Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Events Corner: November 2013

This November, there is a ton of networking and learning opportunities taking place in the chapter. What a great group we have!

Have you been thinking about adding a blog to your associations’ repertoire?  What’s stopping you?  Maybe you have concerns about how often you should post, who should be writing and managing the blog, and what kind of benefit it would provide to your community.  Well then let’s talk about it!  Our Marcomm group is having their November session on this very topic, and it’s complimentary to attend.  Click here for more information and to register.

Are you under 35 in the association space?  Or, perhaps you have staff that fit that criteria?  Is it time to get networking with other Young Professionals to share experiences, ask questions, and meet new people?  Our recently launched Young Professionals Program has been designed to do just that – and in a format that is suited to enhance the experience!  Our launch party will be taking place on November 13th, don’t miss it!

Our monthly lunch session takes place on November 21st, and will be held at the Minto Suite Hotel.  This month, back by popular demand is our Roundtable discussions.  Stay tuned for more info, but don’t wait to register (spaces are limited and will go quickly).  Click here for more info.

As an executive, have you been concerned about getting the most (and best) value from Human Resources, with a very tight budget?  How to engage employees?  How to keep them, and keep them productive?  And, how to cover yourself appropriately with the right employment contract?  On November 26th, we are going to have a breakfast session addressing just that.  Taking place at the Radisson Ottawa, our presenter Christine Roy will lead you down the path of success.  Register for the event today!

What’s new in social media?  Our chapter strives to ensure that we are sharing the most relevant information with you on our various social media accounts.  Take a moment and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn Groups.  Please note, that there is a special group just for Marketing & Communication professionals!

If you are interested in submitting a blog, please check out our guidelines and let us know.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Delivering the Intangible Benefits of Membership – A Conundrum

Associations are in the business of connecting people, whether it is connecting members to government, members to members or members to products and services.  The irony of this is that as society becomes more and more connected, that associations some would argue are becoming irrelevant.  Gone are the days when belonging to a professional association was a given.  Back in the day, belonging came as second nature and it was the ‘stickiness’ of community that drew professionals into the association web of their peers.
Today’s professional is seeking a memorable user experience and the return on investment that they are seeking means that ‘one-size fits all solution’ no longer works.

Understanding and responding to our segmented communities is one of the keys to survival in the 21st century association world.

My association’s mandate is to be the voice of our profession and the federal government and other stakeholders turn to us for information or feedback on particular topics.  While this is a noteworthy objective, it could be argued that it is an intangible benefit that on a macro level benefits our community as a whole but has little immediate practical value for individual members.  One can argue that this benefit accrues to the whole community regardless of membership status and so is taken for granted.

Delivering value to my association’s present and future members means that we are working harder to demonstrate both the tangible and more importantly the intangible benefit to belonging.  ‘Belonging’ is the key word in that last sentence, because ‘belonging’ in my view is the key reason that members will join and remain engaged.  The challenge and opportunity for associations in general is that members and potential members don’t perceive this ‘belonging’ as reason to join and stay and so our challenge continues to be to quantify and market what ‘belonging’ means.   I believe that it entails a complex mix of elements but in essence it is in this complex bonding, that the core of membership value is to be found.  I would argue that it is only after a number of years that this benefit is manifest.  So how do we keep those new members from leaving after the first or second year, when they really have not experienced the full potential of the experience that long standing members value so much?

Many of the professionals who interact with my association are not members, but will identify with the community we serve in many ways.  Two years ago, we threw open our doors to non-members to engage with us and this initiative is being encouraged as a way to ‘test-drive’ the association to potential future members.  Grappling with this large non-member population is an interesting challenge, because while they are not (yet) members, they perceive themselves as having a voice in what goes on in the community.  The opportunities presented are many:  we are now in a position to communicate directly with them on topics that are of interest to them; we can promote opportunities to them to engage with members through research, and through our conference and professional development events and lastly we can offer our corporate members a wider viewing audience for their goods and services.

In this networked and connected world of ours, it can be argued that our members no longer need us to associate and collaborate.   I would argue that associations still offer a unique and valuable opportunity to bring people, ideas, products and services together.  Our challenge continues to be to offer the potential, new and longstanding member an experience where they feel valued and where they perceive that their collaborative efforts will support the community, strengthen relationships with stakeholders and government to better serve Canadians.  The associations that will survive and thrive will be distinguished by their courage and creativity and more importantly, members and non-members will have internalized the notion that the value of membership rests not just with tangible benefits but also in the intangible value of belonging.  Belonging means there is an interactive relationship between the association and the member, both are benefiting in different ways, with the net result being that the association and the community becoming stronger and more resilient.

Geraldine Hyland CAE is Member Services Manager with the Canadian Library Association.  She has worked for over fifteen years in charities and not for profit sector and received her CAE in 2004.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Successful Fundraising Strategies

Good day everyone,

I am honored to have been asked to speak at the upcoming luncheon and look forward to demystifying the subject, sharing best practices and helping you identify and avoid common pitfalls.

The word “fundraising” often causes eyes to roll or feet to shuffle, and has even been known to evoke emotions of pure terror for those who are asked to get involved.... The reality is that revenue generation can and should take on many forms in order to help organizations be sustainable. This presentation is intended to present various scenarios that could be used to diversify and increase revenues; while at the same time making it clear what can and cannot be done legally depending on the type of organization conducting the activity.

There are a number of strategies and best practices that will be shared and discussed, but (spoiler) - none of them involve hiring a knight in shining armor who will go out into the world on a white horse and bring back the resources you need to meet your current needs and those of tomorrow. Fundraising cannot thrive in a silo and that is true for small one-person shops to large multi-nationals.

The reality is that any type of revenue generation, be it from dues, ongoing operations, programs, sponsorships or traditional fundraising cannot exist in a vacuum if the organization wishes to accomplish its impact goals.

In order to get the most out of the day, I encourage every potential attendee to come in to the session with two perspectives in hand:

The first being that of the Association Executive, who has a good understanding of the existing revenue streams, membership demographics, goals of the association and knowledge of what keeps the Board members awake at night.

Secondly as a human being… I invite folks to do a bit of introspection and reflect on the reasons why they chose to give (or not) of their own time, talent and treasure to the multitude of associations and causes around them.

Key Takeaways:

  • The basic processes and revenue generation strategies for not-for-profits with and without charitable status.
  • The depth and breadth of the charitable sector.
  • Crucial questions and requirements when considering a broader fundraising strategy.
  • Key motivations related to giving and increased member engagement
  • Common mistakes and pitfalls.

I look forward to meeting you soon.


This post was submitted by Daniel Brunette.  Daniel will be presenting at the October 16th lunch for the Chapter, discussing Fundraising Strategies.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Events Corner: October 2013

Is your role in Marketing and/or Communications within the association sector?  Did you know that there is a MarComm subgroup within the chapter?

Our champions Jennifer Hagen and Angie D’Aoust are looking forward to meeting with you to discuss key topics within this specific realm and learning from each other.

On Tuesday, October 8th, the first session of the year is taking place at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce offices to finalize their topics for discussion this year.

These events are complimentary to attend, and are a great way to meet people in other associations, who are in a position to help, or share ideas with.  If you would like to provide your input in advance of the meeting, please take the online survey. Or, to register for the event, please click here.

In October the Ottawa-Gatineau CSAE Chapter will be focusing on Tradeshows and Fundraising.  Here is what is coming up to stay tuned for/attend:

The chapter will be offering a ½ day workshop on October 16th on Tradeshows and Non-Dues Revenue.

Attending this workshop will provide delegates with the opportunity to hear industry experts participate in a panel discussion addressing the following:

  • The challenges in selling exhibit space
  • Providing value for dollars spent to exhibitors
  • Technology and tools used to attract the right attendees
  • Providing value to attendees
  • Booth etiquette for exhibitors

Moderated by the chapters Executive Director, Nancy Barrett, we welcome Martine Proulx (CADSI), Debbie van der Beek (Ignite Magazine) and Ian Forsyth (Caneast Shows Inc) and look forward to their wealth of knowledge in this area.

And we didn’t stop there!  There will be round table discussions following the panel addressing sponsorship, tradeshows and social media, venue selection and selling to associations.

Right after the workshop, we will also be having a lunch & learn session, welcoming Daniel Brunette (AFP), who will discuss fundraising, the challenges, the pitfalls, and different ways to ensure a successful campaign.

Daniel will be giving attendees some strategy, processes and other tips and best practices, and address what we should do to ensure a broader, successful fundraising strategy.

You can register several ways: Attend the workshop only, the lunch only, or join us for both.  Click here to register.

The chapter looks forward to this great professional development day at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre.  We hope to see you all there!

Are you looking to share your expertise in a certain area of association management?  If so, we are looking for you!  There is a call for moderators for the November 21st lunch.  For more details, click here.

Interested in submitting an article for the blog?  Please review our Blog Submission Guidelines, and reach out.  We would be happy to further discuss and ge
t your opinions out there!