Does your organization know how to pivot?

Written by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE

(Image: Pivot Point Book Cover)

There is not one ideal business model out there, just like there isn’t one ideal membership model or pricing strategy that works for every association. And while you can identify effective practices and insights by evaluating the models being used by other associations, just replicating another organization’s business model or strategy will not guarantee your association will remain relevant in the future.

Embracing change is extremely difficult for most associations, their professional staff and their volunteer leadership. How you make money, how you deliver value, who you serve and what value you give—all of these can change. The secret, according to the thought leaders I interviewed for my soon to be released book, Pivot Point: Reshaping Your Business When It Matters Most (ASAE 2018), is to cultivate the ability to pivot so that your association can adapt to these changes. While there is no ideal business model that works for all associations, there are common characteristics that enable an association to pivot.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting several insights from Pivot Point. If you wish to learn more or share these insights with your colleagues, team or volunteers, you may purchase a copy at (pre-ordering available soon). ASAE offers discounts for members and bulk purchases; I will be donating all of my net profits to help fund the research, innovation and scholarships supported by the ASAE Foundation.

The next post in this series will highlight one of the five characteristics that associations need to be able to pivot.


This excerpt is adapted from Sheri Jacobs’ book Pivot Point: Reshaping Your Business When It Matters Most (to be published August 18, 2018), which will be available for pre-order soon at ASAE member and quantity-purchase discounts are available.

Posted on August 7, 2018