There can be many benefits, and some potential pitfalls, when larger associations sell management services to smaller ones. While some of the managed groups are incorporated nonprofits, others become affiliates or divisions of the bigger entity. “A lot of people think it’s a merger or nothing, and that’s definitely not the case,” said Jeff Tenenbaum of the law firm Venable.
Wall Street has outpaced Main Street, but groups are able fund to new initiatives. This financial strength has put many groups in a better position to fund new efforts from reserves.
CEO Jim Nussle pushes for change: “To assume that an association today has all the tools or has built all the tools over its history to meet the challenges of modern-day advocacy is an assumption with peril."
Experts warn that going it alone could hurt prospects. "We partner closely together to identify and recruit the very best candidates for our clients," said executive recruiter Liza Wright.