Member Engagement Buzz, Bench Warmers Or Change Makers & More

Lori Halley 07 November 2014 0 comments

This week our link round-up includes five terrific posts that we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam this week.

The first two links offer ideas on member engagement – measuring it and understanding how to engage different types of members. Two other posts provide insight into Millennials – thoughts on including this generation on your board as well as tips for engaging younger members.  The final link is the Top 150 Nonprofit Blogs. See how your favorites (like Wild Apricot) stacked up and check out some new blogs as well.

Measuring Engagement:  Just a Fad, or Here to Stay?

Wes Trochlil (Effective Database Management) notes:

Within the association community, there is always buzz around something. For the past several years, the buzz was “big data.” More recently, the buzz has turned to engagement, specifically measuring member engagement. In fact, in my latest annual one-question survey, engagement was the most commonly identified issue from respondents.

…Often the buzz is just a fad; the latest solution to a long list of challenges that all associations face. But unlike many past fads, I think engagement is different because measuring engagement and using that information wisely can lead to the most important factor of success: bringing actual value to the member or customer.

…So if measuring engagement is important to associations, what’s the best way to get started?

Trochlil offers “four steps to take”, and “some tips to help you keep your sanity”.

Member Engagement: Engaging Different Types of Members

Natasha Ettienne-Modeste (Affinity Insights) suggests:

It is one of the most trending topics in discussion in the association world. How do you engage your members? Your association is comprised of different members; you may have new members that just joined your group, mid career and seasoned members who have an extensive professional background, lifetime members who have been with your association from the very beginning, and student members who are enrolled or recently finished college, who are all-important in helping shape and flourish your association.

It all starts with creating a member engagement framework. The framework will include understanding what member engagement means to each group of members you serve and how to fully engage those groups. This means knowing what your members interested in. How is this done? It starts with leveraging your touch points. Touch points are critical to understanding how to focus your attention. Members are engaged in one, if not three of the following: your website, online communities, and social media.

Bench Warmers or Change Makers?

On the Exceptional Boards Blog, Robert B. Action (Taproot Foundation) notes:

Earlier-career professionals are a valuable — and largely untapped — talent pool for the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations in our country. As a sector, nonprofits are leaving a powerful resource — energized and ready-to-serve business professionals — sitting on the sidelines.

The push to create diverse nonprofit boardrooms is well-known, but diversity related to age often seems to be left out of the equation. According to BoardSource’s Leading with Intent 2014: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, just 17 percent of nonprofit board members are under the age of 40. Moreover, with only six percent of nonprofit chief executives under the age of 40, the truth is that most nonprofit leadership happens in a generational vacuum. The hard truth is that nonprofit boards do not reflect the full spectrum of America’s professional workforce. While the business world is obsessed with understanding and responding to Millennials, our sector is doing little to engage this impressive generation in leadership.

Listen Up:  The Secret to Transforming Millennial Into Engaged Members

In a post on the Webbright Association Blog, Janine Lucas tells us:

Founder and President of Purposeful Hire, Shira Harrington, recently presented Engaging the Next Generation Today: A Fresh Look at Your Multigenerational Staff and Members. Through this presentation, Harrington breaks down what Millennial are facing in the workforce today, explaining how the importance of getting to know this generation will directly impact associations.

Before we dive into the implications, I want to let you in on a little secret. As a Millennial myself, the trick to getting to know me and my generation is simply this: just ask us! We set a high value on transparency, and will be more than happy to share exactly what we are thinking, feeling, and need from the future—and your association.

Here’s another hint: As Harrington points out in her presentation, Millennials tend to blur the lines between work and personal life. So if you really want to get to know a Millenial, you’ll want to start by understanding their workforce perspectives. 

Top 150 Nonprofit Blogs 

We’re sharing this post from Top Nonprofits for a couple of reasons. First, we’re thrilled and honored that the Wild Apricot Blog is once again in the top 50 of the “Top 150 Nonprofit Blogs” list (we ranked 43rd this year). But we also wanted to share the list with our nonprofit readers so you can see some of the other terrific blogs out there offering insight, ideas and news for nonprofits.

You’ll see that the Huffpost Impact, Beth's Blog (Beth Kanter) and The Nonprofit Times are the top three. But there are many other interesting blogs worth reading and following – so check out the list.

That’s it for this week’s link round-up - want more non-profit and membership links?

That was just a taste of 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.

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

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

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 07 November 2014 at 9:23 AM

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