SCD Group

Why Is Strategic Planning Repelling Association Boards?

SCD Group

“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.

While Walking on the Moon

SCD Group

While Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon 50 years ago today, July 21, I was working in the garage of his parent’s home in Wapakoneta (Wapak). covering perhaps the world’s largest news story as a reporter for The Associated Press (AP).

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What Business Are You In? 10 Tips for Small Business Success

SCD Group

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Unfortunately, today’s businesses, companies & retailers don’t have a GPS offering directions.

3 Sports Cliches for Association Management

SCD Group

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.

Build or Buy an LMS? How to Pick the Right Solution for Your Budget

BUDGET. When it comes to picking your next LMS that six-letter word is probably the most important part of the decision-making process. So, what are your options to get the best possible eLearning solution without breaking the bank? Build it or buy it. This guide from Lambda’s eLearning experts details absolutely everything you need to consider so you can pick the perfect eLearning solution for your organization and budget.

Kids Skate Free: Association-Managed Cause Marketing Campaign

SCD Group

I love the strategic thinking behind Kids Skate Free! Kids Skate Free represents a great example of a locally-initiated, association-managed cause marketing campaign that benefits a struggling industry.

Veteran's Day 2014

SCD Group

It''s been 44 years but I still remember my boot camp "call letters" at Fort Jackson: E-9-2. Here''s to all who served. Bless you and Thank you! ASAE SCD Group Veterans Day


Do You Welcome Your Association Members (by Name)?

SCD Group

I went inside the bank (yes, they still have an inside) the other day and the tellers welcomed me by name. The same thing happens at our golf course. From the bag drop to the pro shop to the starter, I am welcomed with a cheerful, Hello, Mr. Drake. I see the same thing when Im flying.

What Makes Your Association Stand Out?

SCD Group

A friend of ours spotted this gold fish bowl in Chicago's Burnham Hotel. Intrigued and impressed, he took a photo and posted it on Facebook. So did others. A gold fish in a fish bowl? Yes, a gold fish is spreading word of mouth about a hotel.

Add #TestimonialTuesday to Your Association’s Member Recruitment Plan

SCD Group

As you may recall, I wrote recently about #ThrowbackThursdays and the opportunity it presents associations and nonprofits. The other day, my wife shared a #TestimonialTuesday Facebook note. correctly thinking that I might use it for an SCDdaily blog post!

Need Remote Learning ASAP? Don’t Pick Your Next LMS Before Reading This!

Need to go remote or move your training programs online? Download this guide to identify and overcome the biggest eLearning challenges so you can pick the perfect LMS without wasting time, money, and effort, even if you are just starting your eLearning journey.

Old Fashioned Tool May Boost Association Communications.

SCD Group

Drinks on the Driveway Our neighborhood has a “drinks in the driveway” fathering every other Friday afternoon. It’s a great way for neighbors to stay in touch.

Association Boards That Fail

SCD Group

The other day, an association executive called me about coordinating member research needed after a “failed” strategic planning session. He shared the association’s major issue: a board that doesn’t understand the organization and doesn’t seem to be able to look toward the future. “It

5 Passion Busters within Associations

SCD Group

Passion drives success. Passion grows associations. Passion permeates throughout the organization especially one that is “clicking on all cylinders.”

Ohio 88

Throwback Thursday opportunities for associations & nonprofits

SCD Group

A growing number of organizations (companies, churches, associations) have begun using Throwback Thursdays (TBT) as a social media strategy to promote elements of their organization. What is Throwback Thursday ?

Need Remote Learning NOW? Get Online Quickly & Easily With This Can’t-Miss Guide

Remote learning is becoming more important than ever. Whether you’re scrambling to get your eLearning launched, or need to upgrade to meet increased demand, this guide will eliminate the guesswork so you can find your perfect LMS!

Social media can correct association rumors. if.

SCD Group

In today’s hyper connected world, rumors become truth within 24 minutes! Rumors – whether shared via traditional media or social media – can harm associations. Quickly. Successful association executives ensure their organizations are listening and monitoring all forms of media.

Strategic Intent Lessons from Cards-Cubs MLB Series

SCD Group

A week or so ago I was facilitating a strategic planning session for an association. I use the Strategic Intent Model. which begins with where you are (current condition) and then “jumps” to the future status (desired condition). See image below.)

Is Your Association Stuck in Groundhog Day?

SCD Group

Today is Groundhog Day. You know, if the groundhog sees its shadow, we’re supposed to have six more weeks of winter weather. But, for this blog, I’m thinking of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day.

How to Engage Xers and Millenials on Your Board

SCD Group

I wrote earlier this week about two friends and their reluctance to serve on association boards. I’ve mentioned before the impending rapid turnover of board members as Boomers retire.

How to Avoid Fundraising’s Quiet Killer: Donor Attrition

Speaker: Jay Wilkinson, CEO & Founder, Firespring

It doesn't take an industry professional to know that nonprofits highly depend on donations. The marketing emails, events, and website design are meant to attract new donors, when what we should be doing is trying to keep the donors we have. Teach a man donor acquisition and he'll get donations for the day--teach a man donor retention and he'll get donations for a lifetime. John Jay Wilkinson, CEO and founder of Firespring, and learn how to get donations for a lifetime. In this session, Jay will help us learn how to step off of the donor acquisition treadmill and rev up donor retention. Six out of ten donors give only once, but this doesn’t have to be your reality. Jay will help us understand how a 10% increase in donor retention will more than double the lifetime value of a donor and minimize our reliance on producing constant appeals for new donors.

How does your association greet its members?

SCD Group

Ken Williams, the singer greeter at The Home Depot in Fort Myers Walking in to Home Depot this weekend, we were welcomed by Ken Williams. a singing greeter! It shouldn’t surprise you that such a warm and friendly greeting lifts your spirits as you start your shopping experience.

25 Reasons Association Boards Fail

SCD Group

I''m joining four other association management professionals (see below) in an ASAE annual meeting session titled Why Boards Fail and How to Fix Them. (In In Nashville from 10:30 - 11:30 on Tuesday, August 12.)

End of an Era: What Does It Mean for Associations?

SCD Group

Various association professionals have been commenting and discussing on whether millennials and Generation Z will impact the future of associations.

Is your association letting new members slip through the cracks

SCD Group

At dinner the other evening, two women shared stories about how the local organizations they had joined didn’t seem interested in having them volunteer. And, that as a result of not being able to volunteer, they dropped out of the organizations. What a shame!

AMC-Managed Organizations are More Stable than Standalone Organizations

Why do organizations managed by Association Management Companies outperform standalone organizations? This paper seeks to answer that question through the results of a study examining the rates of change in the length of chief staff executive tenure and changes in office locations of membership-based organizations between 2009 and 2015.

How is your association coping with generational change?

SCD Group

The U.S. continues a massive and unprecedented generational change impacting business, governments, associations and nonprofits. Some organizations are making changes now; others “waiting.” The generational facts: 78+ million boomers. with more than 10,000 retiring each day 50+ million Gen Xers.

8 Tips on a Great Annual Meeting of Members

SCD Group

As an association executive, I’m used to organizing and staffing association membership meetings. So, it is always a learning experience when I participate in an annual meeting of members as a member not a staff professional.

Tips 86

Is Junk Cluttering Association Membership Appeals?

SCD Group

One day''s snail mail (Left); Inserts in Sunday paper (right) You’ve crafted a well-designed, well-worded appeal to recruit new members. The call to action grabs the recipient. But, despite these superior marketing aspects, your response rate is well below expectations. What is going on here?

Flipping the Classroom of Association Education

SCD Group

AP Photo from The Wall Street Journal A week ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote a football story that offers ideas for association education programming. Headlined Taking the Buckeyes to School outlines some of the innovative coaching methods of Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.

Don’t rely on one form of communications for your association

SCD Group

Ohio State recognizes 50 years of varsity ice hockey One common theme among association professionals: frustration about communication with members and prospects. See some of the ASAE Collaborate commentary below.)

Neil Armstrong’s Hometown Excited 50 Years Ago

SCD Group

Fifty years ago, The Associated Press bureau chief called me to his office in Columbus, Ohio. “I’m I’m sending you – and Gene (photographer Gene Herrick) – to Wapakoneta. I want you to do an advance piece on Neil Armstrong’s hometown before he goes to the moon.” I was a young and inexperienced news reporter. I’d been on the job less than two years. Fortunately, Gene Herrick had 29 years of experience with much of that time on major news stories.

Does Your Association Blog? Consistently?

SCD Group

I was looking for local attorneys for my mother-in-law (who is moving here next month) and came across a firm that included a blog on its website. I clicked on the blog tab and was surprised (even disappointed) when the last post was dated in mid-2014.

6 Tips to Make a Good Team

SCD Group

The 2015 College football season has begun. The Ohio State football team (yes, I’m biased) and its defense of its national championship offers lessons for association professionals. I once served an association that became known as “the best in the profession.”

Team 78

What your association says often is not what your members hear!

SCD Group

During a marketing communication agency’s research presentation to one of my clients, I watched the client’s board members and leaders as the agency showed a detailed report about its communications.

Power to the People within Associations

SCD Group

Power to the People was a rebellious slogan for Boomers in the 1960s and 1970s. For Millennials , Power to the People represents actions available through the social internet.

8 Points Associations Can Learn from Ohio State’s Marching Band

SCD Group

The hugely successful Ohio State University Marching Band incorporates several practices for associations and nonprofit organizations. I gleaned ideas from band director Jonathan Waters’ presentation and discussion with the Ohio State Alumni Club of Southwest Florida.

Ohio 91

Who will create the Fosbury Flop for Associations?

SCD Group

Photo of Courtney Anderson of University of South Florida A photo of a high jumper in the NCAA finals sent my mind drifting back to the early 1960s. Prior to 1965, the "best practice" in the high jump track & field event was the straddle jump. Then, along came Dick Fosbury.

Association Leaders Struggle with the Duty of Loyalty

SCD Group

Association board members often struggle with the Duty of Loyalty.

Share What You Do With Association Board Members

SCD Group

Typical associations spend two-thirds of their annual budgets on personnel costs. Over the years, I’ve watched some “budget funding battles” that demonstrated the boards didn’t really know what their association staff was doing on behalf of the organization.