Five signs your association needs a strategic review

10 Jan 2018 2:24 PM | ONZL Team

Strategic reviews don’t need to be a long, complicated process.  Member led organisations can benefit greatly from clarifying their purpose and overall plans.  However, it can be difficult to know when a review of your professional body or association is best timed.  Consider, if your organisation has recently experienced any of these pivotal trigger points?


  1. Declining membership.  For whatever reason, if your membership is diminishing, it is essential to re-position your organisation to stay relevant.
  2. Lack of member engagement.  Engagement can include event attendance, volunteering, renewals, website statistics, social media, newsletter open and click through rates.  If engagement is waning, an effective plan is required.  Ensure you have measurable engagement goals to track progress.
  3. Difficulty in securing funding.  If funding stress or a significant funded programme has reached its completion, reviewing is critical. 
  4. Changes to governance, management or business structure.  A new board, chair or c-level executive offers a timely opportunity for review.
  5. Changing needs of your membership.  All organisations evolve over time in response to the needs of their membership.  For example, has your industry recently experienced regulatory or technology changes?  A strategic review will realign members to its association.

If your association has recently experienced any of these triggers, a strategic review is essential to thrive.  Through planning, refreshing your association’s approach will bring numerous benefits and opportunities.  Once your purpose has been clarified, your organisation will be well positioned to move forward, setting and working toward new goals.  

A strategic review will also strengthen your team, with a less reactive approach to decision making and improved member engagement.  Ultimately, your member value proposition will be enhanced and your key messages will be better positioned to reach your members.

If you would like help facilitating a strategic review, please contact the ONZL team.

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ONZL supports organisations with their governance, operations, meeting management, communications and infrastructure.