It’s Monday morning, you are in line for coffee at your favorite local coffee shop and as the barista hands you your custom latté, they decide to ask: ‘What do you do for work’? Panic ensues as you try to boil down your position as an association coordinator using only a few sentences. How do you decide, which of your many roles and responsibilities to highlight?

An association coordinator is someone who works within an association or organization and is responsible for coordinating various activities and tasks, often simultaneously, related to the association or organization. They generally report to an association manager (AM) and members of a Board of Directors.

An association coordinator’s responsibilities might include:

  1. Event Management: Association coordinators are often responsible for planning and executing events such as conferences, seminars, workshops, and meetings. These events are essential for bringing members and stakeholders together, fostering networking opportunities, and providing valuable information.
  2. Membership Engagement: Coordinators are usually the primary point of contact for association members. They handle member inquiries, manage membership databases, and ensure members remain engaged with the associations’ activities and benefits.
  3. Communications: Effective communications is crucial for any association. Coordinators handle communications with members, partners, sponsors, and other stakeholders. They disseminate information through newsletters, emails, and social media, keeping everyone informed about the association’s initiatives and updates.
  4. Administrative Support: Coordinators provide administrative support to association leaders and committees. They help with scheduling meetings, preparing agendas, and taking minutes, which are essential for the smooth functioning of the association.
  5. Project Coordination: Many associations run special projects or initiatives, and coordinators play a key role in coordinating and managing these projects from start to finish.
  6. Volunteer Management: Volunteers often contribute significantly to an association’s activities. Coordinators oversee volunteer recruitment, training, and coordination to ensure projects and events run smoothly.
  7. Advocacy and Representation: Association coordinators may participate in advocacy efforts, representing the association’s interests to policymakers, regulatory bodies, and other organizations. They serve as a voice for the members and the association’s mission.
  8. Financial Management: Coordinators may be involved in budgeting and financial aspects, tracking expenses, and ensuring the association operates within its financial constraints.
  9. Relationship Building: Coordinators work closely with members, sponsors, partners, and other stakeholders. Building and maintaining positive relationships with these parties are crucial for the association’s success and growth.
  10. Organizational Stability: By providing continuity and stability to day-to-day operations, coordinators help ensure that the association can achieve its long-term goals and maintain its mission over time.
  11. Efficiency and Effectiveness: Association coordinators streamline processes, manage resources, and optimize operations. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the association’s activities, leading to better outcomes for members.

The association coordinator role is not for the faint of heart, sometimes referred to as a wizard or Jane/Jack of all trades, they are the cog that maintains equilibrium and propels the association forward. These individuals often exhibit:

  • Organizational Skills Tech Savviness
  • Organizational Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Attention to Detail
  • Calm Under Pressure
  • Initiative
  • Passion for the Mission
  • Tech Savviness
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership Skills
  • Time Management
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Networking Skills

In summary, association coordinators play a critical role in managing the various functions of an association, fostering member engagement, and supporting the overall mission and goals of the organization. Their efforts contribute to the success, growth, and sustainability of the association.

Stay tuned for my next blog: The association coordinator – A Vital Role Part 2 where I share insider tips and specific tools an association coordinator can implement to increase ease and efficiency in their role.