Association Today

Association News You Can Use

Paul Lundy is Co-Founder and President of Fonteva, the number one cloud technology solution for associations that manage members and donors.


Paul is a veteran leader of customer-driven organizations in the US, Europe and Asia. He spent many years living and traveling abroad for The Coca-Cola Company and McCann-Erickson.


Prior to co-founding Fonteva, Paul served as Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of GlobalCrypto, an early stage cyber security company . Paul was also co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Marketworks, a cloud-based Fonteva eCommerce company and eBay's largest Preferred Solution Provider. Over 3,000 businesses in 37 countries used Marketworks to automate their online sales operations when Paul sold the company in 2007.


Paul holds a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Marketing. He began his career in advertising with McCann-Erickson, where he held the position of Vice-President, Account Group Director, for the US and then Europe. Subsequently, he worked as Director for The Coca-Cola Company with a primary focus on the Asia Pacific.


Paul is an active member of the nonprofit Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Driving Change and Getting Buy-In

Driving Change and Getting Buy-In

One of the biggest challenges our customers encounter when adopting a new system is getting staff on board. Without user adoption, the technology investment you’ve made is useless.

I attended Salesforce World Tour this year in Washington DC, and was able to snag a spot in one of the standing-room only sessions for nonprofits. It was great to hear some nonprofit cloud evangelists review their decision to adopt Salesforce and provide some tips for overcoming their organization’s resistance to change. Here are a few I took away from the conference.

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Personalize Engagement Tracking—Your Members Are More than Transactions

Personalize Engagement Tracking—Your Members Are More than Transactions

“Engagement is personal—only measuring transactions won’t give you a complete picture of a member’s commitment to your organization.”

—The Evolution of Member Engagement

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The Get Away Plan

The Get Away Plan

“There’s too much going on right now.” “We don’t have time to stop and plan.” Perhaps, you’ve heard these expressions in the halls at your association. If you’re not careful, planning for the New Year is one of those exercises that will constantly fall off your ever growing list of things to do. It might be worth it to get away for a day to do nothing but plan.

In a post to the company’s blog, Richard D. Maher, president and CEO of Maher & Maher, a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm with offices in New Jersey and D.C., reflected on a recent trip he took to the Jersey Shore with his senior staff members. “We worked to identify growth opportunities as well as to address areas we want to improve as a Firm in 2016 and beyond,” he wrote.

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Thanks, Team!

Thanks, Team!

“Showing appreciation is not a matter of time and intention; rather, it's a matter of priority and action.”

Lee Colan, founder of the L Group and author of Leadership Matters, made this important observation in an article he wrote for Inc.com about simple ways you can thank your team. It seems obvious that you would thank your team for a job well done. However, most employees indicate that they rarely receive recognition for their work.

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Vulnerability and Leadership: Yes, They Go Together.

Vulnerability and Leadership: Yes, They Go Together.

If you are leader in your organization, especially if you’re new in your role, you might think that vulnerability is the last trait you want to show the members of your team. Instead, you think that you need to be authoritative and take charge. In fact, you’ve decided to give the appearance of being as Teflon-like as possible.

Well, according Deb Fullerton, a partner with professional development firm PMA Philadelphia, that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do unless you want to alienate your team completely. In a recent post to PMA’s blog, Fullerton made the case that “vulnerability has a clear role to play in building trust with the people you are relying on to collaborate and problem solve with you on a daily basis.” No one expects you to have the answer to every question or the solution to every problem.

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4 Ways to Show Your Thanks

4 Ways to Show Your Thanks

“We know you have a choice when flying; thank you for flying American.” With this relatively simple slogan, American Airlines acknowledged a very important component of engaging with customers: saying thank you.

Your members have choices too. You may not be their only source for information and events highlighting their industry or profession. As such, it’s always a good idea to express your appreciation for their continued engagement with your organization.

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Scary Sites: 3 Reasons Members Fear Your Website

Scary Sites: 3 Reasons Members Fear Your Website

Do your association’s members find your website helpful or horrifying? Despite their best intentions, quite a few association websites leave a lot to be desired in terms of easy navigation and mobility.

In addition, if you’re engaging in any of the following practices, your members may in fact be horrified at thought of logging onto your organization’s website.

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Scary Silos: Why You Should Avoid Isolating Data

Scary Silos: Why You Should Avoid Isolating Data

Okay, let’s be honest. There’s someone on staff at your association who is maintaining his or her own database (i.e. Excel spreadsheet) rather than updating and sharing information with the entire organization.

In our experience, there are generally at least one or two staff members or departments, no matter how well-intended, that feel more comfortable keeping their data isolated from the rest of the organization. As someone who appreciates how important it is to aggregate and consolidate data, that’s just scary to me, much scarier than the ghosts and goblins we see everywhere this time of year.

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The Leadership Link: 3 Qualities You Need to Be Effective

The Leadership Link: 3 Qualities You Need to Be Effective

Leadership, specifically how effective it is within organizations, is a perennial topic of discussion for associations. Because effective leadership is so essential to their success, organizations expend significant resources identifying and developing leaders. That’s also why I’ve devoted quite a few posts to the topic. I think it’s helpful to continue sharing ideas about different perspectives on leadership.

Recently LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner shared his thoughts on leadership when he spoke at a conference in San Francisco. For him leadership means embodying three key qualities:

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Ideas and Innovation: You’ve Got This!

Ideas and Innovation: You’ve Got This!

If asked, how many of us would describe ourselves as innovators? Too often people with great ideas think the title of innovator is reserved for someone else.

As author and marketing strategist Dorie Clark noted in an article for Observer.com, “innovation wasn’t taught in school, so many professionals assume you can only become ‘qualified’ to innovate if you’re a professor or researcher or programming genius.”

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Management to Go: The Mobile Workforce

Management to Go: The Mobile Workforce

By far one of the most highly valued features of Fonteva For Associations is its built-in mobility. Our customers can access their association’s membership data at any time from anyplace. In theory, increased mobility should make teams more productive and effective. However, as manager myself, I know that it takes more than technology to ensure productivity.

In fact, leading teams in a highly mobile environment can present its own unique challenges. As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, associations need to be prepared to manage teams effectively in this new norm. A recent post to the Mobileday.com blog offered some great tips for managing a mobile workforce. These three resonated with me:

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Get Schooled on Outsourcing

Get Schooled on Outsourcing

Eighty percent of associations work with outside service providers to accomplish their missions. This was one of the key findings from association management company Smith Bucklin’s recent report on outsourcing. The study included all kinds of functions with the exception of audit and legal services.

According to the study, associations’ primary goals in outsourcing were to gain access to specific skills, supplement in-house staff or save money. As reported in Associations Now, membership technology was ranked as the top future outsourcing need, which comes as no surprise to us given that we’ve had a front row seat as many organizations discover their need for more advanced and flexible technology.

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Back to School for the First Time: Tech Tips for Newbies

Back to School for the First Time: Tech Tips for Newbies

For first-time teachers, the past few weeks of the new school year have meant getting acclimated to their classrooms and beginning to establish relationships with students and parents. The environment in which they find themselves is not unlike how many employees feel when they first begin working at an association or even when they change departments.

Both new teachers and association employees often get on-the-job training that requires them to master a variety of processes and systems in a short period of time. Many of these are technology-based. As such both groups need personal plans for managing technology.

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The Download on Dreamforce Part II: Our Top 5 Session Picks

The Download on Dreamforce Part II: Our Top 5 Session Picks

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, this fall 50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Many of them headed back to schools around the country a couple of weeks ago. Salesforce users and enthusiasts will have a similar opportunity to expand their learning as they go back to the premiere gathering of the Salesforce community: Dreamforce.

As in the past, this year’s event promises to be jam-packed with wonderful learning opportunities. With so much worthwhile content available, you’ll want to do everything. However, we know from experience that it just isn’t possible during the course of three days that we’ll spend in San Francisco.

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Mind Your Management Style

Mind Your Management Style

“Develop a daily habit of introspection.” According to Harvard Business School Senior Fellow Bill George, this was the Dalai Lama’s simple response when he asked him how the nation could develop a new generation of compassionate, mindful leaders. In a recent article for the Huffington Post, George acknowledged that while this would be no easy feat, many companies have taken steps in the right direction to promote mindful practices. He offered these examples:

  • Google trains 2,000 engineers in meditation each year.
  • Financial services firms Blackrock and Goldman Sachs offer mindfulness courses for their employees.
  • After partnering with Duke University to study meditation and yoga, Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer, now offers similar programs to all employees as well as its insured customers.

George also offered this observation about the connection between leaders’ emotions and their ability to make good decisions: “Our hearts are where essential leadership qualities like passion, compassion and courage reside. By practicing mindfulness, mindful leaders exhibit high levels of self-awareness and intentionality in their actions.”

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Board Battles: 3 Strategies for Resolving Conflict Effectively

Board Battles: 3 Strategies for Resolving Conflict Effectively

As much as we all might want to get along, conflicts often arise in group settings despite everyone’s commitment to shared goals and objectives. This certainly can be the case with association boards.

In our travels, we’ve heard a variety of scenarios that created conflicts between staff and board members or among board members themselves. Ironically the diversity of perspectives that associations strive for in their boards of directors can be a source of conflict.

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Off the Ice: A Lesson in Leadership from Figure Skater Christine Gao

Off the Ice: A Lesson in Leadership from Figure Skater Christine Gao

Knowing when to lead and when to let go is often a difficult transition for leaders of organizations. They may have achieved some level of success in their endeavors; yet they want to do even more. However, sometimes the better decision they could make is to recognize they’ve done their best and begin a new chapter.

Champion figure skater Christine Gao’s decision to retire and “start college all over again” illustrates this point. Gao first enrolled at Harvard University in 2012, but decided to take a yearlong leave to train full-time in hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the team.

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Beyond Board Books: Implementing Online Portals for Directors

Beyond Board Books: Implementing Online Portals for Directors

The traditional board book is bulky and time consuming to produce. If an organization is shipping them to its board members, they are costly as well. Fortunately, there’s a much better alternative.

Many organizations have developed means for communicating with their board members electronically before, after and during meetings. Some are relying on email messages while others have advanced to the point where they’ve implemented web pages or online portals (communities) for their boards.

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CRM Counts: Usage Trends

CRM Counts: Usage Trends

Businesses in almost every sector, including associations and other nonprofit organizations, recognize the importance of managing customer relationships effectively and efficiently. In recent years, more and more of them have turned to CRM software to facilitate this process of managing and analyzing customer behaviors and preferences. However, the question still remains: How are businesses actually using CRM technology?

Capterra’s 2015 CRM Industry User Research Report offers some answers. Earlier this year, Capterra surveyed 500 businesses of all types to compare their CRM usage and identify trends. Here are two key findings from the survey:

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My Top Three Session Picks for ASAE’s Annual Meeting

My Top Three Session Picks for ASAE’s Annual Meeting

With the opening session of ASAE’s Annual Meeting in Detroit about a week away, I wanted to share my top session picks. No doubt all of the speakers at this year’s meeting have important insights to offer, but I chose My Top Three based on the recent trends that we’ve observed while working with associations to either identify or implement a new technology solution.

This first is “Data Governance: What It Is, Why Your Association Needs It, and How to Get Started.” During the session, attendees will learn about the elements of a sound data governance program and hear from a peer who has implemented such a program. One of the co-presenters is Wes Trochlil, President, Effective Database Management LLC, who we have featured on this blog, and we continue to be impressed with his approach to addressing this key area of data management.

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