What Michael Collins’ departure means for Internet Commerce Association.
When Michael Collins resigned as Executive Director of Internet Commerce Association last week, I re-read his resignation letter a few times. What did it say about ICA? What is the future of the organization?
It’s clear that Collins didn’t leave solely to focus on a new venture. There were financial considerations at ICA. Collins wrote, “The entire world is going through economic turmoil now. Many of the ardent supporters of ICA feel that they cannot continue their previous level of support in these difficult times.”
I confirmed my suspicions with both Collins and other sources. Any organization that relies on “donations” will have a tough 2009. And it’s not just the little guys that need to donate; big companies that donate $50,000 or more are critical to meeting funding goals.
But I don’t necessarily view Collins leaving as a sign of weakness. It appears ICA realizes the need to be nimble, and most organizations of its size don’t have executive directors.
Sure, it would be nice if money was flowing and we could have an executive director, two assistants, a pr team, etc. on staff. But few organizations of ICA’s size have any full-time staff. It probably makes sense to outsource the functions, relying on a specialized paid contractors (lobbyists, pr, et al) and volunteers (domainers, ICA board members).
This is Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse‘s model. That organization is basically staffed by FairWinds Partners, a company that helps clients protect their trademarks. ICA needs to depend on volunteers, especially ones backed by bid domain name companies that can give them time out of the day to work on ICA issues.