What is association management?
Association management refers to all aspects of running an organization’s operations–from program management, financial management, membership management, marketing, meeting planning, collaborative and member systems, government relations, and more.

What is an association management company or firm?
An association management company usually refers to an entity that offers the services to help support the daily operations of all types of organizations like: associations, consortia, trade groups, alliances, unions, federations, and other collectives.

Is IEEE-ISTO an association management organization?
ISTO is not a traditional association management company or firm. ISTO is a global 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation or federation of member programs that promote industry standards and technologies in the electro-technical sector. By joining ISTO’s Federation, Program Members can access a wide range of services similar to the services an association management firm offers plus the added benefit of operating under the ISTO infrastructure and legal umbrella under which member alliances and trade groups can stand themselves up as legal operating not for profit entities. As a Program Member of ISTO–similar to an association management company–you can access support services and other offerings for legal, finance, IT as well as administrative assistance, marketing, meeting planning, executive leadership and strategic guidance.

Why hire an association management company to help manage your organization?
The benefits of outsourcing the management of an association are many and usually the top reasons are cost efficiency, access to knowledge and experience as well as resources and solutions. A primarybenefit of outsourcing operations is the reduction of the burden of non-mission driven tasks and activities to your volunteers.

When you are building your community/organization the usual alternatives for managing the day to day operations is volunteer run or hiring paid staff. Partnering with an association management company or firm offers immediate benefit by providing you with access to a broad range of knowledge, skills, tools and resources – in less than 48 hours.

How can an association management company help my organization grow?
A technical community can grow its membership under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable association management company that has a proven track record of helping associations accomplish their goals. Through their experience and insights, association management can help you develop the strategies you need to grow.

ISTO offers more than 20 years of technical association management, executive guidance and leadership to help identify opportunities and create your roadmap for success. This, along with synergies afforded with the IEEE, we can help diversify your community and offer exposure to key areas.

ISTO is not a service organization; it is a federation of member programs that promote industry standards and technologies in the electro-technical sector.

  • Legal Umbrella and Insurance – ISTO provides the legal umbrella under which industry programs can be formed, that obviates the need for incorporation. ISTO works with industry programs to establish a full suite of governance documents. ISTO blanket insurance policies offer member programs general liability, directors and officer’s liability and errors and omissions liability.
  • HQ Office and Identity – Piscataway, NJ becomes your virtual headquarters with ISTO providing phone/fax services and warehousing support.
  • Strategic Assistance – ISTO equips you with the necessary tools and recommends strategies and initiatives that succeed. We have staff well versed in functioning as your Executive Director, managing every aspect of operations and communications for and within your organization.
  • Financial Administration – ISTO can handle all aspects of industry program finances, including accounts receivables/payables, tax and finance reporting, annual audits and budgeting.

The list of support goes on.

While ISTO provides the overall operating framework for its member programs, it does enable industry groups to define their unique rules and procedures (e.g., scope and nature of technical program, membership grades and dues, voting requirements and structure) to build a foundation tailored to the technology, the market, the participants, the required time-frame, and the financial and human resources available to achieve their goals.

Antitrust concerns are a factor in the standards development environment – or any time groups of companies join forces to work toward a common goal. As a result, all programs of the ISTO are governed by a rigid set of Antitrust Compliance Guidelines, to which all program participants (i.e., member companies) are required to comply. ISTO staff ensures participants are accountable to organization antitrust policies.

ISTO is a separate legal entity from IEEE and IEEE-SA. ISTO has contracted with IEEE-SA via a service agreement to provide resources to support ISTO member programs.

Since IEEE and ISTO are separate legal entities, ISTO Federation Member Programs are self-governing and can define their own policies and procedures. They do not have to follow the IEEE Patent Policy.