Monday, July 22, 2013

7 great reads association executives for the 7th month

4 Nonprofit Board Responsibilities That May Surprise YouVia IntrinXec blog

Does your non-profit board really understand what it means to be a board member? Here are some of the specific topics that I address with every board I work with – every year – no question.

  1. Legal Responsibilities
  2. The Nature of Boards: Board v. Committees v. Staff
  3. Board Liability, Risk & Exposure
  4. Sarbanes Oxley and Nonprofits / Form 990 Legal Requirements
Remembering the Human Factor in Membership Retention and Renewals 
By Tony Rossell via Membership Marketing blog
Sometimes we get so focused on the marketing mechanics of membership renewals that we forget that we are dealing with real people involved with everyday real life challenges. Instead, real member comments present a different picture. Simply put, members say that life is complicated, busy, transient, and costly and this interferes with them continuing membership. Here are some of the paraphrased responses members shared as to why they have not continued their membership.
  1. My employer STARTED to pay for my membership, so my membership address is now at the office.
  2. I am retired and want to continue, but did not see a low cost retired membership category available.
  3. I have not had a raise for years and I simply cannot afford membership.
  4. I was very busy and just keep forgetting to renew.
  5. The online renewal process was too complicated or did not work, so I gave up trying.
  6. I have been sick, but plan to renew when I feel better.
  7. We trade off membership every other year in my office.
  8. I have some unexpected expenses, but plan to come back when I have some more funds.
  9. I thought that my membership was still active.
  10. I am out of the country, but plan to continue when I return.
BAM! POW! 8 ways Mayo Clinic’s magazine scored a knockout 
By Russell Working via

Mayo tips for your magazine relaunch:

1. Bring your audience along with you.
2. Get to know your employees.
3. Know your competition.
4. Tell stories with people.
5. Break up those 3,000-word stories.
6. Make it a meal.
7. Be prepared to work more.
8. If you can’t make it perfect, make it better.

Shared by Adrian Seegar of Conferences that Work

Paul Z Jackson, President of the Applied Improvisation Network, recently wrote about a great discussion of icebreakers that’s been running for four years on the AIN website:
There’s a fascinating discussion on our website about whether to call activities with which we begin workshops ‘icebreakers,’ ‘energizers,’ ‘warm-ups’ or something else. Whatever we call them carries assumptions – such as assuming there is ice in the room that needs to be broken.
Paul Levy suggested we might name such activities as ‘zoning-in’ or ‘confidence builders’. As improvisers, we take collaboration and co-construction seriously, and so we can expect our assumptions to have a significant impact on what happens. If we start a conversation in which people look for ‘ice’ or ‘resistance’ or other concepts which may prove unhelpful, we’ll assuredly find them.
If we start a conversation in which people look for ‘best hopes’, ‘useful resources’, ‘interesting similarities and differences with each other’, then we’ll find those. It’s a simple application of ‘yes… and’, where our offer is for constructive and useful qualities that will serve the session well.
—Paul Z Jackson, President, Applied Improvisation Network

By Kathi Rabil via Slice Works
Every Association has a story to tell and a history that’s full of successes and lessons learned through failure. What makes these stories so compelling are the ways people’s lives are touched and changed for the better. First, we spoke to the attendees about the importance of developing a mindset that embraces change as a first step to building an effective growth strategy. We then watched a portion of Simon Sinek’s TED talk from his book, Start with WHY, which led to a discussion about making that emotional connection with your audience. Clearly communicating WHY you do what you do is an integral part of telling your organization’s story in a more compelling way.

Landscapers Perform a Day of Service at Arlington National Cemetery  
By Katie Bascuas via AssociationsNow
Roughly 500 landscape artists will travel to DC this month to do what they do best at the Arlington National Cemetery as part of a day of service organized by PLANET, the national association for landscape professionals. This serves as a great example for other associations to engage in cause marketing.

Associations and Their Ongoing Problems with Strategy 
By Jamie Notter via Jamie Notter blog
Go out and find a copy of the June Harvard Business Review Magazine (sorry, I know it’s old news now, but there must be some out there!). The cover spotlight is on “Strategy for Turbulent Times” and the first article in that section is by Rita Gunther McGrath on “Transient Advantage.” She argues that the days of long-term competitive advantage are for the most part over. Some companies may still achieve it, but they will be the exception rather than the rule. The rest of us are going to jump from one transient advantage to the next, because the markets are changing that quickly. The organizations that figure out how to move through these transient advantages more adeptly are going to be the successful ones.

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