Sunday, November 29, 2015

5 Great Articles on Association Membership

Choice Vs. Dual Membership
via CreditUnion Times

CUNA torn regarding decision to require local groups to belong to the national organization. If you are with a national association that has chapters or affiliated associations, follow this story.

A Roadmap for Quintupling Membership
By Joe Rominiecki via Associations Now

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has set a lofty goal: 500,000 members. Such radical growth requires full-scale re-envisioning of how the organization conducts its membership operations. Here’s how AAAS plans to get there.

What If There Were 100 Million Millennials? (Because There Are)
By Jamie Notter via Jamie Notter blog

So your choice is simple: either create an organization that makes sense in this new "Millennial era," or start to quickly fall behind those who do. It's not because the Millennials are the smartest or best generation (there is no "best" generation). They are just huge, and they are at the right place at the right time. If you're not creating a culture that is aligned with these changes, then you should be preparing for decline.

Why the Changes to LinkedIn Groups are Better for Your Users – and You
By Elizabeth Bookhultz via Social Fish

Here’s my advice:

  • Understand how each social media platform is intended to be used, and use it that way. 
  • Be user-centric. 
  • Reassess if LinkedIn Groups can help you meet your goals. 

Member Engagement: It’s Not About You
By Anna Caraveli and Elizabeth Engel, CAE via Jamie Notter blog

The truth is that associations cannot create engagement for our members. Rather, the members choose to become engaged because they perceive and experience value they need to succeed. Engagement is not about you. It does not depend on your achievements, “engagement” strategies, communications, benefits, or powers of persuasion. It depends on your ability to discover what matters most to your members at any given time and to facilitate their success at the outcomes and goals they seek to achieve.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for ....

  • you, my readers
  • association professionals and nonprofit staff who work in mission-based organizations.
  • our clients for both consulting and speaking.
  • companies and organizations involved in cause marketing.
  • my partners such as OrgStory LLC.
  • my family.
  • the opportunities we
    have to serve others.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How Will Your Association Cope with $15 an Hour Wages?

A possible new $15 an hour minimum federal wage – or a huge increase in the minimum wage – presents major challenges for associations and nonprofits.

The Labor Movement has been aggressively promoting increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

No matter what happens, the minimum wage increase will impact associations and association finances.

Experience Anecdote

Early in my ownership of an association management company, our receptionist came to me during an earlier move to increase the state’s minimum wage by $1 an hour. I was paying her a few dollars an hour more than the existing wage. “Steve,” she said, “If the minimum wage passes, I want a $1 a hour increase in my salary.”

It was then I realized that increasing the minimum wage increases wages up and down the line. And, it was then I realized I needed to budget for general wage increases for everyone any time the minimum wage was increased.

The Challenge for Associations

Assuming this case is universal, the question for associations and nonprofits becomes:
  • How do we budget for across-the-board wage increases? 
  • Where do we get the funds to support such increases?
  • Will members accept the higher dues and increased fees needed to balance budgets?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Why Is Strategic Planning Repelling Association Boards?

“To dream big or dream small takes the same amount of energy. So, why not stretch a little bit?” 
 – Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev

A potential client called asking if I could facilitate a “deep dive session” on how to grow the association.

As we talked, I shared with him the “strategic intent process” I use with organizations seeking to envision their future and create steps to help them get there.

He said,“That’s it!”

Then, when reviewing my draft proposal, he said,“You need to remove ‘strategic’ from the proposal ... my board is not comfortable with strategic planning!”

This is NOT the first time I’ve heard skeptics of strategic planning. Over the last 10 years, 10-15 associations asking for proposals have asked me to use a phrase other than “strategic planning.”

Why is that?

Where have we failed association boards in sharing the importance of creating a strategic vision?

Do we need a new term? 

Or, a new process?

What say you?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

9 Tips to Enhance the Speech as a Powerful Association PR Tool

A carefully crafted, well delivered and strategically placed speech can serve as an important association PR and content marketing tool.

Early in my association public relations career, I was writing as many as 60 speeches a year. Most were delivered by our volunteer leaders or our CEO.

Crafting a Powerful Speech

1. Start with the end in mind
  • Know what you want your audience to Do, Not Do or Let You Know after hearing your talk.
  • Make sure your speech achieves those objectives.
2. Use the Rule of 3
  • Employ the old broadcast news axium: Tell’em what you’re going to tell them; tell’em; tell’em what you told’em.
  • Focus on three major points.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

3 Sports Cliches for Association Management

Ok, I admit it: I like sports and I recognize the lessons from sports can positively guide association executives.

Three cliches can guide association professionals:

1.  You rarely win when you are trying not to lose.
  • Some teams get a lead and then change how they play as a strategy not to lose. It rarely works. It sometimes leads teams to keep doing the same thing ... even though the other team has made adjustments.
  • Lesson for Association executives: Keep improving. Monitor what is happening and be willing to change if that is what it takes to win.