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Advancing America.

If associations advance America, volunteers certainly advance associations. In 1990 the ASAE-commissioned Hudson Institute study, The Value of Associations to American Society, provided solid evidence that, indeed, associations enhance society - by providing education, setting standards, and participating in the political process, among other activities. Members of the 5,500 surveyed associations contributed at least $3.3 billion worth of estimated volunteer time in a year.

On the heels of the Hudson study results, ASAE kicked off a public awareness campaign to better inform the media, legislators, and the public of how associations and their leaders positively influence America.

ASAE has showcased many associations mentioned in the study in Association Management and at ASAE's conventions, and in 1991 created the Associations Advance America Awards program to honor associations for their contributions. ASAE received nearly 300 entries.

Five associations were recognized for their programs at ASAE's 71st Annual Meeting & Exposition. Here is a description of the programs of these top five Summit Award winners.

Advancing safety, health, and quality

The Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA), Washington, D.C., received an award for its "Responsible Care" program, a voluntary initiative by member companies to improve performance in health, safety, and environmental quality, and stress the responsible management of chemicals. Participation in Responsible Care is an obligation of CMA membership. A CMA public advisory panel - made up of representatives of groups like the Sierra Club - monitors progress.

Voluntary standards are the most significant area of standardization in the United States. Surveyed associations spent $14.5 billion in 1989 setting, certifying, and meeting product and safety standards, compared to $34 million spent by the government.

Educating workers and the public

The Electronic Industries Foundation, Washington, D.C., sponsors "Project With Industry," a job training and placement program that helps people with disabilities obtain competitive employment. Since 1977 more than 10,600 skilled people with disabilities have been placed in the work force. Positions filled have ranged from electronic assemblers to senior engineering managers with starting salaries from $7,000 to $62,400, respectively.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a New York City-based non-profit coalition of association volunteers from the advertising, public relations, production, research, and media industries, received an award for its efforts to change attitudes about illegal drugs. Volunteers create, produce, and place antidrug messages in newspapers, magazines, telephone directories, theaters, subways, buses, and on billboards, national and local radio and television, rented videos, and toys. At the end of 1990, these antidrug messages were placed at the equivalent air time or advertising space of $1 million per day.

Within 48 hours of the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War, the 510 affiliates of the National Mental Health Association, Alexandria, Virginia, worked with dozens of organizations to quickly produce and distribute 5,000 free "Coping With War" resource kits. These kits consisted of 14 fact sheets on topics such as helping children handle grief, coping with war-related stress, and understanding military resources for families in crisis. Kits were distributed through a variety of local community organizations, including mental health associations and Red Cross chapters.

Nearly 90 percent of the associations that participated in The Value of Associations to America Society survey offer educational programs and services to members, and more than 71 percent offer public information.


helping neighbor

In response to President Bush's message at ASAE's 1990 Spring Convention & Exposition, the National Association of Life Underwriters, Washington, D.C., challenged each of its 140,000 members to pledge at least eight hours of community service during one year. NALU members - sales professionals in life and health insurance and other related financial services - participated in community projects ranging from running marathons to raise money for a local charity to training guide dogs for the blind to warning teenagers through comic books about the dangers of drugs.

Members completed more than 1.6 million hours of community service in one year.

Tip of the iceberg

While ASAE has collected many examples of outstanding association activities, at least as many more associations are advancing American. The examples in The Value of Associations to American Society study reflect the contributions of only 5,500 national associations.

The final value of this study and the Associations Advance America campaign depends on their use by your association and others. More than 205 million Americans belong to associations managed by ASAE members - that's a tremendous potential outreach for this message.

We invite and encourage you to write and tell us of your association's activities.

Overall Economic Impact

of Surveyed Associations

$ 14.5 billion on standard-setting $ 9.7 billion to conduct operations(*) $ 5.3 billion on education and training $ 3.3 billion worth of volunteer time
$ 15 billion in effects beyond direct expenditures
$ 48 billion

(*)Includes $2.5 billion of education-related costs, i.e., speaker fees,food, promotion.

The numbers presented in the report reflect only the survey's universe of associations which met a series of criteria, and have not been extrapolated to the full association community. Gales Encyclopedia of Associations lists 23,000 national associations and an additional 64,000 associations at the state, local and regional levels which includes all types of associations, but not their chapters.



To help spread the word about the value of associations and the good things your association is involved in, ASAE has created several materials available to you for free. The information links your association's public relations efforts with ASAE's Associations Advance America national campaign.

More Ideas workbook. This free easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blank workbook enables your association to promote its work at the national, state, and local levels, Sample news releases - easily adapted for distribution to trade publications and the local media - are provided. The workbook also contains public service announcements (PSAs) in which you can insert your own copy and logo. The PSAs contain information on how associations advance America - from education to standard setting to community service.

Idea Exchange newsletters. Three newsletters serve as tools for sparking new ideas by providing examples of how associations are using the Associations Advance America campaign and logo in their own organizations.

Community Service Information Kit. The kit provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up a community service program in your association, as well as examples of existing programs.

Bumper stickers. Brightly colored Associations Advance America bumper stickers are available to individuals for free and discounted in bulk quantities.

To receive these promotional materials, write ASAE Public Relations, 1575 Eye St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005-1168; or call (202) 626-2733.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:includes related article; associations' community services
Publication:Association Management
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Previous Article:Government affairs.
Next Article:The change factor.

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