AORE Association Governance Update Governance Update - Page 2

What is Governance? Understanding how your Association operates.

By: Mitch Hoffman, Board of Directors

This summer the board of directors worked with a consultant to craft a roadmap for where AORE wants to go as we develop our next long-term strategic plan. AORE was well served through the implementation our current strategic plan, and as we look to the future we want to continue to keep our association on the forefront of a dynamic and rapidly growing space within the outdoor industry. Much like our member programs have changed significantly over the past decade, the greater outdoor industry has also changed at an even more accelerated pace.

AORE’s greatest challenge, in a highly dynamic and evolving outdoor industry, is going to be staying relevant. AORE’s recent work has brought attention to the constituent base that we represent (1.5 million participants annually). This significant reach and AORE’s continued growth are garnering increased attention in the outdoor industry space. The outdoor industry is much larger than many member programs recognize within the silos that we operate. While it’s not our members jobs to stay abreast of this gigantic industry, it is the job of your association to do that for its members.

As AORE’s membership has grown 30% over the last seven years, we have seen challenges in how the association needs to be able to operate. What was once a 100% grassroots association where almost 10% of its membership was on the board or committee leadership, today it is a completely different entity. With over 1 million non-profit associations in this country, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We do need to look at how successful associations of similar size and scope are using modern governance as a tool to maximize growth and success. As a board we are asking ourselves what those governance structures look like. Not only taking into consideration our current size and scope, but more importantly, where we want to be in the future.

Therefore, as the board develops our next strategic plan we have recognized we need to overhaul our governance structure, so it aligns with the current association size, mission and future aspirations. With, as our members are not typically immersed in non-profit governance knowledge, the questions are: What does governance really mean? More importantly, how can efficient governance benefit me and make our association better?