Here are our favorite posts this week about member engagement, voter mobilization, email frequency, deadly boardroom phrases, the only strategic question that matters, association benchmarking, and emotionally small people at work.
Do you have colleagues who are focused only on the needs of their own department and not on the strategic needs of the organization? Ed Rigsbee calls these folks the “Lords of Lesser Corners.” He says the standard method of operation for these “emotionally small people” is protectionism. He’s got some ideas on how to change their behavior. (Ed Rigsbee, LinkedIn)
Membership organizations aren’t the only ones trying to engage their constituencies – “it is the local government manager’s job to reach out and find ways to welcome their community members into the work of government.” The International City/County Management Association has five ideas for engaging the unengaged that are worth stealing. For example, “create ‘places’ for small-group conversations…These opportunities don’t just happen but require managers to design meetings and processes to encourage and support small-group conversations.” (International City/County Management Association)
One of our favorite webinar speakers, Dr. Melissa Michelson of Menlo College, has an article in the Post about mobilizing reluctant voters. Her findings are based on get-out-the-vote field experiments, not conjecture. “What really mobilizes these voters is repeated personal contacting.” The same tactic works for organizational elections too. If you don’t have the man/womanpower to make personal calls or send personal emails, make sure you send a few reminder emails during the election period. (Melissa Michelson, The Washington Post)
Learn how an association used surveys and testing to determine the right frequency for their email newsletter. The results: more clicks and opens. (Alex Mastrianni, Informz)
Here’s something to include in your next board packet – seven deadly phrases boards should avoid. For those of you who have to attend dysfunctional board meetings, you might want to add these phrases to a board meeting bingo card. (Jerold Panas, massnonprofit.org)
What’s the only strategy question that matters? It’s the one that no one at your organization, except for overworked staff, is asking. I’m not going to give it away, but if your board answers it, it will free up your association’s capacity to pursue what the board decides to do and will improve your chances of success. This is a must read for all membership organizations, and another good handout for your board. (Michael Hudson, Credit Union Insight)
A few association benchmark reports have been released recently, or will be soon, that you should know about.
- Wild Apricot’s 2014 Small Membership Survey Report with insight from close to 500 small membership organizations.
- Marketing General Incorporated’s 2014 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, a must read for membership organizations.
- Naylor’s 2014 Association Communications Benchmarking Report will be released soon. If you download the 2013 report, you’ll get this year’s by email upon its publication.
Crowd Vote of the Week
This is more of a tease than our usual crowd vote of the week. In 2015, the International Astronomical Union, the organization in charge of naming heavenly bodies, will open its exoplanet naming process to a public vote. Yes, you can be a master of the universe.
This Week on Voting 2.0
After voter turnout, the next biggest election challenge, according to 62% of the associations that participated in our most recent benchmark survey, is recruiting leadership candidates. That’s why we’re focusing on candidates this summer in our Summer Candidate Webinar Series.
Our first webinar, Target & Recruit Leadership Candidates Like a Pro, will be on Tuesday, July 22 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. Join me and University of Florida political scientist Charles Dahan to learn how to use and leverage data you already have to identify potential candidates, simplify your nomination process and recruit a diversified slate of candidates who represent different constituencies within your membership. Find out more on our registration page.
Do your board members have the skills needed to govern your association and lead it into the future? We’ve got some ideas on how to identify the skills that your board needs and what some of those skills might be.
One more thing.
This weekend a delivery service is giving away free pints of ice cream to those who download their app in NYC, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, LA, Seattle and Boston. I’d thought you might want to know. Enjoy your weekend!