Link Love Friday: Ditch the Boring; Why Prospects Don’t Join & More

Lori Halley 28 March 2014 0 comments

March definitely “came in like a lion” around here, although it doesn’t show any signs of going “out like a lamb”! But while there are no springtime buds yet, the non-profit and membership community seems bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for a productive spring season.  

Here are just 5 of the posts that we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam lately that we think are worth reading.

Ditch the Boring – 5 Tips for Running an Effective Board Meeting

Lyndsey Hrabik (Nonprofit Hub) suggests:

It’s time to take back what should be the time to take action. But instead, we’ve all been sitting through board meetings trying to weed through the mess, and ultimately end up accomplishing little. 

You all know what we’re talking about. Moments tick by as you’re watching the clock, wondering when the meeting will finally end. 

But it’s time to stop dreading board meetings. Use these tips to help run an effective board meeting and get back on track toward achieving your mission.

Hrabik offers a number of tips to “ditch the boring” including: Set a (Fun) Agenda; Make Preparedness Mandatory; Require Individual Meetings; Check Technology at the Door; and Keep Detailed Notes of Meetings.

Extra, Extra Read All About It! The Nonprofit Newsletter

Angie Moore (Fundraising Success) tells us:

The nonprofit newsletter has been around for decades. Unfortunately, the successful offline newsletter can be hard to find … but the option of e-newsletters has changed everything. There are so many opportunities available because of e-newsletters, and some organizations are just scratching the surface. 

If you are not doing an e-newsletter, you are missing out on significant opportunities to grow your digital list and get some great insight into what is most relevant and of interest to your constituents…

Moore offers a list of helpful nonprofit e-newsletter tips “to make sure you are maximizing the opportunity.”

Why Prospects Don’t Join and Members Leave

In this issue of the MGI Tipster (Marketing General Incorporated Blog), Rick Whelan suggests:

It may not come as a surprise if I tell you that not every prospect you ask to join your association will, and that at some point even the most devoted long-term members may not renew.

We “Membership Marketers” know instinctively that we oftentimes survive and even thrive on 1/10th of a percentage point rate of return. The difference between a 0.90% and 1.00% in the number of members and revenue you generate can be huge.

Knowing the reasons why prospects don’t join and members don’t renew can only help us do a better job in growing our total members and revenue.

Whelan offers his “take on the basic obstacles we need to overcome to attract and keep members”.

Using Online Community to Increase Member Retention

In this post on the SocialFish Blog, Maggie McGary (Mizz Information) tells us:

A few weeks ago I was in Orlando at ASAE’s Great Ideas conference. … I was excited to get a chance to talk about my favorite subject, online community, with my friend Josh Paul, in the session we presented yesterday, Using Online Community to Increase Member Retention. …

Suppose you’re not obsessed with online communities like I am–you might wonder how online community can help increase member retention. To me, it’s just a given–retention is about keeping members engaged with both the association and other members. Look at the top three reasons members don’t renew association membership, according to MGI’s 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking report:

      1. Budget cuts
      2. Lack of engagement
      3. Unable to justify membership costs with ROI

Two of these three can be addressed/alleviated with online community. An online community is about year-round engagement with the organization. 

In the post, McGary outlines the “five things [that] are musts” for a thriving, valuable online community.

Challenges and Benefits of Nonprofit Event Fundraising

In this guest post on the GuideStar Blog, Joe Magee (RallyBound) reminds us:

Spring is here and so is the event fundraising season! Events that raise money for causes and nonprofits can take many forms from 5k runs and walk-a-thons to endurance bike rides. In recent years, nonprofits have expanded these activities to include mud runs, polar plunges, even head-shaving! But just like any large undertaking, planning a fundraising event has its benefits and challenges. They can bring in a lot of revenue for the organization, but can also put tremendous strain on a nonprofit’s resources. The operations and logistics can test your organization’s limits; however, the reward can certainly outweigh the risk if executed correctly.

… Underestimating the challenges that event fundraising presents to an organization would be a mistake. However, if done correctly, the money, brand awareness and sheer enjoyment that a fundraising event can provide to staff, volunteers and participants can completely change the dynamics of a nonprofit for the better.

Want more non-profit and membership links?

Those 5 top links were just a taste of the some of the membership and non-profit posts and articles we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam lately. For more, you can check out the latest posts on topics such as: Membership, Volunteers, Communications, Events, Social Media, Leadership and Fundraising.

We hope you'll visit Apricot Jam often to see what’s new or subscribe to our RSS feed.

You can also find additional articles and guides on non-profit and membership topics in our Membership Knowledge Hub.

Image source:  Bicycle chain heart - courtesy BigStockPhoto.com

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 28 March 2014 at 8:30 AM

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