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.

Setting Up Your Social Calendar for Success

Setting Up Your Social Calendar for Success

Most of us have already started adding meetings, appointments and other tasks to our calendars for next year. In most cases, those activities that get planned usually get done rather than falling into a no man’s land of things we meant to do but just didn’t get to. Unfortunately, social media sometimes falls into the latter category for too many associations.

Once you’ve established your organization’s presence on the ever-growing array of social networks/channels, you definitely need a plan and a content calendar in order to make the most of these communications. Stephen Waddington, chief engagement officer at Ketchum, recently outlined eight areas of social and digital planning for 2016 on the company’s blog. Four of them caught my attention as being particularly relevant for associations:

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Marketing & Communications Planning for 2016: 5 Key Questions

Marketing & Communications Planning for 2016: 5 Key Questions
Marketing & Communications Planning for 2016: 5 Key Questions

The number of channels available for associations to use in their marketing and communications efforts only continues to grow. Members’ expectations for how and when you communicate with them have also expanded right along with the number of channels available for doing so. With so many options, it will take careful planning to determine which ones have been and will be most effective for your organization.

I like the approach to communications and marketing planning for the New Year that Cheryl Smithem of Charleston Public Relations and Design recently outlined in a post on the firm’s website. “The greatest issue is knowing where you want to take your business in the coming year. Answering this question requires honesty and truthfulness with yourself,” she wrote.

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Disruptions, Data and Determination: ASAE’s 2015 Technology Conference

Disruptions, Data and Determination: ASAE’s 2015 Technology Conference

Today we’re onsite at ASAE’s Technology Conference in Washington, DC. While we’re here, we hope that we’ll get to meet with many of you. Please stop by and check out the Fonteva Lounge (Booth #539 on the tradeshow floor). You can enter to win an Apple Watch, charge your cell phone and pick up some cool swag while relaxing and networking with colleagues.

Among other topics, you can talk with them about what you’ve learned as you traveled along the five pathways around which the conference is structured. They range from leadership and technology to the business of IT. In line with the conference theme, one pathway is devoted entirely to disruption and determining how your organization can lead technology change.

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5 Key Traits of Great Entrepreneurs from Uber's CEO

5 Key Traits of Great Entrepreneurs from Uber's CEO

Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick just made the short list of candidates for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Some think he deserves the honor while others don’t, and I’ll leave that debate to the plethora of pundits and social commentators who will likely offer their perspective on the matter.

However, I was intrigued by comments Kalanick made about entrepreneurship last month while addressing students and faculty at Miami Dade College. As reported by the Miami Herald’s Nancy Dahlberg, he said of entrepreneurship, “It’s a long journey and you have to push to a point where it hurts. ”

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Tis the Season to Plan: 3 Strategies for Success

Tis the Season to Plan: 3 Strategies for Success

As we begin the last month of year (if not before), our thoughts usually turn to our goals and objectives, which sometimes take the form of rePlatform Solutions, for the New Year. Just as we identify our personal goals for the coming year, associations might turn their attention to the best approaches for addressing their strategic priorities in 2016.

For many organizations, focusing on upcoming goals typically means making an annual plan. As Forbes.com contributors Bill Fotsch and John Case observe in their recent post, those words—annual plan—can “just drain the energy from the room.” Why? In too many organizations, creating the annual plan is an exclusive activity reserved for senior staff at a retreat instead of an inclusive one that involves stakeholders at all levels. Instead of an exclusive exercise, Fotsch and Case recommend a more “open-book” approach to the planning process that hinges on three best practices:

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An Attitude of Gratitude: #Thankful

An Attitude of Gratitude: #Thankful

Last week, many of you probably enjoyed a traditional meal of turkey and all the fixings surrounded by family and friends. And at some of these gatherings, people took a moment to share what they were most thankful for.

This month I’ve dedicated a number of posts to exploring different ways associations can show their appreciation to staff, members, and volunteers. Many of them emphasized the importance of making “saying thanks” a regular part of how we communicate with each other rather than using these words on special occasions and holidays.

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A Time for Thanks

A Time for Thanks

As our thoughts turn to being thankful and celebrating with family and friends, we might also take a moment to thank our staff members. Some managers might think, “They know how much I appreciate them.” Others might take this view, “Why am I thanking them for doing their jobs?”

Saying thanks is not only a good way to treat employees, study after study suggests that appreciation for a job well done translates into increased productivity and overall job satisfaction. When Monster surveyed workers in the UK, 63 percent said they’d take a verbal thank-you in place of a bonus when they’d “gone the extra mile” on the job. According to an online survey conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, when asked what gives them a high sense of satisfaction at work, 55 percent of employees said receiving a "thank you" from their direct manager.

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Calling All Innovators

Calling All Innovators

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
—Steve Jobs

Most organizations strive to be in the former category. I feel certain that all of our association customers want to be leaders and innovators in the professions and industries that they represent. However, the desire for innovation doesn’t make it so.

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We Gobble Up Video

We Gobble Up Video

I am a fan of associations using video to not only tell their members’ stories more effectively but to educate them about their membership benefits. I’ve written about how video influences purchasing decisions as well as which metrics are most important to measure to determine the value of videos. We use our videos to highlight the successes our customers have had using Fonteva For Associations.

Video is such a powerful channel, so I hope it’s an integral component of your overall communications plan. Consider this forecast from the Cisco Visual Networking Index:

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Three Ways to Say Thank You from the CXPA

Three Ways to Say Thank You from the CXPA

How hard is it to say, “thank you”? The answer might surprise you. Some customers feel like they don’t hear it enough.

You might have had this experience yourself. You make a purchase, and at the end of the transaction, the store’s employee hands your receipt and moves on to the next person in line. What’s missing from this scenario? A simple “thank you” might have made you even more likely to return to that store.

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Let Us Count the Ways to Repurpose Content

Let Us Count the Ways to Repurpose Content

Creating and maintaining relevant, useful content for their members is one of the most important day-to-day functions of associations. Their members rely on them as a trusted source of information that they use to stay informed and ultimately do their jobs better. Of course some content is more “popular” than others.

When members respond positively to a magazine article or blog post, have you ever thought to yourself, “I wish there was a way that we could extend the life of this content”? Extending the life of content is an important consideration that requires as much planning and strategizing as the creation of the content itself, especially since your audience’s expectations have only grown in terms of the variety of formats in which they expect to access content.

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The Content Conundrum: Open for All or Behind the Member Wall

The Content Conundrum: Open for All or Behind the Member Wall

Most of us working in the association community would agree that content is king. Now where exactly that “king” should sit and who gets access to his throne is an entirely different matter.

With the increase in digital access to information, some association executives make a convincing argument for open access. Still others make an equally valid argument in favor of maintaining a member wall behind which the best content can be found.

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Don’t Lose Track of Great Ideas

Don’t Lose Track of Great Ideas

How many great ideas have you, members, or staff put forward that never went anywhere? You might not even be able to remember many of them. Unfortunately, during the constant hustle and bustle at most organizations, great ideas get lost in a kind of no man’s land, never to be heard of again.

Don’t let this be the case at your association. If you don’t already have one, you might consider establishing a standard process for tracking and vetting those great ideas that may come to your association from a variety of sources.

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Making the Most of Micro-moments

Making the Most of Micro-moments

Are you there? It’s a deceivingly simple but incredibly important question that all organizations need to answer. The question of being or not being there serves as the guiding principle for Think with Google’s Micro-Moments Guide.

More and more people, including your association’s members, rely on their mobile devices for getting information or taking action. Are you there when they need you? Is your association’s brand present across all platforms?

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Avoid the Perils of Adopting New Technologies: 5 Questions to Ask

Avoid the Perils of Adopting New Technologies: 5 Questions to Ask

Change is scary for most people, and in our experience, they can be especially anxious about implementing a new technology solution. Even if the new solution will ultimately make their jobs easier, staff members may be reluctant to learn something new.

Eventually, most people are able to overcome their fears and get on board with the new solution. However, as with any new venture, there is the potential for making an already sensitive situation worse if you don’t take precautions to avoid some common pitfalls organizations encounter when adopting new technologies.

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Boards and Bucks: 3 Tips for Creating a Successful Fundraising Campaign

Boards and Bucks: 3 Tips for Creating a Successful Fundraising Campaign

Most nonprofit organizations rely on their board members to spread the word about their work. Board members’ personal and professional networks can be a veritable gold mine for organizations with active fundraising campaigns.

Many association foundation boards actively engage in fundraising. Others may be reluctant do so or unaware of the tremendous impact they can have. A personal “ask” from many of them could mean a new donor to an organization.

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A Nightmare on Data Street

A Nightmare on Data Street

As I have discussed on numerous occasions, data-driven decision-making is becoming the norm in most organizations rather than the exception. However, there are still those organizations where members of the leadership team go with their gut rather than making strategic decisions based on staff’s careful analysis of available data.

According to Daniel Scarvalone, associate director, research and data, for Bully Pulpit Interactive, “for those of us who work in data and analytics, this is a nightmare scenario.” So what’s the disconnect? Why aren’t some leaders more impressed with the data that’s being presented to them?

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Trusted and Trained: Why Some States Are Considering Legislation to Make Board Member Training Mandatory

Trusted and Trained: Why Some States Are Considering Legislation to Make Board Member Training Mandatory

In recent years, there’s been discussion in almost every sector about how well trained and prepared board members actually are in carrying out their duties. A trend has emerged in higher ed that any organization with a board may want to monitor. This year (as of July) legislatures in two states had considered bills mandating training for trustees or university board members. And others may follow suit.

The primary concern is summed up by the question reporter Kellie Woodhouse posed in her article for Inside Higher Ed, “How well do they know how to do their jobs?” Certainly associations have expressed similar concern about how well-equipped their board members are to provide strategic leadership, and many have invested in additional training online or face-to-face with an outside facilitator.

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Mastering Social Media: 4 Rules for Leaders

Mastering Social Media: 4 Rules for Leaders

Most of us have multiple identities online. For example, I’ve met association professionals who have both professional and personal social media profiles.

As a leader in your organization, you need to have a handle on your accounts. It’s incumbent upon you to set an example for staff members in terms of how social media can be used to leverage the association’s brand and possibly your own as well.

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Back to School for Board Members

Back to School for Board Members

Our theme for this month is Back to School. As schools around the country re-opened for another academic year, and another opportunity for learning new skills and gaining additional knowledge, our thoughts turned to how important it is for associations to continue to evaluate their skill sets. What are staff members’ strengths? In what areas could your board be better equipped?

While most associations operate based on a fiscal year rather than an academic year, they can seize this back to school season as a time for making sure their approach to governance remains effective. What’s on your board’s back to school list?

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