Engage Younger Members by Listening to Their Solutions


Associations with engaged members have more success when it comes to membership renewals, word-of-mouth referrals and creating member-advocates. So it’s no surprise it is a popular topic for our customers. The annual conference has traditionally been a great way to build that engagement. When members come together into a single space to share an experience together, it generates a powerful sense of community.

What I appreciated with the post on Snapchat was that this wasn’t a case of using technology for technology’s sake. Instead, the suggestion is to try a new solution that creates a familiar outcome. As the article points out, Snapchat is how your younger members are already creating shared experiences. They are able to achieve a similar outcome as the annual conference but through a different process.

OK, enough about social media, let’s get back to the larger picture.

The key takeaway here is to make sure your new initiatives focus on achieving the correct goal. Trying to shoehorn every hot tech trend to fit your association will be a losing battle. Instead, continue to look for new solutions that solve the problems that need solving.

The best way to find new solutions is to look for input throughout your organization. Talk to members at all levels and ages from your association. When you listen to their suggestions, start by identifying the problem their recommendation solves before judging its merits.

National Fundraising Event Series to Benefit Association Professionals

Omnipress, the company behind the Engage365 community, is happy to announce that they are sponsoring the National Fundraising Event Series.

The National Fundraising Event Series will be hosting monthly webinars featuring keynote speakers in the event and fundraising industries.

All post-webinar content will be accessible via Engage365!

Check out the official press release below…



The National Fundraising Event Series is launching a monthly series of webinars and virtual events to benefit nonprofit and association professionals whose focus is event-related planning for fundraisers.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The National Fundraising Event Series is collection of monthly webinars and virtual events aimed at educating professionals in the art of fundraising tactics for events and the event planning process. The broad range of topics offered include, but are not limited to: Social Media Marketing, Volunteer Management, Event Sponsorship, Donor and Member Engagement and Event Branding.

This series of virtual events will provide attendees with a notably valuable learning experience. Each month attendees will be able to learn from highly recognized thought leaders in the fundraising and events industries. Speakers include the event producers, Lindsey Rosenthal of Events For Good and Justin Baer of Charity Happenings, Liz King of Liz King Events, Jeffrey Cufaude of Idea Architects, Shanon Doolittle of Group Health Foundation, Jonah Halper of NextGen:Charity, KiKi L’Italien of DelCor Technology Solutions, Kim Skildum-Reid of Power Sponsorship, and Andrea Sullivan of BrainStrength Systems. The monthly sessions will be offered at no cost to nonprofit individuals and organizations.

The first event in this virtual series will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Speaker Justin Baer of CharityHappenings.org, will be addressing “How to Sell Out Your Fundraising Event This Season,” with tips on ticket sales strategy.

The National Fundraising Event Series is being produced through the collaboration of Events For Good and CharityHappenings.org.

Events for Good, founded by Lindsey Rosenthal, is a social enterprise built to assist nonprofits, associations, and other companies in the creation, revitalization and strategy of fundraising, charitable, and other special events.

CharityHappenings.org, founded by Justin Baer, is an online social hub for the philanthropic community providing the inside scoop on charitable events, philanthropists and ways to get involved.

The National Fundraising Event Series is sponsored by etouches, Omnipress, and IML Event Technology, and is a partner of CharityChoice gift cards.

The National Fundraising Event Series producers, Lindsey Rosenthal and Justin Baer, are available to answer any further questions regarding the upcoming sessions.

Contact: Lindsey Rosenthal, Producer


The Five Best People to Lead Your Online Social Networking Community

We’ve talked quite a bit here on the blog about social media and how to engage members in an online community, but who needs to lead the charge? Association staffers are logical choices for online community administrators and organizers, but they are not necessarily the best placed to consistently seed conversations and spark discussion about industry topics on your social network. In fact, we’ve found that that the most successful online event-based communities are driven by carefully selected and highly energized members of the association’s professional community.

With all of the potential champions, you’ll have far better responses to your request for involvement if you personalize the invitations. Instead of sending out “hey everybody!” letters to the entire committee, take the time to call up each volunteer to explain how to “socially” interact in the community and what you’d like them to do. You’ll get a better response, and you’re more likely to make the volunteers feel valued.

Five Potential Champions for Your Online Community

  1. Speakers/Presenters
    You invite speakers to come to your events to share their expertise and energize your attendees. Thus it makes sense that these industry experts would also energize your online community members. Ask speakers from your past events to take a special role in leading conversations, responding to questions and posting resources. The speaker cements his or her relationship with future attendees, and your online members feel more connected with your programs and education. It’s a perfect trade off.
  2. Active Volunteers
    Generally your board directors, committee members, chapter leaders, PAC organizers and section volunteers are some of the most engaged members in your organization. Tap them to help lead discussions about their specialties, and ask them to identify and engage key leaders in their areas.
  3. Young Professionals
    It’s kind of a given that young professionals may be more likely to adopt the new technology of your online event community, but you can give their involvement a little extra push by tapping a few up-and-coming young professionals to help achieve your social media objectives.
  4. Veteran (and Retired) Members
    You can really make some headway in engaging multiple generations of your members by asking more seasoned members to lead some conversations. Look for members who have built reputations after years in the industry, and ask them to chime in with the expertise they’ve earned. Even a retired member is an excellent option. Sometimes these people are looking for ways to stay connected via social media (and they have the time).
  5. Consultants and Vendors
    Sure, these members have an agenda… they want to get their names out there so they can find more business. But these members can be some of the most knowledgeable in your industry, and as long as they follow the guidelines for smart social media interactions, they’re likely to keep people engaged with both frequent interactions and intelligent commentary.

Any other online community / social media champions you can think of?

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