Feb. 8, 2022
NACA Director of Finance & Administration
According to results of a
survey done by Association Laboratory Inc. and published by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), in 2020, due to the impact of the pandemic, nearly 60% of association leaders reported "having to cancel or postpone events, along with reduced revenue and diminished engagement." That being the case and with the continuing impact of COVID-19 and its variants, why is it now more important than ever to renew your NACA membership and remain engaged in the member benefits available to you? The best reason of all is that NACA is YOUR association and works for YOU!
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, as it became clear it wasn't going away soon, I was amazed at how NACA's leadership at the board of directors, volunteer and staff levels were able to adapt to the changing needs of its members. New ways of delivering services had to be quickly figured out. Virtual offerings of events and educational programs took the place of in person events. Missing was the face-to-face networking opportunities members look forward to as part of the NACA experience. New ways of filling that void needed to be created.
A whole new menu of opportunities was implemented with the specific and relevant needs of NACA's members in mind. Virtual "Coffee and Conversations" webinars provided opportunities for a more dialogue driven learning opportunities. Updated diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and social justice resources were added through webinars, virtual "DiversiTEAs" and the newly developed virtual summer educational series. Virtual affinity chats were implemented to create networking opportunities. Two virtual conferences and Virtual NACA Live replaced live events to give school members the opportunity to meet virtually with associate members to plan alternative forms of programming for their students. Emphasis has been placed on competency-based curriculum development for current and future educational resources, equipping members to be more effective as campus activities professionals. And that is just to name a few.
In the fall of 2021, NACA successfully held four in-person conferences. In a week, we plan to hold the first in-person NACA Live in two years. The pandemic is still making it necessary to plan for the health and safety of attendees at these in person events, by monitoring CDC guidance and that of local health and safety authorities. But NACA is committed to creating the experiences its members have come to want, and need, and expect.
Whatever the future looks like for NACA's in person or virtual programs, you can be sure it will include continued commitment on the part of the association to put members first. As an association, we are more than the sum of our parts. Your membership and engagement in NACA not only benefits you and your business or institution but adds to the collective benefit of the whole.
NACA's vision is "to create college communities were everyone belongs." With a new strategic plan in the development phase to move toward that vision, come be a part of bringing that vision to fruition.
Brenda Baker is the director of finance and administration at the National Association for Campus Activities. Baker has dedicated her 40-year career to managing associations' financial resources and services.