ASSOCIATION FREAK: THE BLOG

Freakishly Good Ideas for Associations and Nonprofits

Reading Time: 5 minutes Many of the lessons associations were forced to learn during the pandemic have relevance enduring beyond this past year. The expectations of organization members across the board have changed forever.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Associations are always “mission first” in word and often indeed. Yet many have led less and less with a mission in their efforts to revitalize their membership. Enhancing member value and experience have been the guiding lights for association growth.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Headwinds evokes the image of sailing into the storm. We imagine wind whipping our faces as we make progress against forces beyond our control. Headwinds is a good word for the market forces facing membership organizations today.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ask association members why they don’t renew and two in three will say lack of value for the price. Half of them also say lack of engagement or “I forgot”, which are another way of voting on your value with their feet.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Eighty percent of executives say creating an “outside-in” culture is a high priority for the future. Outside is where the good stuff happens. Buyers buy. Inventors invent. Competitors compete. An outward-focused organization has its eyes on the action

Reading Time: 2 minutes Socrates called himself the “midwife of ideas.” Since he himself knew nothing, his work was to help bring out the truths locked up in others. Fine for philosophy, but what about business?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us apart. We have never been so physically distant. Does that mean disconnection is inevitable? Or does it mean we need to change the norms about how we relate to stay connected?

Reading Time: 2 minutes For well over a decade, “integration” has been the holy grail of marketing. Integration means many things. It means coordinating multiple channels. It means cooperating as teams, agencies, and disciplines.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Membership organizations are trusted and beloved middlemen. They convene people, connect resources, curate content, mediate conversations. Or at least they used to do. Things have changed.

Reading Time: 2 minutes There is a saying called Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands to consume the available resources.” Which is to say your entire team will always be busy and your entire budget spent. The question is how do you ever do something new?

Reading Time: 2 minutes A marketing leader once told me: “More is more.” More prospects, more offers, more communications. More stuff. With unlimited resources, this could be true. But resources are always limited. So when can less be more?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Intentional choices can be hard in the best of times. What’s necessary as opposed to nice? How do we choose between things that are all necessary when we can’t have them all?

Reading Time: 2 minutes The COVID-19 pandemic has led some organizations to make pivots in how they operate. They're doing this in ways and at a speed they never thought possible. How are such quantum leaps possible in times of crisis and what can we learn from that?

Reading Time: 3 minutes In 2015, millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest population in the workforce. The majority of the workforce is getting younger.

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Future Is Not What It Used to Be Are affinity programs for nonprofit associations a thing of the past? Or of

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