Over the last couple of years I have talked about industry associations many times … they do great work in representing their communities and it is my strong belief that ALL companies should support their associations.
There are however a lot of associations, and sometimes it is difficult to ascertain which organisations are the best fit. For Eagle we have been very active in the Staffing Industry Associations for many years, and I sit on the board of both ACSESS and NACCB Canada. Recently we decided to also join the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).
This week I attended my first couple of meetings and started to learn a little more about how the organisation works and the great initiatives under way. Last night I attended their annual Chair’s dinner and was amazed at how many people I knew, despite the fact that I live in Ottawa … so that was a positive experience for me. This is a high class organization, and for this event there were high profile speakers, thoughtful content and it was a great networking opportunity.
All of the associations I am involved with spend huge amounts of time with governments and charities in addition to educating their membership about best practices, ethical behaviours and reasonable expectations of good corporate citizens.
I think I am going to enjoy membership in ITAC and once again wonder at those companies that do not “get involved” or support these type of organizations. Every company benefits from the efforts of these associations and yet some companies pay their dues (in money and time) and others seem content to get a free ride on the coat-tails of those willing to make this kind of investment. I wish client organizations would pay attention to this kind of thing and reward companies that help their industries, and penalise those “free loaders” who do nothing for their communities.