Building a Stronger CFMA
By Stuart Binstock, President & CEO
As you may have heard, CFMA is now more than 7,000 strong. Three years ago, CFMA’s leadership decided to remove increasing membership as a specific goal from our strategic plan. Instead, we focused on increasing the value of membership by improving our products and services, which we hoped would culminate in an increase in membership. Since we now have more than 7,000 members, we know this strategy makes sense. Our focus on increasing value was highlighted by Associations Now (www.cfma.org/cfmanews), which applauded us for this unique perspective.
One of the reasons we were able to increase value over the past three years is due to increased financial resources. Also three years ago, we embarked on a mission to increase our financial resources by creating the Principal Partner Program (PPP). Intended to create long-term sponsorship opportunities that provide the sponsor with value-added services in a bundle, the PPP’s guiding principles are:
• Sponsors interaction with CFMA members has to be relevant and valuable.
• Value to the sponsors has to be measurable and repeatable.
• The tone of the sponsor interaction must be collegial, non-commercial, and peer focused.
In 2012, Viewpoint Construction Software became CFMA’s first Principal Partner. This partnership has greatly assisted CFMA in creating additional value for our members by increasing nondues revenue, thus allowing CFMA to deliver additional products and services, expand our educational offerings, and develop stronger relationships with our chapters.
For example, the PPP has allowed us to fund regional conferences through a $3,000 grant that totaled $27,000 this year. The PPP is also largely responsible for CFMA’s ability to create a unique new program for our chapters called the Support, Training, and Resources (STAR) Program. Throughout FYE15, chapters could use dedicated STAR funds (up to $3,000 per chapter) for the following activities: 1) Chapter administrative services, 2) Spring Creek registration and/or travel expenses, 3) CFMA national speaker program, 4) CFMA national education programs, and 5) Chapter strategic planning provided by a third-party. Simply put, without the PPP, we would not have had the financial resources for this program that is intended to enhance the member experience at the chapter level.
I am excited to report that in addition to Viewpoint Construction Software, we have recently added a new Principal Partner in the accounting and related services field: BKD, LLP CPAs & Advisors. BKD is well known in CFMA circles, as some of its senior staff members have been instrumental in leading CFMA’s effort to conform FASB’s revenue recognition standard so that it is not unnecessarily disruptive to the construction industry.
We now have the resources to accomplish great things for our Association. CFMA’s Officers, Executive Committee, and HQ staff will spend the next few months determining how we can create additional member value. If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
In conclusion, it is that time of year when I thank the outgoing Chairman, Steve Tenney, who has led the Association this year with class and distinction. Everyone who has had a chance to interact with Steve is impressed with his intellect and dedication. And, he is probably the most prepared person I have ever met; whether it be an Executive Committee meeting, a conference call with stakeholders, or our weekly phone call, Steve is always prepared.
I would also like to welcome Brad Robinson, CCIFP, who becomes CFMA’s Chairman on April 1. Brad brings a very different but equally committed perspective to the position of Chairman. Please join me in welcoming Brad, who looks forward to working with all of CFMA’s constituencies over the next year.
Copyright © 2015 by the Construction Financial Management Association. All rights reserved. This article first appeared in CFMA Building Profits. Reprinted with permission.
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