Start Your Alliance iconGrow Your Alliance iconOnce your alliance trade association is operational, it needs to be cared for and managed. While membership engagement is critical for organizational success, it cannot be counted on to ensure your group or association operates according to best practice.

For that, many organizations turn to ISTO. They rely on our skilled and experienced staff to run daily management operations so that your members can focus on initiatives that support your group’s mission.

Once incorporated into the ISTO Federation, our skilled association management team works closely with you to understand your requirements. A program team of professional, experienced staff is assembled and dedicated to fulfill those needs with high-quality operations support. The team’s work is defined in a Statement of Engagement (SoE), a “living” document that evolves as your Program’s needs evolve. Your group is assigned a Relationship Manager who serves as your primary point of contact, and who works within ISTO to ensure your ultimate satisfaction. Relationship management begins before your group enters our Federation and extends long after your organization has successfully accomplished its goals.

ISTO offers the following operations support:

Executive leadership that takes your organization to the next level

ISTO offers seasoned and talented personnel that can assume an Executive or Managing Director role to effectively manage your operations and lead your organization.

Leadership options:

  • Providing Executive Leadership role
  • Providing Technology Evangelism role
  • Contracting with and on-boarding new hires.

Check out our executive leadership case study.

Maintaining your bottom line

ISTO’s focus on managing finance and accounting for member groups ensures accurate record keeping, proper use of funds, and the ability to know where your organization stands financially at all times. ISTO’s Controller’s Office will manage all accounting functions for your group in line with all current and best accounting best practices and leading accounting software. ISTO maintains every program as a unique financial entity with full separation between funds and structures of each program.

Finance Services Include:

  • Management of Program monies in a custodian bank account
  • Monthly reconciliation of accounts
  • Issuance of monthly Program Financial Reports
  • Inclusion in the ISTO Federation annual audit and annual tax return filing
  • Program budget/forecasting
  • Program invoicing/AR/AP
  • Credit card transaction management

And more…

Check out our overview on Accounting and Finance for Associations recorded webinar.

The Skilled Front line to Your Members

A trade association is nothing without its members. Thus, the value of reliable and accurate information about your members is essential to the health of your group. But more than just data, effective membership administration is making sure that the members of your organization (new and renewing) receive exceptional service and are perpetually encouraged to get engaged in your group.

ISTO takes pride in the excellence of its membership administration for Programs. As it provides the following:

  • Fielding/tracking of inbound membership issues/inquiries/membership agreement processing
  • New Member on-boarding
  • Association Membership dues follow-ups and recruitment
  • Membership renewal/upgrade/downgrade/suspension/termination processing
  • Maintain membership/participant database of current member contact information for accurate rosters
  • A monthly Membership Scorecard detailing all members of the organization, their membership level, and their payment status
  • Complete back-office support and associated management.

F2F Member Meeting Support

While an increasing amount of work within associations is done via online collaboration, it is still rare for an industry group to realize significant advantages without face-to-face meetings. While such meetings are essential, they do not happen on their own. A well-run meeting is the product of a lot of hustle and planning behind the scenes – an area in which ISTO has considerable experience and reputation. Whether it’s a small Board meeting at a remote location, or an all-members meeting in the heart of a major city, ISTO handles the details.

Serving as your organization’s record keeper

Maintaining your organization’s records, meeting minutes, and relevant governing documents is an essential task. As your Board Secretariat, ISTO serves as your Program’s custodian, performing all these duties as mandated to the office of Secretary under the General Corporation Law of Delaware.

Board Secretariat functions include:

  • Certifying/storing all active Program governing documents including Bylaws, member agreements and IP Policies
  • Maintaining all meeting minutes of a program’s governing entity (Board, Steering Group, etc.)
  • Advising Program members of all results of any Director or Board elections
  • Managing Program member rosters
  • In essence, performing all duties outlined in a Program’s Bylaws and/or duties assigned by program governing entities.

Maintaining Momentum in Your Work Groups and Committees

Most work product in a collective organization is delivered at the work group and/or committee level. Maintaining momentum in these subgroups is essential. Work groups and committees require more than members. They require engagement and ownership from those participants, focus on tasks and timelines, and ultimately a productive methodology that ensures delivery of a final work product.

ISTO partners with work groups and committees to draft group charters, schedule regular work meetings, and follow up on work group/committee actions to ensure that momentum on work product delivery is maintained at all times. ISTO also provides technical project management of various work groups and one off projects, as required.

Keeping Risk Exposure at Bay

At ISTO, your risk exposure is our risk exposure. That is why we work hard to minimize any opportunity for risk and we do this primarily through our contract administration support. ISTO reviews each program contract to ensure strict compliance with legally approved/mandated clauses to reduce any risk to your group or ISTO.

And agility is key for ISTO as we provide speedy turnaround times to ensure your contracts are executed when you need them.

Once your organization has developed its brand, and possibly additional marks, it is important to protect them from possible infringements, thus weakening their effectiveness. ISTO works with various legal counsel with demonstrated expertise in registering and/or transferring all forms of trade names and trademarks for your organization in most countries.

ISTO can take this legal obligation off your hands and project manage directly with counsel to ensure the protection of your brand from the start.

Building relationships that last

ISTO builds relationships that last. Once your organization or trade association contracts with ISTO, we assign you a dedicated Program Manager who serves as your primary conduit between ISTO and your organization.

The person assigned takes on many roles. ISTO staff is well versed in strategy and initiatives that can effectively and successfully help you reach your goals. But above all, the ISTO Program Manager ensures that all association management support services to your organization are being performed to your satisfaction. Regular ongoing sync briefings with key program stakeholders keep our relationship with you strong.

And as your organization or trade association grows and your scope of work expands, ISTO will grow with your organization. We scale our resources to meet your ever changing requirements to keep your organization strong and productive.

While not all industry alliances develop standards, ISTO and many of its its member programs have developed technology standards and specifications over the years that have been widely adopted in industry today.

ISTO works with its member programs to set their own methodology to develop a standard or specification. Typically, this process is codified in the program’s operating Bylaws, and ISTO is there to ensure their strict compliance.

When you develop standards/specifications in a collaborative environment under the ISTO Federation, your organization is able to control the quality, cost, and timing of the delivery of your standard / specification to the marketplace. ISTO uses its experience in collaborative standards setting to guide you along the way, ensuring successful initiatives from the development of a standard to its market acceptance.

And our relationship with the IEEE, an ANSI-accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO) in the field of electrotechnology, enables opportunities for possible synergies with the formal IEEE standardization process, if desired.