Sunday, May 28, 2017

Is your new member pitch angering your current members?

Generating new members is a key component of association member development programs.

Most associations search for incentives that entice nonmembers to join. And aggressively recruit new members via direct mail, social media, one-on-one calling and other tools.

But, here’s the thing, if you offer incentives to join, what does that say to current members who joined or renewed before you offered new member incentives?

Two recent “pitches” to sign up for affinity credit cards made me feel stupid for getting the credit card before the incentive and made me realize that’s how current association members may feel too!

The first pitch (above) came from the credit card bank (from which I currently have a card) and offered up to $500 cash bonuses for opening a new credit card account. No mention of a bonus for current card holders. I thought about cancelling my current card and signing up for a new one so I could “earn” the bonus.

The second pitch (above) came from an airline credit card (which I already have) and offered up to 60,000 bonus miles IF I would sign up for the card and use it. Again, no mention of a bonus for a current card holder. Doesn’t make me a “happy camper” as I’ve had this card for about 15 years and have not been offered a “bonus” for renewing.

Perhaps associations should develop incentive programs for renewals too!

What do you think? Go to and enter your comment or, email your comment to me at

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Seven Leadership Secrets of Great Team Captains

Current and future association and nonprofit leaders can learn a lot by examining “The Captain Class: The Hidden Force that Creates The World’s Greatest Teams,” a new book written by Wall Street Journal editor Sam Walker. The Journal ran excerpts in its May 13-14 edition.

“The leaders of history’s most dominant sports teams took risks, engaged in dissent, embraced grunt work and hated giving speeches,” an excerpt from ‘The Captain Class.’

Walker offered a video summary of his book.  

The Seven Leadership Secrets:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Association CEO as Chief Communications Officer

A health episode left me in bed – two-thirds of the time in hospitals -- for 3+ weeks and left me pretty much "in the dark" in terms of news and information from my associations.
And, it made me feel what it would be like for broad members who are left in the dark because of limited or non-existent communications from their association.

My biases about association management ....
  • It is impossible to over communicate!
  • Frequent, informal communications with volunteers (board members) improves the organization's health. 
  • The association's CEO is its chief communications officer for board members. And, the CEO should frequently circulate a “newsy letter” to the Board.
  • When you are a board member, you often get asked, "Say, what's happening at XYZ Association?" The worst answer is "I don't know."
  • Your "newsy letter" gives them an up-to-date answer and makes them (and you) look good. 
  •  And, making your board look good is one of your key jobs as CEO.
Here are some tips for communicating with your board: