Association Executives Committee
State Association Best Practices Work Group
Saturday, November 8, 2014
New Orleans


Final Report


Work Group Purpose

To identify resources and best practices that state associations can develop and/or employ to assist local associations in meeting NAR’s Organizational Alignment Core Standards.

Needs Assessment

Work group leadership and staff conducted a survey prior to the work group meeting to identify the issues and challenges that local and state association chief staff executives are facing as they implement the Organizational Alignment Core Standards.  Results indicated that the majority of state associations believe they are already offering assistance in most areas of the core standards.    

The areas in which local associations indicated most often on the survey as lacking resources and support are strategic planning, consumer outreach, advocacy, and written financial policies.  Smaller associations expressed the greatest need for resources and support.  In general the survey results confirmed that needs in the field are as varied as the associations themselves.

Meeting Activity

Work group members proposed the following initiatives to assist associations in meeting and implementing the core standards.  AEC leadership will work with NAR staff to consider the feasibility of these initiatives.

  • Online compliance tool – NAR to host a webinar as soon as possible on the ease of using the Core Standards online compliance tool to ensure user understanding of what is expected, how to upload/document information, and encouraging regular submission of compliance materials, instead of waiting until everything is complete.  Specific areas of known confusion include: not needing to answer “yes” in every instance where yes/no appears, how to document and upload (size files and types), when complete documents are not necessary (such as financial policy information).
  • Monthly Webinars – NAR to host monthly webinars on various Core Standards topics. The work group recommends the topics of written financial policies; overview of a compilation, review and audit; how to dissolve; and chapter formation.
  • Financial Policies -- Expand on the existing NAR financial policies templates, and specifically identify which criteria and internal controls must be included in an association’s financial policy.  The work group specifically identified three areas they believed should be considered a “must” and minimum for any written financial policy document, due to IRS requirements: a whistleblower policy, a conflict of interest policy, and any internal control that may exist to prevent fraud (e.g., any check/balance, when two signatures may be required, etc.) The work group recommends to NAR that associations should be informed that they do not need to upload their entire financial policy document into the compliance tool, but rather they can show proof of compliance by uploading their written financial policy table of contents.

    State Association Best Practice: NAR to communicate to state associations the need to provide local associations with federal and state-specific information as to what must be disclosed to the members and the public who may request review or copies of association financial and/or salary information; and what limitations may be imposed on delivering the information.
  • Dissolution Kit – Expand on the existing NAR dissolution materials to specifically focus on the legal and tax consequences of dissolution, including the need to review state nonprofit statutes before dissolving. Identify procedures that outline the steps toward dissolution and guidelines that outline consequences of dissolution and what the bylaws may mean as it relates to their assets upon dissolution.

    State Association Best Practice:  NAR to communicate to state associations the need to provide local associations with state-specific information related to any applicable state nonprofit statutes.
  • Chapters Best Practices Tool Kit – Create an online resource (NAR tool kit) that includes examples and best practices of successful association chapters and councils; including but not limited to model bylaws language for incorporating chapter/councils into their governance structures.

    State Association Best Practice: NAR to communicate to state associations the need to provide local associations with state-specific information, if any, related to possible chapter, council or outside management structures.
  • Chief Staff Professional Development Core Standard – Recommend that NAR compile a list of specific NAR offerings that meet the Core Standard REALTOR® association professional development requirement for the purposes of standardizing in those instances only.  The work group recommends that attendance at the August Leadership Summit qualify for three hours, as part of the Summit content addresses REALTOR® association management and professional development and other parts do not. The work group also recommends that the RCE lunch count towards the requirement, but that the roundtables do not.

Next Steps

Having completed its assignment, the work group disbanded following this meeting.  The proposed initiatives will be addressed by the NAR Finance Committee and appropriate NAR staff.  AEC leadership will form AE groups or teams, if necessary, to assist staff with these suggestions.   

Work Group Members

Cindy Butts, RCE, CAE, Chair
Tricia Thomas, RCE, Vice Chair
James Antonio
Gary Clayton, RCE, CAE
Maranda DeSanto, RCE
Nancy Donahue-Jones, RCE, CAE
Steve Francks, RCE, CAE
Laura Green
Tara Hampton
Beth Hansen, RCE
Anne Marie Howard
Belton Jennings, RCE. CAE
Travis Kessler, RCE, CAE
Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE
Lisa Long Myers
Lisa Noon, RCE, CAE
Jenny Pakula, RCE, CAE
Tom Quattlebaum, RCE, CAE
Carol Seal, RCE
Ellen Shea


Sharon Keating

Staff Executives

Laurie Oken
Cindy Sampalis

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