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Link Love Friday: Member Data; Bite-size Learning & More

Lori Halley 02 May 2014 0 comments

Every time I prepare a link round-up I’m amazed at the amount of insightful non-profit and membership content available to inspire and inform us! It’s always hard to choose just five favorites, but this week, I’ve settled on posts that cover: member data; “paths to productivity”; Nonprofit Boards – helpful or hurtful; and “bite-size learning at conferences”.

Have a look at 5 of the top posts we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam this week!

The first two posts in our round-up are all about member data – how to analyze and use it to identify patterns and behavior that can help guide your association.

Let Your Member Data Show You The Way 

Joe Rominiecki (AssociationsNow) suggests:

The power of the sneckdown is what it reveals about human behavior. This Old City blogger Jon Geeting’s photos of sneckdowns in Philadelphia in February are a perfect illustration of how, paradoxically, a blanket of snow uncovers the most natural paths for cars and pedestrians. Being able to see these paths so clearly makes urban street planning suddenly seem simple.

Behavioral data will do that. Rather than trying to guess what people want to do, or even trying to ask them what they want to do, you can just observe their behavior and design to match it.

In the post, Rominiecki outlines “How one association unbundled some of its benefits and packaged them around “clusters of behavior” in its member engagement data.”

Evidence-Based Decision Making for Associations

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE (Spark Consulting) tells us:

Big Data presents a tremendous opportunity for associations, but in order to realize its potential, there are some things you need to know and do. First, your data needs to be reasonably clean and complete. Then you need to look for patterns, and data visualization tools can help with that. Then you need think about the questions those patterns raise and create hypotheses to answer those questions. Then you test your hypotheses, hopefully find strong correlation (since proving cause and effect is rare), and make decisions accordingly. In the course of our research, we did discover a secret sauce to decision making success, but I’ll share more about that later this week.

In the post, Elizabeth offers up a link to the fifth in her ongoing Spark whitepaper series: Getting to the “Good Stuff”: Evidence-Based Decision Making for Associations

13 Paths to Productivity & Satisfaction – Nonprofit Staff & Consultants

While we weren’t able to contribute a post to the April Nonprofit Blog Carnival, this month’s host, Nancy Schwartz (GettingAttention.org) offered a great round-up on:

The Work Behind the Work—the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barriers that keep you from getting there). Alas, most of us can’t count on a sunny afternoon at the pool to recoup. I’m thrilled to share with you this sampling from the powerful posts submitted by you and your nonprofit peers. The thought, focus and care with which contributors shaped their shared guidance is awe inspiring, and I so appreciate it (and them/you).

This Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up offers 13 posts on topics such as:“common pitfalls that lead to burnout”; “tools and techniques that paved professional (and personal) journeys”; “taking control of your own time calendar”; “pushing yourself out of your comfort zone” and more.

Is Your Nonprofit Board Helping You or Hurting You?

Joanne Fritz (Nonprofit.about.com) suggests:

The legal responsibilities of your nonprofit board of directors are pretty clear. The board:

    • Ensures that your organization is fulfilling its mission.
    • Guarantees that your organization complies with its bylaws and other rules.
    • Reviews your financial performance.
    • Hires and evaluates the CEO.

But, beyond those basics, a smoothly functioning board with a broad array of skills can be a godsend; while a quarrelsome, nit-picking board with thin experience can distract you at best, and bring down your organization at worst.

Joanne asks if yours is a “Dream Board or Scary Board?” and offers a “list of optimum behaviors to see which yours is.”

Snack Bite-Size Learning Rules The Roost At Conferences

In this post, Jeff Hurt (jeffhurtblog.com) offers a great infographic from Shift’s eLearning blog that describes the five reasons why bite-size learning works.

Hurt then outlines “one key point all conference organizers and speakers should know and implement:”

Chunk Content In 10 Min Sections

Bite-size learning as well as bite-size instruction improves an attendee’s psychological engagement. It prevents cognitive overload and mental burnout. It also encourages us to process information and consider its application.

But Hurt also cautions:

Snack learning plus attendee activity with that content is the key to memory retention and learning. Go all the way with bite-size learning plus attendee interaction or you’re just cramming information via smaller chunks!

Want more non-profit and membership links?

This is just a sample 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

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

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 02 May 2014 at 8:30 AM
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