May 30, 2016.
Toronto, ON. (The Portage Group) – The Portage Group is pleased to welcome Steve Carroll, CAE, as an Independent Associate to their team. Steve is an accomplished association sector professional bringing with him a wealth of success and experience as an association staff and volunteer leader. Carroll is currently President of the Canadian Society of Association Executives – Trillium Chapter and has served in Canadian national and provincial association senior leadership positions for over two decades.
“We are excited about Steve becoming a key part of The Portage Group team,” said Geoffrey Thacker, Executive Partner, Research and Strategy with The Portage Group. “Steve’s experience and achievements in the association sector and profile in the association community are a strong addition and complement for The Portage Group and we are confident Steve will add further depth to our consulting practice for not-for-profit sector clients” added Jack Shand, CAE, Executive Partner, Leadership Consulting and Search for The Portage Group.
“I enjoy creating, building and delivering strategy and value for associations, their members and stakeholders” said Carroll. “The opportunity to join a leading Canadian association consulting organization with very strong research and strategy development capabilities along with the opportunity to build on The Portage Group’s very robust brand and record of success is irresistible and compelling.”
Most recently, Steve Carroll served as Director of Association Management Services with Managing Matters, an association management company. Previously Carroll worked in executive leadership positions with the Golf Association of Ontario, Ontario Volleyball Association, Golf Canada, PGA of Canada and PGA of BC. His first official day with The Portage Group will be June 1st where he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE PORTAGE GROUP
The Portage Group Inc. is a consulting group with a shared passion for helping associations, not-for-profits and regulatory organizations along the various stages of their journey. Its nationally-based consulting team offers deep sector expertise across multiple service areas that include: Research, Strategy, Search, Human Resources, Organizational Performance and Governance. Further information may be found at www.portagegroup.com or by calling 866-920-3999.
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...
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.
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.
Ten critical things your association or nonprofit should be doing to recruit, retain and engage your volunteers. By Jack Shand, CAE, CMC.
As leaders and contributors, we want to make things happen. We need to make things happen. On our watch revenues should be ramping, membership should be growing, and our organization’s influence should be expanding. We develop strategy, equip the ship, and set sail. And things go well… until perhaps they don’t. Then, it seems, we have more questions than answers...
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.