A large part of the NJCA’s mission is simply to support the federal Job Corps program through policy advocacy and appropriations lobbying, i.e. assuring Job Corps is well funded.
In February 2013, the NJCA reached out to Grau & Associates (G&A) to create a STRATEGY to transition the Association from its long-time executive director who was planning her retirement.
The NJCA was (and is) well established and successful. Taking over as its executive director meant maintaining its success; managing the association, its staff, its policy initiatives, its day-to-day routines, and perhaps finding a way to build on the organization’s accomplishments.
G&A stepped into the role and immediately divided its management work into two categories: operations, including human resources and budgeting, and membership services, including the Association’s major lobbying program. G&A became versed in the Association’s operations and concurrently evaluated the group’s services including its membership communications protocols and its lobbying strategies.
Among the many systems and initiatives that were operating very well, G&A identified two critical areas that needed immediate attention. First, operationally one of the Association’s largest members was considering unsubscribing, a major threat to revenue. Second, the Association’s membership services did not include a political action committee, a major asset for the type of lobbying the NJCA undertakes.
To manage these issues, G&A made a personal visit to the member (Golden, CO) and assured its leadership the Association would be strengthening key efforts important to the member’s continued involvement. G&A helped the NJCA do so and the member (and its dues) remained with the association.
Concurrently, G&A helped establish and grow the NJCA’s first political action committee (PAC); raising money for the PAC’s coffers and successfully guiding the Association and its new PAC to make its first political contribution.