How to Increase Your Association’s Email Deliverability: 12 Areas to Optimize + 3 Tech To-Dos

HighRoad Solution

Email open rates have dropped for most businesses – hovering around 25%. That means for every 1,000 emails that reach a company’s target audience’s inbox, 750 of them don’t get opened. Email Marketing

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Walk a mile in your members’ shoes to identify areas for improvement.

YourMembership Blog

Your members’ needs and expectations are always changing. Are you doing all you can to give them a stellar experience? What better way to find out than to walk a (virtual) mile in their shoes? Creating member journey maps is an effective way to see your members’ experience from their point of view. Journey maps. The post Walk a mile in your members’ shoes to identify areas for improvement. appeared first on YourMembership. Membership & Marketing Member Engagement Member Retention

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Member Retention in 2019: Why They Leave & 3 Ways to Keep Them

Higher Logic

Member retention: it’s always on our minds. In 2019, how do you plan to get your members to stick around? When people face so many competing demands for time, attention, and money, this question is bigger than ever.

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5 Steps to Turning Strangers Into Members and Members Into Advocates

Wild Apricot

Follow these five steps from marketing strategist Amy Jacobus to bring your potential supporters down the marketing funnel and turn them into raving fans

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.

Cultivating Next-Generation Association Leaders

Association Adviser

Joanne Smikle, PhD. What is your association doing to ensure that it has a talent pipeline for key positions, especially leadership positions? This article provides practical strategies for addressing succession and leadership development in a thoughtful, structured manner.

More Trending

Association Brain Food Weekly: 12.14.18

Reid All About it

The weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community… It’s the most wonderful time of the year… (sing it with me). Some of us get to take time off during the holidays.

3 eLearning Examples to Spark Innovation

Blue Sky eLearn

Creating online courses that not only educate learners but captivates and leaves them full of curiosity is a difficult task. Most people will agree that the quality of the content is the most important aspect of any educational course.

5 Messages Your Volunteers WANT to Hear


Note: This post was originally published on 8/19/15; Updated 10/8/18 for added value. It’s hard (and scary) to imagine a world without volunteers. They do so much! For your association, they probably assist with marketing, event planning, fundraising, etc.

Changing of the Garde

Aaron Wolowiec

As we fondly reflect on Cally Hill’s contributions to Event Garde, we’d like to celebrate her many accomplishments, as well as wish her the best during this next chapter of her career. We’d also like to share a number of exciting team updates

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Raise the Bar with VR

Web Courseworks Associations

Date: March 27th, 2018. Register Here. In this session, Filament Games CEO Dan White will discuss the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) to facilitate interactive, inquiry-based learning.

Membership 101: Who Counts?

Spark Consulting

Who do you consider to be your members? That seems like an easy question: “Anyone whose dues are current,” right? But if you dig a little deeper, it quickly gets a lot more complicated. Do you offer a grace period? Are there ways to pay other than money?

4 membership renewal strategies to start now

YourMembership Blog

When you think of membership renewal strategies, you might think about the few months leading up to a member’s renewal date. But your members’ entire experience with your organization — not just the last 90 days — informs their decision to renew. From the moment they click the “join” button, your members are deciding if. The post 4 membership renewal strategies to start now appeared first on YourMembership. Membership & Marketing Member Engagement Member Retention Member Renewal

What’s In It For Me? 5 Life-Changing Benefits of Volunteering

Higher Logic

“I would love to volunteer…but I just don’t have the time!” Sound familiar? Life is busy, no doubt. But isn’t it funny how you can hear someone say this, and then in the very next breath they’ll ask you if you’re caught up on the 10-hour Netflix series they just binge-watched? Okay, I’m guilty too.)

Why Marketing Doesn’t Grow Communities (And Three Things You Can Do Instead)

Wild Apricot

Learn to grow your membership more easily with these three strategies from membership expert Joy Duling

Balancing Traditional and Trending Member Communications

Association Adviser

Finding balance can be a tricky endeavor. Too much (or too little) of any given thing on one side tips the scales and creates an uneven approach.

What Associations Can Learn from Sears’ Decline Into Bankruptcy

Associations Now

Sears was a company that effectively invented the retail economy, but it stayed stagnant in areas that didn’t benefit its business while moving away from areas where it could have kept up. Associations should take note.

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Association Brain Food Weekly: 11.16.18

Reid All About it

The weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community… Does anyone on your staff have the association CIO mindset ? David DeLorenzo at DelCor says you don’t necessarily need a CIO on staff but you do need a technology leader with the CIO mindset.

5 Benefits of Virtual Investigator Meetings

Blue Sky eLearn

Clinical trial training can be expensive. While traditional face-to-face meetings can have their benefits, they also cost more and are more time consuming. Virtual investigator meetings can allow for tremendous cost savings while increasing continuity and communication.

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7 Items to Include in Your New Member Welcome Packet


Note: This post was originally published on 10/20/15; Updated 11/6/18 for added value. When it comes to onboarding new members, welcome packets go a long way. Not only do they help your new members get up to speed, but they make your new members feel welcome and relaxed about their decision to join.

Three reasons you may need an instructional designer

Aaron Wolowiec

The need for instructional designers is growing as associations look to improve human performance in a world that is continually changing and demanding new skillsets from working professionals


Upcoming: 7/31 @ 11:30 CTeLearning Myth Busters

Web Courseworks Associations

Date: 7/31 at 11:30 CT. Register Here. Our profession requires us to be practicing in alignment with what science tells us about learning and more. What we don’t need is to be continually in the sway of myths, superstitions, and misconceptions about how our brains think, work, and learn.

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Does Your Association Have the CIO Mindset?


You never know where mayhem lurks in your association or nonprofit. On the surface, everything seems like business as usual. The IT department is busy keeping the network up and running. However, dig deeper and you can see problems looming. When it comes to technology, everyone does their own thing.

Digital badging: A win-win for associations and their learners.

YourMembership Blog

When working to build a learning program that’s unlike anything offered elsewhere, it’s imperative for association professionals to have a good grasp on generational shifts and new technology, as well as the ability to embrace change. As part of this endeavor, key trends should be evaluated to determine what value they bring to a specific. The post Digital badging: A win-win for associations and their learners. appeared first on YourMembership.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing New Association Technology

Higher Logic

Purchasing new technology is a big undertaking. There are so many platforms on the market, how do you wade through your choices to find just one that fits your association? You need to choose carefully: find a vendor that will support you and software that makes employees’ jobs easier.

The Ultimate Nonprofit Video Marketing Strategy + 5 of the Best Nonprofit Videos We’ve Seen

Wild Apricot

Learn how to create the ultimate nonprofit video marketing strategy with our guide, as well as getting inspired with the five best nonprofit videos we've seen. video-marketing-strategy video-marketing nonprofit-video-marketing-strategy nonprofit-video-marketing nonprofit-video

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Membership Q&A: Don’t Leave Us!

Spark Consulting

What’s the #1 reason a long-standing member would not renew? As Dr. Theodore Woodward of the University of Maryland School of Medicine taught his med students in the 1940: “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras” For our purposes, that means start with the obvious: Did that member switch careers or retire? If so, you may have to chalk this one up to “forces beyond our control,” and let that person go.

Labor Department Proposes Association Retirement Plans

Associations Now

Acting on an executive order issued by President Trump in August, the Department of Labor has proposed a new rule to allow small businesses to pool together to offer retirement plans to workers.

Association Brain Food Weekly: 1.26.18

Reid All About it

The weekly list of free educational events for the association community… The world wants you just as you are—you are enough. This message is from one of the best pieces I read this week. Thanks to Jeffery Cufaude for sharing his wisdom with us.

LMS Buy-In: How to Overcome these Top 4 Objections

Blue Sky eLearn

It’s Not in Our Budget. If you’ve never implemented a Learning Management System (LMS) before then it’s never been a part of your budget before.

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Solving the Employee Engagement Equation

Jamie Notter

Maddie and I are BEYOND excited to announce the release of our next book, The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement (for Millennials, Boomers, and Everyone Else!). It’s part of a series of Non-Obvious Guides that our publisher (IdeaPress, led by the super-smart Rohit Bhargava) is starting.

Millennial learners: Creating connection in an era of disconnect

Aaron Wolowiec

Just when you thought you’ve considered generational differences from every possible angle, another new consideration crops up: How are you creating connection and engagement for millennial learners

Why Is Association Governance Restructure So Hard? Here’s Why It Shouldn’t Be.

World Class Boards

There are great books on governance that tell big boards to downsize; shift to competency-based, rather than constituency or geography-based selection system; be nimble, responsive and strategic; and select the best people for the job, not just those who “worked their way through the positions and did their time.” These aren’t radical ideas; they’ve become mainstream. All great stuff that makes a lot of sense, and it works. With that in mind, you’d think association boards everywhere would jump on the bandwagon and get rid of their arcane, bloated, inefficient structures and adopt these “best practices.” But most don’t. Many try and give up. Most don’t even try. A few actually do it – usually yielding positive results. So, if it makes logical sense and yields positive results, why can’t associations just “git ‘er done?”. What makes restructuring hard is not restructuring. Restructuring is actually pretty easy. It’s not hard to look at an association’s governance structure and say, “Wow, that’s nuts.” And it’s pretty easy to say, “We could get a lot more done, faster, if we eliminated these volunteer positions, which are inert placeholders with no meaningful roles.”. The changes needed are usually logical and fairly obvious. The challenge is those inert placeholders are people. And even if they know in their hearts they aren’t doing much in service to the organization, people never act rationally in the face of loss. They react emotionally and use logic to rationalize their emotions, rather than vice versa. They feel the need to protect and defend their positions. Have you ever moved a box you never open from one house to another (and another), storing it in the basement each time? Ownership does a strange thing to human psychology. The fear of loss gives greater value to an object that rationally should have little or no value, like a mystery box in the basement. I’ve yet to meet anyone who can make a factual (not emotional or opinion-based) case for the benefits of having a huge House of Delegates or a 50+ member board of directors. Or that having board positions based on geography or constituency actually ensures “everyone has a voice” rather than the reality I’ve witnessed, which is a fractured board where members wrongly believe their fiduciary responsibility is to represent their constituency’s interests vs. the best interests of the entire organization. When it comes to association governance structures, organizational culture can be so hard to overcome that many leaders simply capitulate rather than fight a losing battle, even if they know the change is in the organization’s best interest. They’d rather stick to tangible operational wins and call it a day. The Boilerplate Theory (Or Why Governance Restructure Shouldn’t Be So Hard). Particularly in large organizations that are upwards of 50 years old, governance structure is rarely truly challenged. Volunteers suffer under the delusion that the structure – no matter how convoluted and inefficient – is sacrosanct and, like those who drew up the US Constitution, your organization’s founders were deliberate and thoughtful when they put together the structure decades ago. And maybe they were. But I doubt it. I’ve started a few organizations myself, and I created bylaws using boilerplate documents from similar organizations, substituting our name via search and replace. My guess is, that’s what most founders do. They don’t spend a lot of time ruminating about how best to structure and govern an organization at the beginning. They’re more interested in doing the work that the organization was created to do; creating governing documents and structures is just a necessary evil. So it is probable to me that most organizations simply looked to similar organizations and the “best practices” of the time (i.e., what everyone else was doing) when they created their governance structures. Once in place, successive volunteer and staff leaders simply followed the template, never questioning it. While I haven’t done an official scientific study, there’s something I’ve noticed from experienced observation. The majority of medical societies I’ve encountered have virtually identical governance structures. Nearly all trucking industry associations, national and state-level, have virtually the same governance structures. And I’d venture to guess I’d find that to be true in other industries. But while within the industries the structures are identical, trucking association structures look nothing like the medical society structures. Why? My theory is someone set the standard in the industry early on and everyone else copied it. I call this The Boilerplate Theory. If I’m right, the vast majority of unexamined governance structures aren’t based on “best practices.” They’re just a best guess at a way to organize an organization according to whoever created them at the time. They’re no different than an office organizational chart created by management. And, just as there are a million ways to structure a business – from “flat” to “matrix” to “hierarchical” – there are a million ways to structure an association. Why would one governance structure work for doctors but not engineers, or for truckers but not pilots? The obvious answer is, the legacy structures organizations have today have nothing to do with what is “best” for who they represent. They simply represent the thinking of whoever the founders were. Nevertheless, if you try to change the structure of any of these organizations, you will find members passionately defending the status quo and questioning why you would even consider it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to assume the founders probably saw putting together governing documents as a necessary evil and were more passionate about the mission than the structure? And even if they were thoughtful about their design, times change. The societal and volunteer environment in, say, the 1940’s, was whole lot different than today. If we could get our members to put governance structures in that perspective, we might have some chance of avoiding the absurd lengths leaders must go to make changes. Folks, legacy governance structures are mostly boilerplate organizational charts, not thoughtful designs. Let go of the mystery box in the basement. Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn: [link]. Strategy Association Governance Restructure

Make Newbies Feel Welcome!

Association Success

How to give new members a golden first experience and learn from their feedback. Remember the first time you went to an association event and how that felt? Nerve wracking for most! Making new members feel welcome at your association’s events is a smart investment of resources. Will it cost more to organize an onboarding program to your events now, or replace the member who won’t return because they had a negative first experience?