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As technology becomes better at removing the distance between people globally, will more chapters morph into special interest groups? Perhaps at some associations. Special interest groups (SIGs) deliver unique value to members. SIGs: Allow members to shortcut the process of networking and get connected with the group who cares about the same issues. Connect members who are working on what they are working on, and who may be one step ahead of them in their project; this generates solutions and camaraderie among members. Help members get to solutions or resolutions more quickly or more successfully together than they would have alone. SIGs also deliver ...
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Membership in one or more professional organizations is a must-do for most everyone in the workforce. Aside from hands-on training, acquiring certifications, knowing the right people, or years of experience, membership in an organization like NYSAE helps to ensure success within a field of practice and actually bolsters the aforementioned assets. However, there are those who are convinced that membership is not for them, that it is a waste of time and money. That is only true if they decide not to take advantage of the many benefits of the organization they joined has to offer. For over 10 years, I have been an active member of NYSAE and have grown tremendously ...
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Have you calculated the lifetime value of a member for your association? This exercise could lead to some very positive strategies for the organization overall. It may be easy for a board member to assume that the loss of each new member is merely the cost of one year of membership. But the lifetime value of a member calculation tells us the cost of losing a new member is so much more. Perhaps you will find that members who stay tend to be members for 7 years. During those seven years, they get certified and attend a conference every other year. Each year they purchase the benchmarking survey and a book or two from the bookstore. We may find, hypothetically, ...
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Motivating volunteers is the work of patience. Encouraging words, thoughtful goals, and kind reciprocation can make volunteering fun and meaningful. While motivating volunteers can take weeks, months and years, a few seconds is all we need to demotivate volunteers. Volunteers can become disillusioned, angry, and disconnected when associations: Blame them Fail to give thanks Assign meaningless work Give unclear goals or direction Do not use the work they produced Switch goals or direction mid-project Underestimate the time commitment Try to sell them something they don’t need Mess up the administration of the meetings Restrain volunteer ...
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Membership and Credentials Associate   Job Description:   Nonprofit Association seeks a Membership and Credentials Associate.  Responsibilities include supervision of customer services, management of database (knowledge of iMIS a plus), renewal and recruitment, online social media and print programs, volunteer coordination, standards development and credentials review, generation and analysis of reports, budget development and financial monitoring of programs. Staff liaison to Certification Board, Membership, Fellowship and Nominating Committees, Affiliate Societies and Special Interest Groups. Experience requirements:  3-5 years Association and/or ...
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Member engagement is what makes associations successful. Member engagement should be every association’s first goal because everything from revenues to member satisfaction to advancing the profession or industry flows from this single goal. Member engagement is everyone’s job Some association professionals argue that member engagement is the membership department’s job. Not so. Member engagement is everyone’s responsibility. Every communication, interaction, benefit, service, product, or event impacts each member’s level of member engagement, so each department plays a role. More CEO’s are implementing measures, like engagement scoring, or departmental and ...
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This morning a man in a hard hat was roaming around our neighborhood paying particular attention to the telephone poles. I asked him what they were doing with the telephone poles. “We have been inspecting and protecting the power poles from damage from rot, insects, and things like that,” he said. What the poles are called was an important enough distinction that he corrected my choice of words. The poles dotting the road are not telephone poles, they are not owned by the telephone company, they are power poles owned by the power company. There is nothing that makes a person or organization seem like an outsider faster than using the wrong words. Every industry ...
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When someone asks you how you are, do you say, “busy”? “I have been crazy busy” has been my go-to reply. Fifty years ago did people say that? Maybe but probably they said, “I am fine, thank you.” Today professionals are time-starved. There is never enough time to do the things we want to do at work or at home. I hear this in the research often. From university presidents to CFOs, to fundraisers, to engineers, to financial planners, to association professionals, none of us have enough time. Being involved in an association usually takes time. But what if our association could give back time to our members? That would be an enormous benefit! And this is something ...
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There are many ways to measure the health of an association. Revenues, renewal rates, opens, clicks and the number of attendees are a few examples. But any of these standard metrics can be hacked in the short-term which can hurt the association and members in the long-term. Since what we measure is what we do, here are a few of my favorite ways to assess association health: Is word of mouth strong? Do members renew year after year? Do new members renew after the first year? Would you say you are proud of the member culture? Do you feel a sense of energy at the conferences and events? Can you recruit enough volunteer leaders, committee chairs, ...
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Members love to talk about their conference experience during in-depth interviews with me. We spend a lot of time talking about their conference experience because the conference is where most members get the most value. Looking at the responses across more than three hundred interviews, of mostly very engaged members, a handful of typical weak spots in association conferences emerge: If you don’t have me at registration, you’ve lost me Members remember those first experiences well. They remember if they felt prepared to attend. They remember their experience at registration. They recall how they were welcomed. They remember the quality of website , app, ...
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Email is ridiculously important to the health of our association because at most associations email is by far the most used channel to communicate with our members. But email is in trouble! I am not going to address deliverability (although that is a problem). We are not going to talk about all the new filters that purposely block and sort association mass emails into spam folders (that’s a problem too). We are not going to belly-ache about how aggressive marketers and spammers are messing up the channel for the rest of us (another huge problem). What we are going to discuss today is what we can do to ensure our members do not sort our emails into their mental ...
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In the age of infinite choice, organizations cannot afford to make the purchase experience difficult. We see one-click online ordering, retail stores with no checkout lines, curbside pick up, and more. All of these changes, which were unheard of just a decade ago, seek to make the consumer experience easier. You could call it frictionless. The only places where we still see friction-full buyer experiences are where buyers have few choices. The airlines, utilities, government offices, hospitals, etc. If you work for an association where membership is required to maintain certification or an association with a 98% retention rate and no competition, your ...
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5 Tips for Your Job Search

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As I have said many times, a job search is a marathon, not a sprint. So what are the five things you need to remember to keep doing, day after day, week after week, month after month? 1) Be Persistent -  Follow up on every lead, every new person you meet, after every meeting and after every interview. 2) Keep expanding your network  - You can always meet new people through volunteering, serving on a committee of your professional association, or your alumni chapter, or through a current contact. Deepen the relationship by meeting them for a coffee/tea and keep in touch once a month. 3) Check in once a week  with a friend, colleague or coach ...
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You've heard me say that there are only four ways to get a job and one of them is answering ads on the internet. But that will only get 10% of the job seekers a job. What about the rest of the 90% of you still looking? One of the other three ways is directly approaching a hiring manager in a company. This person is in a position to hire you, if there were a job, and if you were qualified. So the object is to get in front of as many people as possible before the job is even advertised. 1. Make a list of companies  you want to work for. This is your job target list - your marketing plan ...think of every company, association, non-profit or university where ...
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How to Optimize Your Site for SEO Rankings. Introduction to On-Page SEO Recently, someone asked me how to do SEO for a website. What a great question! But, one that has no easy answer. SEO, the well-known acronym for Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of setting up your web pages so they can be found more easily in search engines. While there are many search engines, Google is used by a large majority of searchers according to many sources. In fact, some research firms indicate that Google accounts for 90+% of searches. In essence, it is the defacto search engine champion. So, how does one help to ensure their web pages are more readily ...
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Data Security. It's all the rage. More accurately, rage is what happens when it happens to organizations. You can't go more than a week or two without a news headline popping up about how some large entity has been hacked and 3 million people had their personal information stolen. Unfortunately, the threat will continue to grow, both in sophistication and number of occurrences. As associations and non-profits, we need to ensure that security is at the forefront of our minds. It's often said, "It's not if, but when..." With that in mind, I thought I would share just a handful of tips that can help you and your organization deter would-be security breaches. This ...
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Content is just as much king today as ever before! People crave it, particularly chicken nugget-sized bits and pieces of it! But sometimes, we think we have run out of good content to share with our community. In today's social media society, sharing content is especially important, particularly if you want to lead the discussion and stay in front of your audience. But where do we find content when we think we have run out of ideas? The truth is, you probably have more content hiding in the cushions of those organizational sofas that you can imagine. Today's blog post includes a handful of tips and tricks to either find or generate content, whether for social ...
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You know what you want. You have a great resume and you're all set to job hunt. Right? Wrong! You need to update your LinkedIn Profile. Search firms, head hunters, and hiring managers are all searching on LinkedIn for their next hire. Here are five ways to make the most of your LinkedIn profile. 1) 140 characters  at the top of your profile. Don't waste this space with one simple job title. If you are looking for more than one job title, put in two or three. Add your top three to four skills. Hiring managers searching on those skills will lead them straight to your profile. 2) Summary-  Unlike a resume, the summary can be personal and passionate. Be ...
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Have you experienced any obstacles or roadblocks in your job search? All of us do at one point or another in the job search. Here are some common problems and what you can do to overcome them. 1) Can't decide on a job target . You may have an idea of what you would like to do, or a dream of becoming a particular professional. But how realistic is that? You need to do online research, and more importantly, talk to real people who do what it is you want to do. Nothing takes the place of talking to a person to find out what do they do all day, how did they get to that position? What education and experience does one need to do that job? Search on LinkedIn ...
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Preparation for an interview is crucial for your success as a job candidate. Not only must you be prepared to talk about your accomplishments and how you can help the company, you must also learn as much about the company, its mission, and culture as you can. Here are 5 ways to research a company and the people who will interview you: 1.Company website and company LinkedIn page. Learn as much as you can about the company purpose, history, issues and projects. Read the annual report to find out the highlights of the past year, the financials and other info the company wants you to know about. Review the section for investors to find out the score on where ...
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