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.

App of the Month: KnowWho - CRM for Congress

App of the Month: KnowWho - CRM for Congress

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? With so many of them being available, it can be hard to know which ones will be most effective for your organization. Just because there’s app for that, it doesn’t mean that you need it.

One of the biggest benefits Fonteva For Associations users are able to take advantage of is access to the more than 2,000 business apps available through the Salesforce AppExchange. You may already be familiar with some of them like MailChimp and Eventbrite.

All of the apps featured can be downloaded and used to extend the functionality of both Fonteva For Associations and Salesforce, and I’ll be highlighting one app from exchange the every month so that you’ll have a better idea of what’s available and may be most useful to you in your work.

The third app that I would like to highlight is Congress KnowWho developed by KnowWho Inc., a company based in Alexandria, Va., providing the only comprehensive Congressional directory for Salesforce. Built with a native platform and updated daily, this app puts detailed information about the members of Congress, their committees and caucuses, and all their staffers into Salesforce.

Users get detailed, automatically updated, account and contact CRM records for all these groups in easy-to-use, custom page templates. They can also leverage all the tools within their CRM to create campaigns, direct mail lists, e-mail lists, document audit trails and more.

Further, organizations also get one-click access to six different web applets from appropriate account and contact records to information including current news headlines, research services, bills and legislation, roll call votes,  and interactive district map and a printable “Briefing Report” in PDF format.

One user’s review emphasizes “having information about legislators in Salesforce makes it easy to go to one place to get contact information, send emails, and prep for meetings using all the bio information available.”

Given this functionality, think of the time and efficiencies your association’s GR or legislative affairs team could gain using Congress KnowWho. Read more online to see if this app might be right for your association.

 

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Just Checking In: 3 Benefits Adobe Got from Eliminating Performance Reviews

performance-evaluationTAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the ninth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. It’s hard to find anyone who looks forward to annual performance reviews. Employees usually don’t, and neither do their managers. Yet, in most organizations, they remain firmly in place. In a recent post to LinkedIn, Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford University and co-author of Scaling Up Excellence: Getting More without Settling for Less, noted, “Management experts have questioned the value of such reviews for decades.” To illustrate that there could be a better way to evaluate employee performance, Sutton shares one of his and co-author Huggy Roa’s favorite examples from their book (an excerpt) about how Adobe “killed one of the most sacred of corporate cows” two years ago by getting rid of traditional performance reviews. The company moved away from this yearly exercise and instead instituted frequent “check-ins” during which managers provide employees targeted coaching and advice. There is no corporate or standardized format or frequency for these check-ins. Managers are simply expected to check in regularly to make sure employees understand what’s expected of them. According to Sutton and Roa, the goal is “to give people information when they need it rather than months after teachable moments have passed.” What about money? Adobe managers make adjustments to employee compensation annually. Further, they now have far more discretion over such decisions than they did before. They have almost complete authority to allocate their budgets amongst their staff members as they see fit. It’s important to note that managers did receive additional training on giving and receiving feedback as part of the new program’s rollout. And so far it seems to be going well. Here of three of the benefits that can be drawn from Sutton and Roa’s summary of the changes made at Adobe.
  1. More time: It was calculated that Adobe’s 2,000 managers had spent approximately 80,000 hours each year preparing annual reviews.
  2. Better communication: According to a recent employee survey, 78 percent of employees indicate that their managers are open to getting feedback from them, which is a sizable improvement from previous surveys.
  3. Less attrition: Voluntary attrition at Adobe has dropped 30 percent since the check-ins were introduced.
Despite these benefits, Sutton acknowledges that “in the end, check-ins may prove worse than traditional reviews.” Still, he says the HR staff at Adobe should be applauded for “summoning the courage to kill this maligned—yet somehow still sacred—practice.” You may be thinking that for your association, getting rid of performance reviews is totally out of the question. Arguably, this would be a drastic step for most organizations. Even so, it’s important to continually evaluate your processes and resist the tendency to keep doing what you’re doing simply because you’ve always done it. Original Article
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Every Little Bit Helps: Become a Micro Philanthropist

Every Little Bit Helps: Become a Micro Philanthropist

Twenty-six dollars might not seem like a lot of money, but it would mean the world to Mrs. Miller, a teacher at Ada B. Chesteron Elementary School in Easton, Pa., who needs crochet hooks, so her students can continue having their before-school crochet club or to Mr. Mr. Benson, a teacher at Central Junior High and High School in Tulsa, who would like 155 copies of Things Fall Apart, so his students will have books they can take home and have more time to read.

These are just two the classroom projects featured at DonorsChoose.org. Founder Charles Best created this web-based effort 14 years ago when he was a history teacher at a public high school in the Bronx. “Using pencil and paper, I drew a website where teachers could post classroom project requests and donors could choose a project they wanted to support,” Best writes recently in the Huffington Post’s Third Metric blog, which is dedicated to “redefining success beyond money and power.”

To illustrate the point, in what’s considered “a history-making move for the publishing world,” Arianna Huffington is donating profits from the sale of her new book Thrive to DonorsChoose.org. Even more interesting, each customer has the chance to become micro philanthropist. If you purchase the book by March 25 (anywhere you choose) and then go to www.donorschoose.org/thrive, you will receive a gift code the amount of $26 to spend on the classroom project of your choice.

So you get the book and your money back to help kids? This sounds like a recipe for success to me. In Best’s words, “I think it’s pretty cool that Arianna is donating profits from her book so that her readers can experience the joy of giving.”

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A Strategy for Social Media: 3 Key Elements for Success

imgresWhat’s the rush? Are you really worried about some other organization beating yours to Facebook and Twitter? Too often I’ve seen nonprofit organizations treat implementing social media like a race. They take the approach of let’s get out there and get started; we’re figure out the rest later. About.com contributor Julia Campbell recently shared 11 tips for a successful nonprofit social media strategy. Of them, three really stood out for me. 1.  Create a social media committee. The day-to-day work of social media cannot be done in a silo. To form a dynamic and working social media committee, think about the people involved with your organization who:
  • Like communicating with stakeholders;
  • Like technology (they do not have to be tech-savvy);
  • Are creative;
  • Have their finger on the pulse of the latest news;
  • Are well-connected and enthusiastic.
The key is to get this group of people thinking through a social media lens. 2. Choose Channels. Too many organizations do this step first, with no planning. How will you know which channel to choose without knowing your audience and where they are? How will you know where to participate until you know who is going to be administering and maintaining the accounts? Things to consider:
  • Where are your supporters?
  • Where do they congregate?
  • Ask or survey your supporters and constituency.
Don’t get caught up in shiny new object syndrome. Vine and Snapchat may be awesome, but that doesn’t mean they will be worthwhile for your nonprofit. 3. Plan. Start by defining your goals and objectives. How will you know success? What can you measure that is directly attributable to social media? Metrics can include:
  • Increased email sign ups
  • Increased event participation
  • New volunteer sign ups
  • Increased website traffic
If you only want to use social media to raise money, you should probably reevaluate that strategy. Check out the Facebook Ladder of Engagement to see how nonprofits can use Facebook (and other social networks) as a rung in the fundraising ladder. While all three of these are important, we definitely had choosing channels in mind when we designed Fonteva For Associations. We make it easy for your members to promote their social presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter by integrating these sites directly into their member profiles. This functionality enables you to expand your association’s profile on these important social sites, enhancing your viral marketing and referral strategy. Original Article
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Olympic Athletes All A-Twitter: 5 Ways to Use Twitter to Build Your Personal Brand

images-2TAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the eighth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. How much is that puppy in the picture? Animal lovers around the world were asking that question after slope-style skier Gus Kentworthy posted photos of himself with the adorable puppies he intended to adopt. In doing so, Kentworthy used his social presence to shine a light on Sochi’s stray dog program. His actions illustrate the first of five ways Cision blogger Teresa Dankowski says Olympic athletes leveraged Twitter to build their personal brands.
  1. Advocacy. According to her, Kentworthy’s post, which even got Miley Cyrus’ attention, inspired many Olympians and non-Olympians to consider pet adoption.  “With cause-based messages being crucial to today’s brands and important to today’s audiences, people should use social handles as an extension to do good,” she writes.
  2. Education. Luger Erin Hamlin and hockey forward Monique Lamoureau both took to Twitter to educate fans about their sports as well as give them a sneak peek inside the Olympic Village. Dankowski says, we “should aspire to keep our audiences informed and shouldn’t be afraid to provide a transparent behind-the-scenes look at what [we] do.”
  3. Engagement.  Dankowski gives slope-style snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg high marks for keeping it really and truly engaging with fans: “He relates with his audience, answers fan questions and even expressed his desire for an Olympic medal made out of bacon.”  If you follow Kotsenburg’s example, she says, “Be real and have fun with it. Twitter is just another platform to tell a story—scrap pretense and don’t be afraid to put a face on the person behind your brand’s Twitter account.”
  4. Curation.  Ice dancer Alex Shibutani gets the gold for effectively using retweets to build his brand.  “He retweets the people who influence him, stories that inspire him and he’s not afraid to tell the world how much he loves Jimmy Fallon,” Dankowski writes. In an environment where we’re literally bombarded with information, I would agree with her that curation is an important component of content strategy. As she says, curation can be used to “establish thought leadership, build credibility and create engagement and awareness.
  5. Promotion.  Speed skater J.R. Celski was one of many Olympians who shared content related to the brands that sponsor him as well as some content that was self-promotional. “Being promotional is an evitable part of your branded Twitter account. Just remember that promotional content should be relatable,” advises Dankowski.
Well, most of us probably don’t have a chance at becoming champion cross-country skiers or ice skaters, but go ahead, Tweet like an Olympian.
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Underneath AMS Upgrades: Understanding the True Costs

Underneath AMS Upgrades: Understanding the True Costs

Do you really want to be upgraded? Often the connotation of upgrading is a positive one as in being upgraded to first class at no cost to you or for a nominal feel. On the other hand, many associations are finding out that upgrades to their AMS come with a significant cost, both from a financial perspective and a lost opportunity perspective.

According to the Lehman Reports “Annual Industry Study: Association Management Software Use and Satisfaction,” most associations enter into an AMS purchase process every four to five years. At Fonteva, we have been getting more and more calls from this group—associations determining whether to upgrade their current AMS or implement a new solution.

Naturally, their current vendors have encouraged them to upgrade. Associations are telling us fees quoted for AMS upgrades range from $30,000 to $90,000. That’s quite an investment, especially if you’re not truly happy with the functionality of your AMS, and you likely are going to be faced with this same decision in four or five years.

The Lehman study notes that “a major reason for upgrading a current AMS product is the expectation that the upgrade will address problems or bugs with the current software.”

However, this may not always be the case. And some organizations are beginning to wonder just which version of their AMS will actually provide everything that they need— and at what cost.

As we’ve talked with associations and offered guidance to them as they make these difficult decisions, I’ve found that most are shocked to learn what the cloud has to offer them. Cloud computing has come so far in the last three to five years. Now there are Platform Solutions available to them that weren’t previously.

The only AMS built 100 percent on the Salesforce platform, Fonteva For Associations is built to be the last AMS your association will ever need.  Because we built our app on a true public cloud platform, associations using it never have to go through a painful and costly upgrade and have greater flexibility in managing their data. Fonteva For Associations releases new functionality three times each year, as does Salesforce, and these upgrades are always free. Further, there are no added maintenance and support costs.

Fonteva For Associations is a true cloud AMS solution, which means all users are always on the latest version at all times. This is very different from traditional AMS Platform Solutions that require costly upgrades whenever migrating to a new version.

If it’s the time again for your association to make the choice between making an upgrade and implementing a new solution, I challenge you to compare the cost savings of a one-time move to a true public cloud AMS. When you remove the cost of upgrades, you’ll be amazed at the tremendous technology cost savings.  And best of all, you’ll put power at your members’ fingertips, and you’ll have more information that’s easier to access so that you can make better business decisions. Now that’s an upgrade.

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Communicating about Change: 4 Lessons from Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Debut

imgresThe viewing public knew a change was coming, but would they embrace the Tonight Show’s new host? Well, Jimmy Fallon increased the odds in his favor by communicating honestly and openly with his audience about the change. He explained things in detail and didn’t pretend like “nothing” was happening. Times TV critic James Poniewozik made some insightful observations about Fallon’s debut that I’ll reference here as I highlight four lessons that can help organizations communicate more effectively about change. Be specific about what’s changing and staying the same.  Fallon “very deliberately walked the audience through who he was, who his supporting stars were and what kind of show he was going to do. He literally, at one point, pretty much explained how a late-night show works, down to the fact that a host comes out from behind a curtain and tells topical jokes.” Frame to the story to make others comfortable with change. “So each introduction Fallon made was a chance to frame the story, from the beginning, in a way that could make these longtime Tonight viewers—many of them older—comfortable with him, even while he hopefully brought in new ones.” Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. “Fallon was not going to pretend to be Leno, but he could introduce himself as a nice, approachable kid. He spotlighted his adorable parents and said he hoped they were proud of him.” Be genuine and considerate.  “And by the way, I don’t mean any of this to say that Fallon was being calculated or phony—far from it. It was all true. Fallon really does want to show people a good time; I don’t know him personally, but to all appearances he’s a good-hearted guy who takes genuine, contagious joy in his work. … And—most important—he came across humble and considerate, acknowledging that he represented a big change and asking the audience for their attention rather than demanding it.” Think about the last time you had to communicate an important change to your staff or members. Was there anything that you could have done differently – even better? Original Article
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Frame Your Future: 4 Keys to Avoiding Mac’s Marketing Missteps

0128_mac-800x480TAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the eighth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. “The Mac was meant to blow minds and change the world. And it did. But not right away,” writes Associations Now Social Media Journalist Ernie Smith. When the original Apple Macintosh made its debut in 1984, it didn’t get rave reviews from business customers. And there are some lessons to be learned from Mac’s initial mistakes in marketing this then cutting-edge device. When associations introduce new products and services that don’t seem to be immediately embraced by members, the need to remember to:
  1. Be patient. “Something that gets lost in the vats of digital ink spilled about Apple over the years is that although the benefits of the Mac’s landmark graphical interface were certainly clear, it took a long time for those benefits to reach the general public,” Smith observes.
  2. Create a mechanism for frequently communicating about their benefits. According to Smith, “with no blogs to drive enthusiast interest, Apple also played a pivotal role in launching a magazine for the budding platform, the still-active Macworld.”
  3. Put a sufficient support system in place. “For all the Mac’s innovations, it just didn’t have the ecosystem to make it a viable business offering,” Smith notes. “Apple was the first mover on the graphic user interface (GUI)—the Lisa, released a year earlier, got there before the Mac, but it was insanely expensive and not insanely great—but at the time Apple didn’t have the apps or the vendor lock-in that made it a smart move for a business to push an entire department to the Mac then and there.”
  4. Narrow their market and think long-term. “And if you look back 30 years, you’ll see Apple’s biggest early Mac successes came from marketing narrowly—in industry sectors where early buy-in meant long-term influence,” according to Smith. “It focused its early efforts on universities, which led to entire generations of home users buying Macs because they got hooked at school.”
As I consider these lessons, they echo some of the advice that we give our customers when they first implement their member portals. This is one of the most popular features of Fonteva For Associations; yet their members may not necessarily to take to it like fish to water. In most cases, careful marketing and promotion will be needed for them to fully leverage this valuable tool. Original Article

Past Tuesday Takeaways

Moms Get Gold at Sochi Fantasy Football Equals Engagement Florist Transworld Delivery Finds Value in Membership Paper and Pixels for PR: Follow Beyonce’s Example High-Tech Higher Ed: The IT Team As First Responders Three New Ways of Working Together: Perspectives from Mabel’s Labels, Zappos and Morning Star
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Get a Good Report Card

Get a Good Report Card

I don't know about your experiences growing up, but around many American households – including my own, report cards are a big deal. Both rewards and repercussions may be given out based on upon how well, or not so well, a student does. Access to social events, new clothes and even video games can rest on this one document.

According to Search Institute President and CEO Dr. Kent Perkel, by June, our nation’s elementary and secondary schools will have cumulatively issued more than 100 million report cards. In general, report cards describe and evaluate how well students are meeting the expectations that their teachers and schools have set for them. In most school systems, they are issued at least quarterly.

Interestingly, for close to a decade of our lives (even longer if you attend graduate school), we grow accustomed to receiving and referencing regular reports that evaluate our progress towards goals. Yet, sometimes the concept seems lost on us when we enter the workplace.

Given how much critical information they can provide about so many different aspects of their operations, one might think most associations would run reports on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis. Yet, we’ve found that many don’t because the process is so cumbersome when using their current AMS.

We wanted to make sure that Fonteva For Associations helped associations in this area rather than hindering them.  Our users can create custom reports without help from us or their IT department. And in most cases, they don’t have to pay additional fees.

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Who’s Who Wednesday: Christine Clark

Who’s Who Wednesday: Christine Clark

Throughout 2014, we want to give the blogosphere the opportunity to get to know the Fonteva team better. To that end, we're introducing a new monthly feature Who's Who Wednesday that will highlight a staff member.

This month we’re pleased to introduce you to senior project manager Christine Clark. Christine joined Fonteva 15 months ago.

In this role, she works with customers to implement Fonteva’s products to meet their specific business needs. She is a PMP certified project manager and a Salesforce.com certified administrator. She holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA from the University of Maine. Read on to learn more about her.

What's on your desk right now?

The head massager I got for Christmas, a can of soup, tissues, customer notes, and product design ideas.  And chocolate – lots of chocolate.

What's the best advice you ever got?

I once cried in front of my business school dean (a combination of stress and frustration I imagine). I was rather embarrassed, and he stopped and told me, “Don’t ever change.”

I took that as his way of telling me that it is okay to show weakness, and I should not be ashamed of who I am and how I react to things. It has changed the way I approach colleagues and made my work life significantly less stressful.

What's the most played song on your iPod?

I haven’t used my iPod since last summer because it’s much too cold to go out running for me, but I’ve been rocking out to The Band Perry on Pandora when I get really into a work task.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

My boyfriend Joe and I have a goal of never going to the same restaurant twice. He loves to eat out, so we're making it a mission to try every restaurant in Alexandria and the greater DC area.

If you weren't working for Fonteva, what would you be doing?

Good question. Ideally, I would traveling the world with my backpack, but more likely working for a consulting firm and not enjoying my job nearly as much.

What is your favorite blog?

I spend my spare Internet time on Reddit.

What is your favorite Fonteva For Associations feature?

The member portal dashboard, it gives an awesome 360 degree view to members of how they are interacting with their associations through their memberships.

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Moms Get Gold at Sochi

imgres-1TAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the seventh in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. I am a big fan of live sporting events, and I also enjoy watching them from the comfort of my home.  In fact, of my TV consumption, sports probably make up 75 percent. Like many of you, I have thoroughly enjoyed the coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Watching top athletes from around the world compete is exciting, disappointing and inspiring all at the same time. And as any sports fan knows, the competition among corporations to use major sporting events to their best advantage is just as tough. In the months leading up to the Winter Olympics, a particular group of commercials and ads stood out for me. Launched in 2010 in conjunction with the Winter Games in Vancouver, Proctor & Gamble’s “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign has been quite successful. The campaign focuses on the role moms have played in helping their Olympians reach their goals. P&G found a way to capitalize on a world-wide event that might not have ordinarily been so closely associated with its brand by identifying a key audience and going for gold. Just before the games in Sochi got underway, P&G released a new ad, Pick Them Up. “As a mom I can relate to those moments of watching my children fall, and being there to pick them up, dust them off and tell them to try again,” Jodi Allen, P&G’s vice president of North American marketing and brand operations, told Huffing Post Blogger Lisa Belkin. “We feel that all moms can relate to this new film because whether your child is an Olympian or not, all moms strive to raise great children.” Yes, they do, and that’s why this approach has resonated with its intended audience. Perhaps, you can identify a similar opportunity for your association to leverage some aspect of a major event. The answer is likely lies in your data. And well, you already know how I feel about that. Original Article

Past Tuesday Takeaways

Fantasy Football Equals Engagement Florist Transworld Delivery Finds Value in Membership Paper and Pixels for PR: Follow Beyonce’s Example High-Tech Higher Ed: The IT Team As First Responders Three New Ways of Working Together: Perspectives from Mabel’s Labels, Zappos and Morning Star
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Fantasy Football Equals Engagement

imgres-1TAKEAWAY THURSDAY Take it away! This is the sixth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. As you go through your busy day, playing games may be the last thing on your mind.  Yet, gamification continues to be an important trend. According to Gartner, by year-end 2014, an estimated 70 percent of the world’s 2,000 largest companies will deploy at least one gamification application. Last year, I wrote about this trend with some skepticism. I wasn’t convinced that gamification would be useful to associations in engaging their members: “You don’t need a game when you’re delivering significant benefits for achievement.” While I still believe this is the case, I am also open to new approaches to gamification that help association staffs and their members be more engaged with one another. I recently came across an excellent example of the former. In a December blog post, Frank Humada, general manager for MultiView, shared the company’s success with using gamification internally with employees. “After hearing some employees discuss their Fantasy Football success over a weekend, the idea to use this concept at MultiView made too much sense to not act on it,” he writes. The basic concept for fantasy sports involves people becoming general managers for teams of professional athletes for a given sport. You draft your players and earn points from a few categories of statistics from their games. In MultiView’s case, 40 operations staff employees become GMs of a team of sales reps. They received points if their sales reps hit more than 120 minutes each day, for sales under and over $1,500, and even earned points if their drafted sales team was the top team of the day. Some employees even worked late to ensure that they that they would hit their targets for the day. Fantasy Football turned out to be a great way to motivate staff and build a bridge between the company’s operations staff and sales team: “The operations staff began communicating with more people on the sales floor than they did before, while also engaging in friendly competition with opponents in their departments for a playoff spot.” Based on the success of this effort, Humada plans to “continue to utilize gamification across the company, or even outside of work. You can make anything more engaging, so why wait? Implement today, or run the risk of missing out on increased productivity and interest.” Perhaps, there’s an appropriate way for your association to deploy gamification. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get people engaged and motivated. Original Article
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Diversity in Data

Diversity in Data

By now you’ve seen or heard the numbers detailing how diverse the U.S. population has become and will continue to be during the next few decades. Associations are in a unique position to serve these diverse groups and provide them with a sense of community. After all, that’s what associations do best: bring people together.

Still, concerns have been raised about lack of diversity in their memberships and/or the professions/industries they represent. And associations have taken steps to answer the call for more diversity in the association community.

Now in its 14th year, ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) is a case in point. DELP scholars, who come from under-represented identity groups in the association community, participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring, and volunteer service in the association community.

ASAE is also taking additional steps to assist the organization’s members assess and better address diversity and inclusion issues. Last month ASAE announced its collaboration with the National Human Services Assembly to increase awareness about diversity and inclusion and create/share best practices in the D+I field.

The two organizations will hold a kick-off meeting next month to begin the process of developing a sector-wide strategic framework for educating nonprofits and associations about key practices. As part of this joint effort, NHSA will promote ASAE’s Association Inclusion Index to its members and affiliates.

Developed with input from experts in the field, the index is designed to help organizations simplify the process of gathering and analyzing data on diversity and inclusion policies and practices in association management. To utilize the index, associations answer performance-based questions in five major domains of diversity and inclusion in associations, which are:

    1. Mission & Focus
    2. Roles & Leadership Accountability
    3. Resources
    4. Operations
    5. Communications & Cultures

What I find exciting about this tool is that it takes advantage of cloud computing. The Index is web-based and dynamic. Upon completion, organizations receive instant feedback in the form of downloadable documents they can share within their associations. It’s good that cloud-based technology is being implemented towards achieving goals in area as critical to the future of associations as diversity and inclusion.

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Marketing to Go: 3 Important Considerations for Mobile Content Marketing

imgresIf find yourself reaching for your mobile device more and more when you need information or want to communicate online, you’re not alone. The use of mobile devices is widespread for both professional and personal activities. In a recent post to the company’s blog, Readz CEO Bart De Pelsmaeker notes that “nearly half of Facebook’s active users access the network only from mobile devices.” This trend or preference towards mobile devices has given rise to the latest iteration of content marketing, mobile content marketing. De Pelsmaeker defines mobile content marketing as “the creation of mobile optimized content to attract and engage existing and potential customers.” The platform may have changed, but the goals are the same: recruiting and retaining customers. Like other organizations are doing, associations might want to consider if mobile content marketing has place in their strategic plans for engaging existing customers and prospects. However, be forewarned. Mobile content marketing requires more than using existing content and enabling it for mobile devices. Some associations made this mistake when first implementing social media. Simply reposting content from your association’s web site to social media may not be enough to attract your members and prospects. Instead, De Pelsmaeker says three considerations are most important if your organization wants to be effective at mobile content marketing:
  1. Great content.  “Writing excellent content that meets users’ needs is the foundation of content marketing, whether it’s targeted to mobile users or not. Steer your content strategy towards relevant information that users want.”
  2. Speed. “If people are using mobile devices with a limited data plan, the length of time content takes to download hits them in the pocket. That means if content loads slowly, they really have to want it to stick around. Slow page load is a big turnoff for both web and mobile users, so optimize your content so it loads quickly.”
  3. Usability. “This is about how easy it is for mobile device users to complete desired actions when interacting with your content. Common mobile usability errors include menus that stretch into an inaccessible area or are not completely visible because they are really setup for desktop users, pop-ups or social media sharing buttons that block the main content, long forms that are cumbersome to fill in.”
In general, he recommends that organizations take a “mobile first” approach, which means starting content creation with the mobile interface and then broadening it out for other users. This approach certainly resonates with us at Fonteva. This trend towards increased use of mobile devices seemed inevitable and was foremost in our minds when we developed Fonteva For Associations, which is completely mobile for association staff and members. Original Article  
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More Mobile Managers: 4 Tips for Keeping Mobile Teams on Track

More Mobile Managers: 4 Tips for Keeping Mobile Teams on Track

It won’t surprise you that these days “mobile” is always a part of my discussion with customers and prospects. As I’ve talked with people in the association community, I sense that there’s a real understanding of the importance of the mobile channel and their members’ increasing use of mobile devices both professionally and personally.

This trend towards mobility has already and will continue to impact our workplaces. According to a forecast from International Data Corporation, by 2015 the world's mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion, representing 37.2 percent of the total workforce.

The ever increasing mobility of the workplace was front of mind when we created Fonteva For Associations.  It is designed to be users’ all-in-one platform, which can be activated from anywhere at any time on any device.  Fonteva For Associations staff users can perform all administrative functions (i.e. creating reports or changing permissions) remotely.

Fonteva For Associations is completely mobile for users and members. Users can login to the database from any Internet enabled device and constituents can access the portal and enjoy touch screen navigation from mobile devices.

While we believe organizations using Fonteva For Associations are well-equipped to operate in a mobile workplace, we recognize that this trend could pose challenges for managers. In a post on Forbes.com, Mark Dixon, the founder and chief executive of Regus, a global provider of flexible workspace, offers these suggestions for managing mobile workers:

    1. Be engaged, always. Lead by example. Understand the nature of the work you’re overseeing—is it highly structured or unstructured—and customize your approach to fit the employee and the task.
    2. Set clear goals and expectations. Trusting your employees to meet expectations without direct supervision is essential to becoming an effective manager of flexible workers. From day one, communicate goals and expectations clearly and effectively. The goals should reflect quantifiable end results, not process or hours spent on specific projects.
    3. Embrace a flexible lifestyle. Offer employees who work remotely or from home access to professional workplaces when they need it. They need to know they can get professional services and support when required. They need professional locations where they can come together face-to-face, whether for meetings with colleagues and clients or for working on special projects.
    4. Be a connector. I’m a big believer in meetings that matter, bringing the right people together to get talking, thinking, and making key decisions. You can only do so much over the phone or the Internet, so the more virtual you become the more important this is. Also, facilitate and encourage corporate camaraderie by creating opportunities for your employees to socialize, formally and informally.

If those in leadership roles make an effort to implement these strategies, mobility will be manageable.

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App of the Month: Cirrus Insight - Google Goes with the Force

App of the Month: Cirrus Insight - Google Goes with the Force

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? With so many of them being available, it can be hard to know which ones will be most effective for your organization. Just because there’s app for that, it doesn’t mean that you need it.

One of the biggest benefits Fonteva For Associations users are able to take advantage of is access to the more than 2,000 business apps available through the Salesforce App Exchange. You may already be familiar with some of them like MailChimp and Eventbrite.

All of the apps featured can be downloaded and used to extend the functionality of both Fonteva For Associations and Salesforce, and I’ll be highlighting one app from exchange the every month so that you’ll have a better idea of what’s available and may be most useful to you in your work.

The second app that I would like to highlight is Cirrus Insight developed by Cirrus Path Inc., a company based in Laguna Hills, Calif., specializing in making apps that integrate Salesforce with Google (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive).

Cirrus Insight is rated the #1 app for integrating Salesforce with Google Apps. Do you have staff members who find it challenging to toggle back and forth between Salesforce and Google? As a result, important information about communications with customers may not be accurately recorded.

Cirrus Insight makes the connection between the two seamless and alleviates the problem of having to exit Google to update information in Salesforce. Users can see customer context in their inboxes, save emails to Salesforce, create leads and contacts, set reminders to follow up, and update Salesforce records. Essentially, this app serves as the ultimate bridge between two of the most important platforms in the public cloud.

Here at Fonteva, we know first-hand how valuable this app is. Since the beginning, we’ve used it streamline our day-to-day operations by making communication more efficient and effective. Our team uses Cirrus Insight to communicate with customers and prospects.

I really like that the Cirrus Insight pops up when I am composing a message in Gmail and I can easily verify if the contact is already in Salesforce and then add it if it isn’t. Any documents that I send also become part of the activity history. Our team’s entire conversation with the customer or prospect is documented in Salesforce

Here’s what some other users have to say about how Cirrus Insight has helped their organizations be more efficient:

—“I must admit [that] I was a little skeptical at first, but quickly found out this is a must have app. It is a huge timesaver and makes entries into Salesforce from Gmail a breeze. Thanks for this extremely helpful tool.

—“After trying it for two weeks, my sales guys couldn't live [without it] after their trial period ended. They bugged me relentlessly until I purchased it for them.”

—“I’ve had some ups and downs with Cirrus Insight, but my overall experience has been positive. Due to the apps ease of use, it has cut down tremendously the amount of time it took me to update information within Salesforce.”

Read more online to see if this app might be right for your association.

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Step Up Your Service the Ritz Carlton Way

imagesTAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the fifth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. The Ritz Carlton is world renowned for its legendary customer service. The blogosphere is literally full of personal accounts about extraordinary service customers have received while staying at The Ritz. One in particular comes to mind. If you haven’t heard the story of Joshie the Stuffed Giraffe, it’s well worth a read. I’ll summarize it briefly here: Mercantile Capital CEO Chris Hurn’s family vacationed at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, Fla. Upon returning home, they realized their son’s beloved stuffed giraffe Joshie had been left behind. Hurn reassured his son that Joshie was just fine and had decided to take an extra-long vacation at the resort. His son accepted this explanation and managed to get to sleep without Joshie by his side. Not long after, Hurn received call from the Loss Prevention Team at the hotel confirming that they indeed had Joshie and would be shipping him home. Hurn joked with them about the explanation that he gave his son and said it would be nice if they could take Joshie’s picture lounging pool-side. They assured him that they would. When Joshie arrive home a couple of days later, he was accompanied by a binder that thoughtfully recorded his extended stay at the hotel. Now, that’s a “wow” moment. As Hurn wrote in Huff Post Good News, “it goes without saying that the Ritz-Carlton can count on my family to be repeat customers. But I'm also telling you (and everyone else who happens to read this story). This is something I've always told my staff -- create an experience so amazing that someone can't help but tell others about it, and you're sure to succeed.” As I think about our customers and yours, I imagine there are ways we all can work together to provide these kinds of experiences. The Ritz Carlton’s “Gold Standards” serve as the foundation upon which its stellar reputation has been built. I was struck by one of the seemingly simplistic components of these standards called “Three Steps of Service.” Then, I was reminded of just how much small things mean to our customers and your members. Are you providing exemplary service to your members all of the time? Here are three steps (borrow from the Ritz) that might help ensure those “wow moments” are more frequent. Three Steps of Service
  1. A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest's name.
  2. Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest's needs.
  3. Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye and use the guest's name.
These three relatively small gestures could net big rewards for your organization and make employees feel great in the process. For associations, they are certainly applicable to phone conversations with members or how staff members greet them at your annual meeting. No doubt, you already providing top-notch service, but I would venture to say there are still opportunities for all of us to step up our level of service.

Past Tuesday Takeaways

Florist Transworld Delivery Finds Value in Membership Paper and Pixels for PR: Follow Beyonce’s Example High-Tech Higher Ed: The IT Team As First Responders Three New Ways of Working Together: Perspectives from Mabel’s Labels, Zappos and Morning Star  
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Safe and Secure in the Cloud: Avoiding the Notorious Nine

Safe and Secure in the Cloud: Avoiding the Notorious Nine

Data breaches at big-box retail stores, financial institutions, and even the federal government seem to be constantly in the news. And the public cloud sometimes gets the blame for these vulnerabilities. To be sure, with all the good that’s come from cloud computing, some new security challenges have been introduced as well.

Fortunately, most of these risks can be mitigated by increasing awareness and putting appropriate measures in place to address them. The Cloud Security Alliance has been in the forefront of conducting research about these issues and facilitating dialogue among members of the cloud community.

Last year, CSA’s Top Threats Working Group surveyed experts in the field to identify the following nine critical threats to cloud security (ranked in order of severity):

  1. Data Breach
  2. Data Loss
  3. Account Hijacking
  4. Insecure APIs
  5. Denial of Service
  6. Malicious Insiders
  7. Abuse of Cloud Services
  8. Insufficient Due Diligence
  9. Shared Technology Issues

At first glance, it may be difficult to determine if one or more of these threats is significant to your association. However, you should definitely be aware of them and take security issues into consideration when selecting cloud-based Platform Solutions.

Fortunately for Fonteva For Associations users, these risks have been readily addressed and are carefully monitored because our AMS solution is built 100% natively on the Salesforce.com platform.

Salesforce.com implements a multi-prong approach to ensure the software Fonteva releases is secure. Specifically, we perform the following tasks to assure security in the development lifecycle:

Architecture Reviews: Salesforce.com architects (including a security team) meet regularly to discuss features that could be considered high risk.

Development: Salesforce.com developers follow coding best practices such as those specified in OWASP (Open Web Application SecurityProject). All code prior to check-in is reviewed. Code quality and security

Quality Assurance (QA): Salesforce.com QA testers analyze their features through both positive and negative testing. Salesforce.com also employs several black box analysis tools (Appscan, Peros, etc.) to help in identification of security vulnerabilities.

Due diligence is definitely required, but it’s definitely possible to be safe and secure in the public cloud.

Original Article

The Notorious Nine: Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2013

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Facebook Gets Fancy with New Features

Facebook Gets Fancy with New Features

Happy Birthday to Facebook! The social network turned 10 on Tuesday. As its 1.23 billion users world-wide are well aware, the network has definitely changed over time.

And it will continue to do so if Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has his way. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Zuckerberg said, “We’re really at this point where we can take a step back and think about the next big things that we want to do.”

Two recent announcements the company made reflect this commitment to constantly changing to meet the needs of the marketplace. The first was the introduction of a new feature, the “Donate Now” button, which allows donors to contribute to nonprofits without ever leaving Facebook.com.

The button will be visible on posts from the nonprofit in the user’s news feed and will also appear at the top of the nonprofit’s Facebook page. Users can make donations using debit/credit cards or PayPal. According to Steven Shattuck, vice president of marketing at Bloomerang, this new feature will be especially advantageous to those nonprofits that already have a strong Facebook presence and solicit donations via a third-party app.

Currently, this feature is only available to 18+ nonprofit partners, but Facebook expects to roll it out globally in the near future. Organizations interested in the “Donate Now” button can complete a form online.

The second announcement was the changes made to network’s news feed algorithm. In a recent blog post for Advertising Age, Blinq Media CEO Luis Caballero offers these observations about the changes: “The changes -- especially noticeable on mobile -- make Facebook more Twitter-like, giving much more weight to links from outside the site, rather than the personal updates that many have associated with Facebook.”

In general, the shift is content driven in that it means more attention will be given to popular pieces of content. According to Caballero, this means marketers will have think differently about how to present their brands on social media.  He says they “now need to use Facebook and other platforms to gain a deeper understanding of their audience.”

Caballero goes on to say that “marketers ought to ensure that the content they are creating is native to the platform. That is, if you are a retailer, your content should have a timely, specific, meaningful message that is location-appropriate.”

At Fonteva, we can relate to this approach as it served as the foundation for the development of our Fonteva For Associations app built on the Salesforce platform. We wanted our users to have the information/data most relevant to them at their fingertips without having to request costly customizations or upgrades to their AMS. Fonteva and Facebook – great minds think alike.

Original Articles

Facebook's News Feed Changes Will Require New Marketing Strategies

The New Facebook ‘Donate’ Button – What You Need To Know

Facebook Turns 10: The Mark Zuckerberg Interview

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Florist Transworld Delivery Finds Value in Membership

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.47.01 PMTAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the fourth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. Almost $2billion -- according to the National Retail Federation, that’s how much Americans are estimated to have spent on flowers last Valentine’s Day. As one of the top flower-giving holidays of the year quickly approaches, my thoughts turned to how the first floral wire service got its start. Florist Transworld Delivery, better known as FTD, was initially launched when 15 florists joined forces in 1910 to form the Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association. The group’s primary objective was exchanging orders for out-of-town deliveries by telegraph. From there, FTD introduced the first system for standardizing order placement among florists worldwide. FTD was also the first to create a standard special bouquet order with its member florists and to publish floral arrangement catalogs to help consumers select the proper arrangements. Today FTD provides floral, gift and related products and services to consumers, retail florists, and other retail locations primarily in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland. It’s interesting to reflect on the company’s start as an association because that continues to influence its overall business philosophy and approach to offering products and services. Here are a few concepts particularly relevant to associations. Members are in the mission. The FTD mission statement reads as follows, “to inspire, support and delight our customers when expressing life’s most important sentiments.” What association doesn’t want to inspire, support and delight members? Then fill in the blank with “as they serve their professions” or similar language and that sounds like most associations I know. The focus is on creating experiences members will value and offering products/services that help them be successful. FTD members’ customers can be members too. For many years, FTD has served an umbrella organization for florists nation-wide who chose to join. However, more recently the company developed a means for cultivating a different segment of members. In March 2011, FTD launched its gold membership program for consumers. The primary benefit of the gold membership, which costs $29.99 annually, is free shipping for online orders. Gold members also receive special discounts and offers. Perhaps, there’s a way for your association to cultivate another segment of membership by offering a specialized service to the people your members serve. Specialized resources are provided for big opportunities. To help member florists fully capitalize on what should be one of their best-selling holidays, a portion of FTD’s website is specifically dedicated to Valentine’s Day. From marketing tips to help them promote the holiday locally to ordering guidelines to sure they have sufficient inventory on hand, FTD outlines what member-florists need to do be successful. If your members are in a position take advantage of some significant opportunity, you association should be their one-stop source for information and other resources. Certainly FTD has faced its fair share of competition and criticism in recent years. Still there’s something to be said for being first, and associations are clearly in its “blood” since many, including the National Homebuilders Association, the Air Force Sergeants Association, and Associated Skin Care Professionals, offer FTD discounts as a member benefit. So stop, take a moment to smell some of the estimated 224T million roses grown for Valentine’s Day and think about what you can do next to make sure your members continue to love you. Original Article

Past Tuesday Takeaways

Paper and Pixels for PR: Follow Beyonce’s Example
High-Tech Higher Ed: The IT Team As First Responders
Three New Ways of Working Together: Perspectives from Mabel’s Labels, Zappos and Morning Star
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