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September 08, 2004

Been there, done that!

Association Law Handbook? Yeah, I've read it.

I completed my reading of ALH at approximately 3:00 p.m. today. Just soaking it in right now. I feel as if I've passed a checkpoint along the course of a marathon or completed a particularly grueling stage of the Tour de France. I'm feeling quite accomplished at the moment, but still realizing there's a long way to go yet.

Tax exemption principles for (c)(3) and (c)(6) non profits; Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) on products, services and advertising; non-deductibility of lobbying expenses; acceptable lobbying practices for (c)(3) organizations; and a lot more were covered in the Association Taxation section of the ALH.

Overall, despite the potential for this book to be extremely tedious due to its dry subject matter, I found the ALH to be both relatively easy to read and understand. In spite of a few lengthy sentences and obscure words, thankfully the text was largely devoid of legalese. Furthermore, I generally felt the topics were treated with an appropriate level of detail and that the knowledge I came away with will be easy to apply in the course of my normal duties.

Having now read two of the three required readings, I'm feeling pretty good about the knowledge I'm acquiring. I perceive a comprehensiveness about my understanding of associations that I've never sensed before. Getting back into the office will allow me put this knowledge into practice, and I'm looking forward to that. I suppose the key will be to keep my readings in mind as I'm confronted with different situations and decisions.

Next steps? Well, first, I have one more book to read, Principles of Association Management by Harry Ernstthal, CAE. I've also contacted ASAE for a copy of the CAE examination item writing manual, which is recommended as a study aid in Professional Practices in Association Management (page 356). I intend to read some CAE prep notes offered up by David Gammel, CAE. (Thanks, David!) I'll evaluate my knowledge gaps by taking a 2002 practice CAE exam that a friend sent to me and re-read some portions of the recommended reading where I need to "bone-up" prior to the Center for Association Leadership's CAE Immersion Study Course in October. After the immersion course, I'll continue to read and will probably participate in a local study group. Then I'll sharpen my pencil and ace the exam in December.

Right now, I'm considering ways to celebrate my completion of the ALH.

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