Community Management is About Strategy

networksThis week’s blog post on online community management is re-posted with permission from Aaron D. Wolowiec,  founder and president of Event Garde, a professional development consulting firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Website:

Although still relatively new, online communities are quickly becoming popular platforms for engagement, discussion and membership. Continue reading

What Does Member Engagement Mean, Anyway?

member-engagementThe phrase “member engagement” is big in the association world. But what does it really mean, and how do we measure it?

Member engagement runs deeper than member satisfaction. You would use the word “satisfaction” to describe a member’s attitude toward your organization. But engagement covers both attitudes and behaviors Continue reading

Paper, Phone or Web Survey: Which Do I Choose?

web-surveysWeb surveys have surged in popularity in recent years, and for many associations they’ve become the go-to tool for measuring member engagement.  So when and why is it appropriate to choose good old paper or phone-based surveys over electronic? Continue reading

How Well Are You Managing Your Online Community?

There’s a difference between “setting up” and “building” an online community – and the latter requires much more time, ongoing effort, and resources.

Private online communities have grown in popularity in the association world, and they can be a great tool for building engagement and connecting members.  Continue reading

Using Auto Renewals to Enhance Member Retention


Contributed by Mary Byers, CAE

What do health clubs, iTunes, Dropbox, Xbox and Netflix have in common? All require members to participate in monthly billing or auto renewal programs. And all are benefiting as a result.

Author and association consultant Seth Kahan recently hosted a summit on “Private Sector Membership Models,” a growing trend in the corporate world. Continue reading

Who’s Responsible for Strategy Development?

strategy-developmentWho’s responsible for strategy development? Is it the Board, the CEO, or the Receptionist?

The best strategy in the world isn’t a good strategy unless it can be communicated and executed. Although the CEO is responsible for leading the strategy development process, and the Board has ultimate fiduciary responsibility for determining strategic direction, an organization is missing an opportunity if it doesn’t engage the entire staff in the development of strategy. Continue reading

Association Marketing Has a Ways To Go, Says Report

Social MediaThis week’s blog is re-posted with permission from Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA. Aaron is the founder and president of Event Garde, a professional development consulting firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Website:

Marketing is much more difficult than most people think. It requires creativity, strategic planning, vision and data analysis. Marketers have a vast skill set, and that’s why they should have a seat at the decision-making table. Continue reading

Social Media Associations’ Top Strategy for Member Engagement

social-media-signs (1)Member engagement doesn’t happen randomly. Associations with increases in overall membership are “also more likely to have a strategic initiative in place for increasing engagement,” according to the 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General. Continue reading

9 Reasons to Expand Strategy Development Participants

High performing boards engage in strategy development. But, high performing organizations engage more than just their boards in the strategy development process.

Although the Board is responsible for approving strategy and 68% of non-profits report that staff and board work jointly to develop the strategy (Gazley & Bowers, High Performing Board), good strategy is developed by actively engaging a broader group of stakeholders. Continue reading