Revamping IAEE's $98K Deficit into a $80K Surplus

After news that their long-time Executive Director would be retiring, The International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), a global nonprofit formed in 1977, sought a new Association Management Company (AMC). Their long and successful partnership with their AMC gave them a great perspective of what their next partnership with an AMC should look like. They chose Talley, valuing their alignment with IAEE's 'family' culture, global footprint and their expertise in managing diverse organizational aspects.

Talley's proactive approach and strategic planning helped IAEE overcome financial difficulties, turning a predicted deficit into a surplus. Their involvement led to cost savings, improved efficiency, and the anticipation of increased surpluses and exciting new events. IAEE officials praise Talley's impact on the organization's financial health and operational efficiency.

The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on IAEE was significant, particularly because their revenue largely depended on profits from conferences. While IAEE had robust savings to manage this unforeseen challenge, it took considerable time to resume their regular conference schedule and regain their previous financial momentum.

Facing a budgeted deficit of $98K in 2023, Talley was able to help steer them out of their financial troubles by significantly reducing expenses while still delivering the high-quality educational and event services IAEE is known for. At the end of 2023, IAEE is looking at a surplus in their budget for the first time in 5 years.

A Family Dynamic

Owing to the multiplicity of sectors that they operate in and the diverse requirements that arise from working within these industries, IAEE needed to make sure they aligned with a reputable association management company that would be able to handle each efficiently. Perhaps just as importantly, though, was an AMC that relates to their company culture. IAEE describes themselves as a “family,” and whatever company that would manage them needed to demonstrate the same commitment to them that a family member might show.

Immediately, IAEE was deeply impressed by the amount of care, dedication, and detail-oriented thinking of Talley’s leadership. It was clear to the IAEE leadership team that to Talley, IAEE is not just another client, but a group with their own constantly changing needs. It was by expressing this genuine dedication that Talley wound up in the fortunate position to work with IAEE in the first place.

Righting The Ship

In response to the unique challenges faced by IAEE post-pandemic and the transition from their previous AMC, the Talley team rapidly developed a strategic plan to guide the organization's future direction. Talley leadership showed their commitment by participating in global IAEE events, including conferences in Greece and Houston, Texas.

For the 2023 European conference, which was organized by a committee not based in the event's location, IAEE faced difficulties in securing appropriate accommodations for attendees. Talley's conference team stepped in to help, successfully securing a range of hotels at various price points and negotiating favorable rates. IAEE leadership was impressed with an Event Services Outline customized for the association by Talley in the third quarter of this year, increasing their optimism about establishing a unified PCO (Professional Conference Organizer) experience for IAEE events with Talley's assistance.

Talley has also created opportunities for professional development within IAEE, encouraging and enabling their staff to interact and share ideas with peers in the nonprofit sector. By ensuring their team has adequate time, space, and resources, IAEE maintains its position as a leading and innovative organization.

“Other groups may claim to offer robust resources, but Talley delivers,” says IAEE Executive Director Frank Mortl III.

Budgetary Concerns

Talley's significant influence on IAEE is most notably evident in their contribution to the organization's operational budget. Following the long-term effects of the pandemic, it’s been difficult for nonprofits to maintain a surplus, often falling short and into a deficit. In 2023, IAEE was anticipating their fifth straight year of losses, with their predicted loss falling close to a $100K deficiency.

Through Talley’s strategic planning as well as transparent reporting of financials, IAEE was not only able to cut through that deficit, but out of the red all together, - now anticipating an $80K surplus this year.

Generating efficiencies to attain these kinds of numbers are vital for a nonprofit organization the size of IAEE. From the beginning, Talley focused on intricate details, leading to significant savings in both money and time for IAEE. By recommending cost-effective publishing consultants, Talley not only aided in the efficient management of IAEE’s journal publications but also played a role in educating their team and volunteers. This proactive and thorough approach by Talley ensured that IAEE stayed ahead of schedule.

In particular, when IAEE aimed to shift their major publication The Energy Journal from self-publishing to an external publisher, Talley's experience in managing such transitions proved invaluable. They brought in an external consultant specializing in this field, who expertly guided IAEE through a comprehensive RFP procedure.

This process involved identifying top candidates, aiding in negotiations, and successful contract finalization with SAGE Publishing. Furthermore, in 2023, as The Energy Journal searched for a new Editor-in-Chief, Talley staff played a crucial role by attending meetings, providing vital historical data, and participating in the interview process, leading to the appointment of a new Editor-in-Chief whose tenure will begin in 2024.

Looking Ahead

Due to the impact of Talley’s involvement thus far, IAEE has a lot to look forward to in 2024. Talley’s expertise has allowed them to plan new, exciting international events, with more on the way.

Overall, Talley has been a tremendous benefit to IAEE. “The bar was already set quite high as an impactful organization,” says Frank Mortl, “and that shows the professional qualities of Talley.” Due to their partnership, IAEE’s numbers continue trending upwards, and their operations become more efficient every day.

“My experiences have been extremely positive as someone who cares so deeply about the organization. I feel like IAEE absolutely made the right choice for our new AMC.” - Rebecca Lilley, IAEE’s Associate Executive Director