Association Today

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Buy Buttons and 2 Other Social Media Trends for 2015

Buy Buttons and 2 Other Social Media Trends for 2015

In a recent article for Time magazine, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes acknowledged "how difficult it can be to predict the future of social media. Even so, he stared into his proverbial crystal ball and made an attempt at identifying several ways social media may evolve this year. Here's a quick summary of three that resonated for me:

  1. Shopping finally comes to social media. With the advent of buy buttons on Facebook, revenue figures can now be attributed to special social media messages in a manner that hadn't been possible before. According to Holmes, we should expect "e-commerce and social media integration to deepen in 2015."
  2. Smart devices get more social. Cheap sensors have led to the proliferation of smart devices. Almost any device, as Holmes writes, can be used for "collecting data and zapping it off wirelessly to the Internet." However, the in long run, he believes "smart devices need to improve their social intelligence" so that this data can be used in more meaningful ways.
  3. New networks proliferate, but will they last? From Holmes perspective, the number of niche social networks built to address specialized interests will continue. In fact, in his view, "new networks that map onto strong existing communities or interests have a much better chance."

This last trend has and continues to sound like a prime opportunity for associations. As we continue to make enhances to our AMS solution Fonteva For Associations, which is designed for community collaboration, we'll have these trends in mind.

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The Details Are in Delegating

The Details Are in Delegating

"You can't do everything yourself." How many times have you heard this? Intellectually most of us understand that it's not possible to be everywhere and do everything—at least not effectively. However, recognizing the need to delegate and actually doing it are two very different tasks.

According Mitchell York at About.com, "not only do you need to delegate to be successful in creating a viable business, but you have to do it well." He offers some guidance about what steps to take in order to learn how to delegate effectively.

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App of the Month: SurveyMonkey for Salesforce

App of the Month: SurveyMonkey for Salesforce

Yes, there probably is an app for that, for just about anything you want to accomplish professionally and personally. But how do you know which apps are the best ones for your association?

In 2015, I will highlight several apps from the Salesforce App Exchange so that you could get a better idea of what's available and may be most useful to you in your work. The first app that I would like to highlight this year is SurveyMonkey for Salesforce.

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Digital Dilemmas: 3 Tech Pitfalls to Avoid

Digital Dilemmas: 3 Tech Pitfalls to Avoid

"Use technology to do a better job - legally and ethically - at whatever it is that you do."

David M. Patt, CAE, founder of Association Executive Management, made this important point in a recent post to his blog. His comments underscored a basic fact of life: There's good and bad in everything.

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The CEO Standard for Effective Meetings

The CEO Standard for Effective Meetings

Would it be helpful if your association's CEO attended key project meetings? Addressing his or her basic expectations in terms of timeliness and strategic focus just might make it more likely.

EffectiveMeetings.com asked two CEOs for their take on what makes meetings productive and successful. Nancy Knowlton, cofounder of SMART Technologies Inc., finds "it frustrating when I'm not told what the objective of the meeting is and when I don't see a clearly laid out agenda that's going to accomplish that objective."

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Boards Get an A for Effort in 3 Key Areas

Boards Get an A for Effort in 3 Key Areas

All association boards have their ups and downs as staff and volunteers negotiate the delicate balance between strategic objectives and administrative matters. In that process, there are probably a few things that you wish board members would stop doing. On the other hand, they do some things that are essential to fulfilling your organization's mission.

I tend to agree with California Association of Nonprofits CEO Jan Masaoka's assertion that "boards and board members don't get credit for some important work they do without even realizing they are doing it." According to her, most boards do at least 10 things right. Here are three that resonated with me:

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Insights from Information: 4 Trends to Watch in 2015

Insights from Information: 4 Trends to Watch in 2015

In our experience, most organizations have the potential to collect and access more information about their members and customers than ever before. The challenge comes when they must determine what kinds of data to gather and how to use them in strategic decision-making.

Fonteva For Associations was designed with data-driven organizations in mind. Our reporting and dashboard functions are flexible and easy to use so that associations can track and monitor almost any strategic goal or objective that they have set.

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Put the Process First: A Conversation with Get Efficient’s Brandie Fennell Duncan

Put the Process First: A Conversation with Get Efficient’s Brandie Fennell Duncan

Editor's Note: I am pleased to introduce the first of several interviews that will be featured on our blog this year to highlight important insights from key industry observers. We hope their insights will be useful to you as make strategic decisions for your association.

Our first interview is with Brandie Fennell Duncan, Owner and Chief Efficiency Officer of Get Efficient. The Florida-based consultancy focuses on helping nonprofit organizations increase their productivity through process improvement. Recently Brandie talked with Associations Today and offered her perspective on how associations might approach evaluating their current and future technology needs.

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Creating Committees for Collaboration

Creating Committees for Collaboration

"Committees are where the work of the board gets done."
--BoardStar

Most association boards rely on their committees – standing, ad-hoc, or task forces – to move their strategic objectives forward. What separates effective committees for those that are less so?

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Ever-Evolving Email: Is This the Best Way to Stay in Touch?

Ever-Evolving Email: Is This the Best Way to Stay in Touch?

Most people have at least two email addresses—one for work and another for home. And some of us have many more than that. Our decisions about which email addresses to use or distribute are usually situational. For example, some of your members may have opted to receive any association email messages at their "home" addresses. Others may have designated their work email as their preferred email address.

Whatever the case may be, we've all come to rely on email for a large portion of our day-to-communications. However, this may not be the most consistent means for staying in touch with members if they have changed jobs or experienced some other significant live event.

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Accentuate the Positive Talk

Accentuate the Positive Talk

Stay positive. Who hasn't given or received this advice? However, staying in a positive frame of mind is sometimes easier said than done.

And our own negative thoughts and internal dialogues can be the biggest obstacle to remaining positive. Statements like "no one is going to like my idea for the new membership program" or "I don't think I'm cut out for this position" are examples.

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Speaking Strategically: 5 Ways to Keep Your Board on Track

Speaking Strategically: 5 Ways to Keep Your Board on Track

Like herding cats – if this an apt description for your last interaction with board members, you’re likely in search of ways to keep your meetings focused on strategic matters rather than minutia.

This is not an unreasonable expectation, especially if you’ve provided your board members with the information that they need to make strategic decisions, such as easy-to-read reports and dashboards. If they’ve got the information they need, then it’s a matter of getting them to keep their focus there.

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Follow the Leaders: The Top 10 Association Twitter Feeds

Follow the Leaders: The Top 10 Association Twitter Feeds

"Follow the leader; he's on a Honda." This 1980s slogan and ad campaign from the Japanese auto maker's motorcycle division might be updated for the digital age: "Follow the leaders; they're on Twitter."

Some organizations are still in the early stages of determining how best to leverage this social media channel. Your association may be among them. As you build your presence on Twitter, you're probably wondering how your efforts compare to those of others.

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The Cloud and Countdown to 2015

The Cloud and Countdown to 2015

None of us has a crystal ball in which we can actually see the future. However, as a New Year quickly approaches, there are no shortage of forecasts and predictions for the next 12 months. Recently, I came across Information Management's Top 9 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2015. I found two of them to be of particular interest within the context of our work with associations.

The first is that cloud APIs tie everything together: "So-called REST interfaces and API (application programming interface) management Platform Solutions will help developers and IT departments to integrate multiple cloud and on-premises services." Throughout this year, I have highlighted various apps, and one the most important was Salesforce1, which makes Salesforce and all your modules instantly mobile without any coding. I will continue to bring you insights on different apps and interfaces that may be relevant to your association's work.

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Calming Customer Complaints: 5 Keys for Managing Them Effectively

Calming Customer Complaints: 5 Keys for Managing Them Effectively

"You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time,"
—John Lydgate of Bury, monk and poet (c. 1370 – c. 1451)

I don't know anyone in a position directly responsible for customer satisfaction who hasn't felt this way. As hard as you work on developing and executing your association's programs, all of your members will not be pleased with them all of the time.

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Ready, Set, Resolve!

Ready, Set, Resolve!

Why wait? With just eight days left in 2014, you can start working on next year's rePlatform Solutions now. Coca Cola Company blog contributor MacKensey Lunsford recently polled several life coaches and dieticians, individuals she classified as having "more willpower than most." From that group's suggestions, Lunsford came up with a list of 5 rePlatform Solutions for people "who want to wake up to a life of better choices tomorrow."

Here they are:

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Featured Fontevan: Avinash Kamandula

Featured Fontevan: Avinash Kamandula

He's Electric

"It's been 2.5 years, and I've never looked back and thought that I made a mistake," says Fonteva Salesforce Developer Avinash (Avi) Kamandula of his decision to change career paths.

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Helpful Hints for the Holidays: An Etiquette Expert’s Advice

Helpful Hints for the Holidays: An Etiquette Expert’s Advice

Do I have to attend the office holiday party? Is exchanging gifts with co-workers required? How personal should we make our association's holiday greetings? Now that we're in the thick of the holiday season, these questions are top of mind for employees at many organizations.

Business etiquette expert Lydia Ramsey shared some helpful hints on her blog recently to help us all have a happier, hassle-free holiday season. I've summarized five of them here:

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Two, Four, Six, Eight Innovate

Two, Four, Six, Eight Innovate

Yesterday IT strategist, author, and Forbes columnist, Peter High was the opening speaker at ASAE's Technology Conference where we've been exhibiting (Stop by booth #611). High's remarks focused on "Technovation," which, simply put, is the intersection of technology and innovation to drive exceptional customer experience.

This is not unlike the approach that we ask our customers to take as we work with them to implement Fonteva For Associations. We see our primary goal—and theirs—as determining the best ways to maximize our solution to improve efficiency and ultimately enhance their members' experience.

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Let the Games Begin

Let the Games Begin

If you think that you don't have time to play games, think again. Gamification is quickly becoming synonymous with increased engagement.

Fonteva is at ASAE's Technology Conference (Booth #611) today and tomorrow where gamification will be among the variety of tech topics discussed. Later this afternoon Layla Masri, President and Co-Founder at Bean Creative, will present a learning lab on the topic of Gamification vs. Game-Based Learning.

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