Ok ... so this post isn’t about membership, sponsorship, fundraising or even revenue generation. But I really enjoyed this article on the Anthill online website. There's something about watching the old tv ad that reminds me of when I was a kid ... yes ... I am a child of the television revolution (or de-volution depending on your perspective!) ... click here to read the article.
The Global Network of Association Executives (G-Net), has recently expanded the range of free support services for international association managers and executives. This is a great initiative that is bringing the associations (and the national bodies representing them) from around the world together. Best of all, it is free if you are a qualifying association manager. To join simply visit http://www.g-net.eu.com/ where you can access the support available including: direct access to international peers, advice on sponsorships, specialised supplier search engine, Special white papers, Governance guidelines and online professional qualifications.
We've been lucky enough to have Lisa Bundesen, an international speaker and expert on the topic of fraud in nonprofits, agree to run a couple of workshops for us in October. She's a very entertaining speaker with a raft of interesting stories to tell that really back up the amazing content.
Attending this session is really important as fraud can happen to any organisation. One of the stories Lisa told that really resonated with me is about an organisation who was defrauded by a staff member who held such a position of trust that she even picked up the children of the CEO from school .
Lisa has prepared a session that will ensure delegates walk away with a fraud control process that includes their Fraud Control Plan and Policy; Whistleblower Policy; Fraud Recovery Plan; an appropriate fraud reporting structure; and a Fraud Risk Assessment framework.
She will also tell you why people commit fraud and provide tools to identify the major fraud risks areas for in your organisation. Armed with that knowledge, you can then put in place appropriate processes to curb the opportunities for fraud to occur in your the organisation - pick it up quickly if it does occur. After all, the longer fraud goes undetected, the greater the impact on the organisation.
I found this great article that showed many familar logos and the hidden messages contained within them. There's a couple of really clever ideas in there. If you are about to review your branding it is worth a look to get those creative juices flowing ... read the article.
In so many aspects of our lives we don't realise the benefits of being part of a group - whether simply one in a crowd or a member of an association. This point was brought home to me this week. While crossing the street at one of the busiest intersections in Brisbane, I snagged the heel of my shoe and fell ingloriously to the tarmac landing surrounded by my shoes, the entire contents of my handbag and a fair portion of my pride. As several nice young people came to my rescue several things occured to me ...
There was no way I could escape with dignity intact.
I needed some urgent chiropractic care ... and a new pair of shoes. Not necessarily in that order.
You don't notice the people around you until you need them.
Therein is the strength of associations. The majority of members don't notice their association membership until they need it. It simply sits in the background. When things go wrong, or when they need a little help, a member should be able to seek support from their association. That safety net is a huge benefit of being a member - but also one of the hardest to convey.
I'd love to hear your ideas on how to convey this benefit. I will give two free movie tickets to whomever can provide the best story about how to effectively convey the safety net benefit of membership before the 15th of October, 2009. Tell your story via adding a comment below (to enter the draw please either put your details on the blog or email me separately).
UQ Business School has a special offer available for those wishing to attend the ‘Advanced Leadership for the Not for Profit Sector’ course. If you in a senior position within a nonprofit organisation I highly recommend attending as these courses are good value. The details are:
Date: 21 – 25 September 2009 Cost: One Registration $2,950 – Two registrations $3,250 Venue: UQ Business School Downtown, in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD.
Details: This course will focus on each participant as a leader and will expose them to knowledge, skills and competencies required in the current climate, and on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Your course fee includes tuition, all course materials, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea each day and a formal course dinner on the Thursday evening. You can register online or download the Registration Form from the UQBS Corporate Education website: www.business.uq.edu.au/corporate-education
If you'd like more information, please contact Ms Simone Hicks, Client Relationships Coordinator, on (07) 3346 7111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I read an article by Aaron Crowe who talked about the unpleasant experience of being sold a gym membership. I could really relate as I've gone through the same process recently myself. The sales pitch was so intense that, despite joining, I resigned a couple of weeks later. I'd found I'd really come to resent the entire process and going to the gym reminded me of it. I ended up joining another gym with a much more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Thankfully not too many associations have chosen to follow the membership sales approach adopted by many gyms.
While I'm a big fan of social networking sites such as LinkedIn, I'm not a huge fan of Twitter. It's not that I'm totally against the idea. It's just that I'm yet to be convinced that the investment of time into Twitter is actually worth the return. However I did read with some interest Rohit Bhargava's article "10 Reasons Twitter Might Actually Matter". Still not entirely convinced but it does have some reasonable arguments in there.
There are so many different forms of social networking available that many people are finding it difficult to keep up. This is seeing the rise of a new online tool called a social media aggregator. This is a website where you can view all your social media streams from one place. Adam Pash reviews 3 of these on PC World. For those associations who are looking at ways to bring their members together perhaps there are opportunities here to be explored ...
It's interesting to read members and prospective members discussing the pros and cons of buying a membership. I read with interest Amy Wang talking about the benefits of reciprocal memberships available with different zoo memberships. While this is not necessarily a big consideration for the general population, for mothers on a budget seeking ways of keeping their children entertained this can be a big factor in the decision to join or not. It shows the benefits of considering each segment of your membership when developing your membership product.
Do you know how and why your members make the decision to join your organisation over other alternatives?
The Acronym Blog has released a free guide listing the different work policies of 260 work policies. It's got some great ideas for creating better working environments for your staff. Click here to read more.
E-Marketer has reported on a new study called the Consumer Internet Barometer that looks at who is using social networking sites. Interestingly, nearly 1/2 of women visit social networking sites compared to 37.6% of men. Not surprisingly, it also found that a greater percentage of younger people were regular users of online social networks. Click here to read more.
I found this interesting blog by Lori Rice that provides some good tips for people organising fun runs to ensure that their participants come back year after year. If you are involved in organising charity runs it is well worth reading her post "Keep Them Coming Back".
SMS specialises in sponsorship development and training, membership development and training, strategic planning and meeting facilitation. As part of this work they regularly undertake in-house training and speaking. Through their consultancy work they assist organisation with turnarounds, governance overhauls, research, strategic planning and general trouble shooting. You can read testimonials from clients and event delegates on the SMS website. Join the Membership Solutions LinkedIn group to interact with others in the industry.
About Belinda Busoli and Julian Moore
Belinda Moore (formerly Belinda Busoli) is a membership specialist who has assisted hundreds of not-for-profit organisations through Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America with their membership challenges.
Belinda is a professional speaker who specialises in training, motivating and up-skilling boards, staff and volunteers to improve membership performance. Known for her enthusiastic style, Belinda presents frequently for not-for-profit organisations. Belinda arrives on the platform armed with an array of topics relating to membership. Revealing insights from personal and professional experiences, she ensures that participants walk away with practical ideas and information that can immediately be applied.
Belinda is the author of the Membership Machine, Australia’s foremost guide to member recruitment and retention.
Belinda produces the monthly "The Income Generator" e-bulletin goes to over 12,000 associations, charities and other nonprofits every month.
Julian Moore is a sponsorship and business development specialist. Until 2008 he was based in Westminster at AVA Ltd where he worked as the Development Manager for a number of different nonprofit organisations including associations, chambers of commerce and sporting clubs.
His role was to assist each client to raise their profile, maximise their revenue streams and increase their surplus. Julian is keen to share his enormous success in this arena with others to enable them to achieve the same level of success for their organisations.
Julian is an engaging speaker who brings a wealth of personal experience to his presentations. He ensures that attendeses walk away with concrete tools, ideas and skills that will assist them to successfully generate funds for their organisations.
Belinda and Julian work together at Strategic Membership Solutions. They had heard about each others' successes via the association grapevine and were keen to meet in person. They were both attending the same conference in Barcelona so they arranged meet for a cup of coffee.
It was love at first sight and many hours later they were still talking over the same cup of coffee (now somewhat colder). After returning to her hotel room later that day Belinda called her mother and told her "I've met the man I'm going to marry". Luckily for them both she didn't tell Julian about that until after they were engaged!
Shortly after Julian moved to Australia and the rest is history. They both passionately love the work they do in the sector almost as much as they love each other - so working together was a foregone conclusion.
They were married in April 2010 and are now expecting their first child together in October. They live in "wedded bliss" in Brisbane with their three dogs ... as well as a large collection of lorikeets, kookaburras and other assorted native birds who have taken up residence in the backyard.