Monday, March 31, 2014

Baseball Season brings Comparisons with Associations & Nonprofits

Major league baseball is starting. And, with it the advent of expanded video reviews.

Years ago, I heard a cute story about three baseball umpires discussing their profession:
Ump #1 There are balls and strikes and I call them as I see them.
Ump #2 There are balls and strikes and I call them as they are.
Ump #3 There are pitches and they aren’t either until I call them!

Here are 4 things associations and nonprofits share with baseball.

Outlined in your Articles of Incorporation, owners are usually the membership. Everything is done to benefit the owners and the purpose outlined in the articles. The Owners (members) can override either the management (board) or players (staff).
In most associations and nonprofits, the owners (members) have vested overall “management” of the organization with a Board of Directors.

The association’s paid professional staff are the players of your team ... they get the job done. The manager (board of directors) may set the strategies and may adjust the players (staff), but it is the staff who fulfill the organization’s mission and strategies.

In the case of associations and nonprofits, state/federal legislators and regulators set the overall rules and monitor performance.

There is one HUGE difference between associations and baseball: associations don’t have spring training at which we can “test” rookies and other potential players for the big time!
What other similarities or differences do you see between baseball and associations or nonprofits? Feel free to offer comments at

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