Posts tagged #member

Being a Board Member Could Give You a Boost !

While attending a board meeting recently, I heard the President of an association Board of Directors comment, ”remember, I won’t be here after June.” It struck me that there must be so much time spent not only training and integrating new board members, but also a great loss of direction and governing style when experienced individuals leave association boards.

The Portage Group had been brought into this particular meeting to present options of structure models to align with strategic goals. Although this was not the focus of our presentation, one comment that came forward was in regards to bringing ‘younger people’ to the board to have a more diverse representation. “every new generation brings a fresh perspective to previous traditional approaches.”

Perhaps part of recruiting members to your Association could highlight the benefit and opportunity to become part of a diverse and experienced Board of Directors. Where an up and coming professional could develop relationships with experienced people in their sector with a wealth of information in that industry and a vast amount of contacts.   

Some of the top reasons you might want a younger demographic on your board:

1.     To Manage Technology

At TPG, we often hear feedback from clients that there is a need to improve their association technologies. Often improvements are done once or twice and are not able to be maintained. Having someone directly involved with the association to manage this (in a volunteer position no less!) could be greatly beneficial.

2.     To Talk to and Attract Similar and Like-Minded People

While current board members might have a large network of industry professionals,  some young blood on the Board could have a far reach when it comes to new  potential members and would certainly have ideas of how to reach them

3.   To Create Value Add Ideas for Members

Often new ideas can become fairly stagnant on a board where most of the faces have  been around in some capacity for many years. Someone new to the group might have some creative ideas of how to attract and retain members as well as enhance value.

4.     To Offer New Perspective on Old Traditions.

Are there members of your board who have older children that might be interested  in following in their parents footsteps? Do you know someone who might benefit from the industry connections and know how? A fresh and younger face on the  board could come with loads of perspective on how to build new traditions.

Change is inevitable. But planning for it could create more of an opportunity than just restructure.  Some ideas shared in this blog were found in the article http://nonprofithub.org/board-of-directors/nonprofit-millennials-board-directors/

Succession planning and development of board of directors is just one way The Portage Group can help your association. Find out more about our services at www.theportagegroup.com

 

 

 

Posted on April 6, 2016 and filed under Organization Performance, Leadership.

Using Big Data to Understand What Your Association's Members Are REALLY Thinking

Have you ever wondered what each of your association's members was really thinking?

Meet Jane, the association executive who was able to better target member segments at both a strategic and operational level by streamlining and making better use of big data and other member information...

The Portage Group Joins CSAE in Research Partnership as Level II Corporate Sponsor

The Portage Group is pleased to kick of 2015 with some exciting news! On January 1 2015, TPG entered a new research partnership with the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE).

Under the new partnership agreement, TPG will be the sole and exclusive Corporate Sponsor of CSAE in the area of qualitative and quantitative research. We are very much looking forward to working with CSAE to continue to improve its research program and provide association staff and leadership with quality solutions to help drive sound organizational decision-making.

Questions and comments should be directed to Geoff Thacker, TPG Executive Partner - Research & Strategy.

 

 

 

 

Toot Your Horn: Communicating Effectively in Member-Based Organizations

If you lead an association, you know its important that your members play a role in shaping your strategy and priorities....but being member-driven is just half of the battle. The other important and often overlooked piece has to do with communication.

It can be hard for organizations to make 'tooting their own horn' a priority, but the ability to communicate successfully to members about the results they are achieving on their behalf can spell the difference between good and outstanding in the association world.

Following are a few rules of thumb to consider when you're wrapping your head around how best to educate your members about all of the great things your association is accomplishing.

1. Show members that you are listening and that you actually care about what they have to say.  Let them know that you've heard them and plan on taking action based on their needs:

Example:  “The membership survey told us that you think we’re doing a great job providing relevant professional development programming but that we’re falling short in providing you with enough opportunities to network with your peers.  We’re listening and are working on a plan to raise the bar in this critical area.”

2. Demonstrate how you are taking action. Tell members in specific terms how their input is going to be used to turn their vision of the association into a reality:

Example: "Based on your input, we’ve updated our education program to include opportunities that are more relevant to your needs.  These will be launched this coming January and will include X, Y, Z."

 3. Show members the measurable results you have achieved: Keep your members up-to-date with your progress related to the goals you have set. Celebrate your accomplishments when you reach your targets and be honest and accountable when you fall short.

Example: "It has now been six months since we asked you to speak your mind in our member satisfaction survey. Since that time we set several ambitious goals designed to address your key concerns. Here’s an update on what we’ve achieved so far.

Government Relations Goal: Get a seat on X regulatory board by 2012.

Status: Achieved

Media Relations Goal: Members and/or representatives of the organization to be called on for expert advice at the national media level 12 times per year.

Status:  Ahead of schedule for 2015 with the association and its members appearing in national media 8 times in the first quarter.

Education Goal: Develop and fill six new workshops on the impact of the economy on our profession.

Status: First three workshops have been completed and were a great success. All were sold out. The remaining three sessions for this year are already 75% full."

4. Do your homework.

Make sure you understand what balance of communication works with your members. In other words, not only do you need to know what channels your members want used (email, social media, snail mail, MMS etc.), but how often they want to be touched by your association (once a month, weekly, daily). You also need to understand what type of messaging is most effective for the different segments of your membership.

 5. Tell them, tell them often and tell them again.

Communication to your members about what is happening in your association cannot be something done once or twice yearly. Depending on what you learned from #4, communication needs to be sent on a regular basis using different channels and with variety in the messaging to make sure the message ‘sticks’ to your various member groups.

Carol-Anne Moutinho is a Senior Consultant with The Portage Group

Connecting the Dots: Communicating Association Strategy to Your Members

Most associations seek member feedback. Many take this feedback into account in their planning activities….but if this information doesn’t get back to members, all that hard work will have been for nothing. This in mind, there are a number of effective ways to communicate your association’s strategy as an ongoing means to keep members in the loop about what is happening and how their needs and priorities drive the agenda...

Do You Need A Survey to Tell You What Your Members Think?

Like many folks, you probably do a lot when it comes to gathering stakeholder feedback: You see and make a point of talking to members at association events. Perhaps you make it a habit to pick up the phone or drop in on members periodically to talk to them one-on-one. Maybe you even survey or poll them internally on their satisfaction with events, programs or new issues coming down the pipe.

These are all very important tools to keep your association connected to members on an ongoing basis...but what about when it comes to your planning activities?  Typically, member feedback is used as a peripheral driver of the process, if it's used at all.