Why associations matter

According to the American Society of Association Executives (Asae), below are three key influences why associations matter. In each, I cited an example of programs that members of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE) have undertaken in their respective organizations:

  • Associations enrich lives through meaningful volunteerism, creating standards of safety and quality, promoting specialized expertise and creating citizenship with communities around the globe. On standards of safety, the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines has a road-safety program that standardizes road-safety guidelines among all its member-companies’ trucking contractors.
  • Associations sustain competitiveness by committing resources to lifelong learning, professional development, mentoring and research. The Philippine Franchise Association offers the Certified Franchise Executive Program, which enables franchise professionals to earn, grow professionally and reach a recognized standard of excellence in the
    franchise community.
  • Associations impact the economy via industrial development, product and service innovation and facilitating domestic and international business. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Industry Sector, for example, spearheaded the crafting of the Transformation Development Program that articulated the steps and specific strategies that will help achieve the country’s vision as an industrialized tiger economy.

Asae President and CEO John H. Graham IV, in the latest issue of PCAAE’s Association World magazine, said: “Associations put their resources to work in solving many of the world’s pressing problems [like calamities]…they were in the front lines of relief efforts, organizing and deploying professionals from their field to assist in the affected communities or raising funds to meet immediate and long-term recovery needs.” I think this resonates well in the Philippine context where associations got together, for instance, to help victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda.

Asae Foundation President Susan Robertson, in her presentation at the recent Dubai Association Conference, said: “Everything we touch and do is influenced by an association.

Associations make the world smarter, safer and better—they provide, among others, postcollege skills education and  standards of excellence and serve underserved sectors of society.”

At the PCAAE Associations Summit 5 in the PICC in November 2017, our closing keynote speaker, Roy Sobrecarey, president of the New Rural Bank of Agoncillo, said associations are, in every step of the way in our lives—from “womb to tomb,” so to speak—the attending nurse and doctor at birth are members of a professional society, the teachers and professors at schooling, one’s self during his or her career and, finally, even the mortician. “This is a continuing life cycle, sustaining the viability of many associations that have an impact on a whole range of human activities,” Roy added.

“The future of associations is very bright…. No matter what the world looks like in the future, people will have common interests and challenges to meet,” John summed up.


The column contributor, Octavio “Bobby” Peralta, is concurrently the secretary-general of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (Adfiap) and CEO of the PCAAE. PCAAE enjoys the support of Adfiap, the Tourism Promotions Board and the Philippine International Convention Center.

E-mail: obp@adfiap.org



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