Association Today

Association News You Can Use

Featured Fontevan: Karen Torres

Featured Fontevan: Karen Torres

The Best Snowball in Town

You can take the girl out of her snowball stand, but you can't take the snowball stand—and a commitment to offering a great product—out of her. One of Karen Torres', Fonteva's newest project manager, earliest jobs was operating her own snowball stand.

...
Continue reading
2377 Hits

To Err Is To Be In Leadership

To Err Is To Be In Leadership

Nobody's perfect, and even the most accomplished leaders make mistakes. Some of those mistakes may have more significant consequences than others. However, the first step in correcting them is acknowledging that they occurred.
In a recent post to his blog, Great Leaders Serve, Mark Miller, co-author with Ken Blanchard of The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do, shared his list of the 20 Top Mistakes Leaders Make. Here are five that resonated with me:

  1. Leading without a destination – Call this what you will, but don't confuse it with leadership.
  2. Forgetting vision leaks – The vast majority of leaders, maybe 90% or more, don't communicate vision enough.
  3. Assuming the future will be an extension of the past – This is how leaders, companies and organizations become irrelevant.
  4. Being unwilling to change – The best leaders know, progress is always preceded by change.
  5. Failing to build a succession plan – Hans Finzel wrote years ago, "There is no success without a successor."

Miller's list was developed based on his overall concept that great leaders serve, which means they are "willing and eager to put the needs of the people they lead ahead of their own needs, desires and ambition."

...
Continue reading
1600 Hits

Restructuring for Relevance: AAJA Transforms Its Approach to Governance

Restructuring for Relevance: AAJA Transforms Its Approach to Governance

Adaptability to their members' needs is an essential trait of associations that sustain their success through time. In fact, there are instances when this willingness to adapt must come straight from the top—the organization's board—in order for the association to continue meeting the needs of the industry or profession it serves.

A case in point is the Asian American Journalists Association, which recently announced the restructuring of its governance board as necessary "to carry out its mission while adapting to the changes in the journalism industry." After getting feedback from members that the previous structure wasn't the best, discussion on changing AAJA's governance structure has been going on for more than two years.

...
Continue reading
1428 Hits

Think Apps to Add Value, Not Ads that Annoy

Think Apps to Add Value, Not Ads that Annoy

"Before it appears, I've lost patience and switched to a different app," Sunil Gupta, writes of his experience with mobile ads. Gupta is a professor of business administration and head of the marketing unit at Harvard Business School, and this sentiment he shared in a March 2013 article in Harvard Business Review sums up how most smartphone users feel about the ads that pop up on their phones.

According to Gupta, in surveys four out of five people report not liking them. Yet, mobile ad budgets in the U.S. are expected to increase from $2.3 billion in 2012 to almost $11 billion in 2016. So how can savvy marketers, associations among them, best take advantage of this fast-growing media channel?

...
Continue reading
1798 Hits

Featured Fontevan: William Griffith

Featured Fontevan: William Griffith

From Start to Finish

"I have always enjoyed seeing a project from start to finish," said William Griffith, who recently joined Fonteva as a Project Manager on its delivery team.

...
Continue reading
2008 Hits

Coaching for Risk & Rewards

Coaching for Risk & Rewards

Every athletic coach knows that even the most talented and well-conditioned players will sometimes have a bad day where they don't execute plays as they were practiced and planned. You could face the same situation as a manager/coach for your association's team of staff. And like any successful coach, you learn to support your players in good times and bad.

In a post to his blog All Things Workplace, Steve Roesler, principal and founder of the Steve Roesler Group, made this observation: "We all want to stretch the capabilities of our team members. At the same time, think about minimizing failure when someone has a 'stretch' goal with high risk attached."

...
Continue reading
1747 Hits

Out with the Old?

Out with the Old?

So Long, Farewell, Adieu: Are these the last words former board members hear from your association? When it comes to maintaining relationships with former board members, it's probably best not to put the past behind you.

After all, in theory, these volunteers have been and continue to be some of your most engaged members. After their terms end, they might like more from you than a "thank you" and a plaque.

...
Continue reading
1545 Hits

The Future of Mobile Wallets: Payments vs. Points

The Future of Mobile Wallets: Payments vs. Points

As the Mobile World Congress got underway in Barcelona yesterday, mobile payments and their siblings, mobile wallets, were likely the source of many discussions. This year's conference theme, The Edge of Innovation, aptly sums up how many of us have approached adoption of mobile technologies. Many organizations are on still on the edge of deciding just how mobile fits into the overall communications strategy.

Of course, in today's consumer-driven marketplace, it's essential to keep your customers' likes and dislikes at the forefront of your thinking. In a recent blog post, Forrester Analyst Thomas Husson observes that "mobile wallets are not just about mobile payments. Consumers want a better shopping experience."

...
Continue reading
1796 Hits

Winning Thinking: 5 Tips for Staying Positive

Winning Thinking: 5 Tips for Staying Positive

"Mind over matter." When British lawyer and geologist Sir Charles Lyell first coined this phrase in 1863, he must have known somehow that there would be difficult days where we would be required to use our minds to overcome whatever might be the matter at home or in the office. Today, we refer to this as positive thinking, and there is no shortage of books, articles, and other media on the topic.

According to Darlene Hunter, a renowned speaker and author of Win-Ability, Navigating through Life's Challenges with a Winning Attitude (2015), "your attitude is a critical factor that can either hold you back or help you move forward." She believes "everyone needs to take the time to do a pulse check on where they are in their thinking. Is it positive or negative?"

...
Continue reading
1532 Hits

Board Members: Ready for Recruitment?

Board Members: Ready for Recruitment?

Many associations view their board members as "a valuable pool of 'ambassadors' for recruiting and engaging members," noted Associations Now Senior Editor Joe Rominiecki in a recent news article.

Rominiecki interviewed six associations about their board's role in membership recruitment for the magazine's annual Volunteer Leadership issue. His goal was to provide a crash course in membership "for volunteers who come from different lines of work and are suddenly dropped into the role of guiding the direction of a nonprofit association."

...
Continue reading
1636 Hits

Increase Interaction with Your iPad: 4 Tips

Increase Interaction with Your iPad: 4 Tips

According to the Pew Research Center, one third of all adults (18 years and older) owned tablet computers in 2013. In October 2013, Apple announced that it had sold 170 million iPads.

It's evident that we've taken a liking to using tablets, whether they are iPads or another brand. However, how many users are fully capitalizing on the functionality of these devices? Our goal here at Fonteva has always been to help our customers make full use of their technology Platform Solutions.

...
Continue reading
1835 Hits

Let It Go!

Let It Go!

"...I'm never going back; the past is in the past. Let it go, let it go"

Sung by Idina Menzel, these lyrics from Disney's Frozen soundtrack quickly became an anthem for people everywhere who wanted leave certain events or experiences in the past and move forward to focus on the future. This can be a difficult task both professionally and personally.

...
Continue reading
2987 Hits

Keep Them Happy: 5 Things Your Volunteers Want (and Need)

Keep Them Happy: 5 Things Your Volunteers Want (and Need)

We would all like to think that volunteers serve organizations out of the goodness of their hearts. Sure, their desire "to do good" is certainly a factor. However, your members have choices about where, when, and how they volunteer. The competition for volunteers can be as stiff as the one for members.

About.com Nonprofit Charitable Organizations Expert Joanne Fritz writes that "now could be the very best time to take a look at your volunteer program and spiff it up so that your volunteers will want to come and stay." Here's her take on what motivates volunteers to continue serving organizations:

...
Continue reading
1518 Hits

Getting More from Your Tech Investment

Getting More from Your Tech Investment

Have you ever implemented a new technology solution, but felt like that particular software was still on the shelf? Likely this feeling comes with the recognition that your association might not have made the most of its technology investment. Certainly, you would rather feel like your members and staff were making full use of the solution's capabilities.

Eukairos Technologies (in conjunction with Managed Services Provider University), which partners with organizations as their virtual CIOs and IT departments, shared four great ideas on its website for getting the most out of your technology investment. I've summarized them for you here.

...
Continue reading
1973 Hits

All Hearts on Deck

All Hearts on Deck

Yes, it's almost here – the day florists, candy makers, and greeting card companies anticipate every year. But you don't have to sell flowers, candy, or cards to show some heart this Valentine's Day. Some associations are leveraging the holiday as an opportunity to build their brands as well as raise awareness, and funds, for their organizations.

The Texas Tech Alumni Association, for example, is offering its members free downloadable, printable Valentine's cards available in six designs. As the TTAA's website says, "looking for the perfect valentine's cards for your children to take to school or that special Red Raider in your life? We've got you covered!"

Also deep in the heart of Texas, the Texas Landowners Association is having a Valentine's Day sale featuring "deals you'll love." TLA is offering an additional 15 percent of the hats, t-shirts, and ear warmers featured in its LOVE collection (pictured here).

On a more serious note, the Children's Cancer Association will run its Hearts of Joy campaign again this year. Local residents can purchase $1 and $5 paper hearts for their friends and loved ones at retail locations all over Portland and Southwest Washington. The proceeds will benefit the association. Those outside the local area can make an online donation to "Valentine's Day for CCA."

...
Continue reading
1472 Hits

Ensuring Your Board Doesn’t Get Bored

Ensuring Your Board Doesn’t Get Bored

We've all probably been guilty of checking email during meetings or even playing a game or downloading an app. This behavior, however, during board meetings is beyond distracting and decreases the likelihood that your association's board members will be fully engaged during face-to-face meetings.

In a recent blog post, Greg Kohn, vice-president of client services for Virtual Inc., shared four strategies for fully engaging board members during meetings:

...
Continue reading
1621 Hits

The Perfect Recipe for Engagement

The Perfect Recipe for Engagement

Who doesn't want to be engaged? Certainly, your members want to be, and they rely on your association to provide them with a variety of opportunities for engaging with others. It could be through a private online portal, an educational program, or a committee.

It's been my experience that most of us are constantly in search of new ways of engaging with our stakeholders. One of our customers Dance/USA has a great tool for collecting great engagement ideas that their members can share with one another.

...
Continue reading
1491 Hits

Featured Fontevan: Kartik Viswanadha

Featured Fontevan: Kartik Viswanadha

Programmed for Success

"I loved computers since my childhood," says Kartik Viswandha, who wrote his first BASIC program at 12 years-old. "That's how I landed in the IT industry."

...
Continue reading
2085 Hits

Finding the Leader in You

Finding the Leader in You

There's an ongoing debate in almost every industry about whether leaders are born or bred. Most nonprofit organizations are of the mind that leaders can in fact be developed and nurtured. Often the first step is this process involves gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to be a leader.

One of our customers, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, hosts an annual High Potential Diverse Leadership (HPDL) designed to facilitate that process. During the opening session of the fall 2014 program, leadership coach Yvonne Bryant Johnson led a cohort of 30 "rising stars" through exercises to help them build self-awareness. Johnson encourages them to "consider how their personality and approach impact those around them." Three primary areas serve as the foundation for this session:

...
Continue reading
1581 Hits

Members Get Members: Referral Programs Work

Members Get Members: Referral Programs Work

"Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful and influential methods for acquiring new members," according to Avenue M.'s "Moving Members to Action: A Benchmarking Study on Member Referral Programs" (October 2010).

Of the 100 associations that participated in the study, 81 percent have used a referral program to successfully recruit members. One of the keys findings from the study was that tangible rewards such as gift cards are the incentives that associations most commonly used to encourage existing members to recruit their colleagues.

...
Continue reading
2368 Hits