The new normal for membership bodies

Published: 30 May 2020
Last reviewed: 02 Jul 2020

Ahead of memcom interactive, we catch up with Kath Burton and Tom Wilson from award winning firm of accountants and tax advisors, haysmacintyre - the leading sector specialist for Professional Institutes and Membership Bodies (PIMBs). With a dedicated PIMBs team, they act for over 200 membership organisations.

We’re looking forward to your session on Strategic Opportunities. What can delegates expect to learn from this session?

The session looks at the new normal for membership bodies following the global pandemic. We will cover whether operating models and strategy remain fit for purpose as well as whether there is the need to update governance arrangements.

The session will also look at opportunities in the sector to work collaboratively, whether this be through joint initiatives or full on mergers of membership bodies and the process and potential pitfalls of such arrangements.  


What do you think are the challenges and opportunities we can expect to see over the next year?

There will certainly be challenges for the sector over the next 12 months. The uncertainty and volatility of the stock market may impact the reserves levels of many membership bodies and their desire to dip in to their investments. There will also be challenges from members, who themselves may be facing hard times, this could be the need for membership holidays, calls for membership rate freezes or members wanting more free resources including CPD and training.

In addition we will see the challenge of whether members see the same value in virtual events. With much of the training and events for 2020 being online, are members willing to pay as much for these as physical events? What will happen in 2021 – will virtual events be the new normal?

With all these challenges will come opportunities. Over the next 12 months, we believe we will see more collaborative working across the sector as membership bodies look to widen their reach, consider efficiencies and cost savings but most importantly try to enhance and develop their membership offering.


What is your advice to anyone attending memcom interactive?

memcom interactive has a great offering of webinars, roundtables and downloadable content. My advice to anyone attending is to use the opportunity to access as much of the content as possible and reach out to the speakers if you have questions.

Also do access the fun social activities which will be available.


Kath and Tom will be speaking more about The New Normal at memcom interactive on Thursday 4 June at 11.15 am. Sign up for this session at memcom interactive. 



Kath Burton has been a partner at haysmacintyre for 11 years and as a not for profit specialist has over 19 years experience in the sector.  She has spent the last eight years specialising and developing haysmacintyre’s work with professional institutes and membership organisations (PIMBs) and heading up the sector. In addition to this she is also a Trustee and member of the Audit Committee of a multi-academy Trust. As part of her role as a trustee she has overseen a merger of two trusts. Aside spending time with her children, she is a keen gig goer and likes to attend festivals both with and without the kids in tow. 



Tom Wilson has over 12 years’ experience at haysmacintyre working primarily with various membership bodies. He was highlighted in the 2019 Accountancy Age top 35 under 35 rankings. His delivery is focused on statutory audit and accountancy, but additionally Tom provides advice on financial system and internal controls reviews, as well as financial best practice and governance matters. Tom’s interests outside of work are mostly sports-related, and he has travelled the globe to attend football and cricket tournaments.  Right now, firmly rooted in the UK, he is a keen follower of Blackpool Football Club.