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The American Society of Association Executives is the national voice of the association profession. Founded in 1920, it has more than 22,000 association CEOs, staff professionals, and industry partners as members. The Center for Association Leadership serves as the education and training arm of the newly merged organization. Together they provide educational conferences, publications, research, advocacy, and networking opportunities for association professionals.


The Association Forum of Chicagoland is the "association of associations" for more than 1,500 business, charitable, civic and professional organizations headquartered in the Chicagoland area. The Forum's 3,000+ members are the CEOs and staff professionals of these national, state and local not-for-profit organizations, plus vendors of goods and services to these businesses. The Forum provides association management education, information and career services to its members, and advances the public service value of associations to the public.


GuideStar provides free access to tax returns filed by more than 1.5 million not-for-profit organizations in the United States. It provides access to a great deal of financial information about these organizations, including total income and expenses, salaries of Executive Directors and other senior employees, the breakdown of financial information by program and function, balance sheets, and income/expense statements.


Independent Sector speaks for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs that are committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world. The nonpartisan coalition of 550 organizations upholds standards for not-for-profit management, promotes policies protecting the rights of not-for-profit organizations to operate on behalf of their constituents, and produces educational conferences and publications to improve the quality of not-for-profit leadership.

David Patt has authored numerous articles which have been published in print and on the internet. Here are a few which should be of interest.

From Where I Sit: Care to Disagree Associations NOW, July 2013
David explains why critique, discussion, and debate can be helpful tools for creating sound policy.

200 Practical Decisions for Membership Organizations Smashwords, May 2012
Find out how organizations can be more successful by making practical decisions that work best for their organizations, rather than by blindly adhering to rules, customs, or so-called professional "norms."

The Human Side of Turnarounds Illinois Society of Association Executives Newsletter - June 2011
David gives advice about how to deal with a turnaround situation in your organization.

"Because I said so" won't cut it
Associations NOW, August 2009
David explains why managers get better results by treating employees with respect.

When a Sponsor Cuts Back, What's Next?
Associations NOW, July 2009
David describes how to deal with a valued sponsor that unilaterally reduces its support.

Interactive vs. lecture-style learning
Associations NOW, May 2009
David debates the merits of meeting formats and the need for balance between traditional and non-traditional learning styles.

Elections: Association-Style
Forum, September 2008
David identifies the various techniques associations use to select board members.

Compensation Condundrum
Associations NOW, September 2008
David comments on association salary issues and their effect on employees.

Moving from "Who Cares?" to "I Care"
ASAE & The Center, April 2008
David offers strategic fund-raising tips.

Meals Not Included
Forum, August 2007
David explains how many organizations are changing, or eliminating, the meals format at meetings.

Ethics for the Running Community
Inside Track, Spring 2007
David reminds runners to adhere to ethical practices when producing races or participating in them.

Quick Cash
Associations NOW, July 2006
David recounts how CARA creatively generated income to fund a financial turnaround.

Just Like Me (sort of):
A Different Take on Generation X

Forum Magazine, December 2004
David helps demystify Generation Xers so you can better target them in marketing your association.

We Don’t Punch the Clock Around Here
Forum Magazine, June 2003
David examines the value of flexible work hours and work space.

Breaking the glass ceiling Part II: Solutions
Forum Magazine, August 2002
David reveals solutions to "Breaking the glass ceiling".

The Politics of Being a CEO
Forum Magazine, November 2001
The place of politics at not-for-profits.

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