Association Management Blog

Right from the Start: Setting a Dues Structure That Works

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/28/14 7:30 AM

You only get one chance to make a first impression.  

This isn’t just for people, it’s for organizations as well. 

And that’s why it’s so critical to set your dues at the correct level right out of the box. 

In my mind, there are three things to think about in setting dues levels. 

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Topics: finance, Membership, Associations

The Association Scoreboard

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/20/14 7:00 AM

Every day, the Boston Globe sports section brings me a seemingly unending array of stats. I know how the New England Patriots perform on the road, in night games, in games after a loss, against certain opponents, you name it.  

But many organizations don’t have a comparable scoreboard. They’re playing the game, but not sure how to keep score. 

Just like in sports, there’s no end to the statistics that you can look at, but here’s my top three gauges on the association dashboard. 

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Topics: association management, CASH RESERVE, association membership

Now what?

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/16/14 7:00 AM

That’s the question that often comes up on the heels of an association accomplishing what it set out to do. 

It’s not a unique problem. The March of Dimes was formed to stamp out polio. The advent of the Salk vaccine happily forced them to look at “now what?”  And we’ve had a number of technical standards organizations that have done what they set out to do, then confronted the same question. 

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Topics: association management

Diversifying from Dues: Ways to drive non-dues revenue for your association

Posted by Andy Freed on 10/7/14 7:00 AM

There are two truisms that affect association finances. First, most associations are financed primarily by dues. And second, when a member organization needs to cut its budget, the first line item they often look at is “Dues, fees and subscriptions.” 

So a diverse revenue stream isn’t just a “nice to have” for associations, it’s often a matter of survival. 

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Topics: Budgeting, Associations

Social Media for Associations 101

Posted by Aimee Levesque on 10/1/14 7:00 AM

Before your association starts a social media account on every existing medium, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish. Simply having a social media account won’t add value to your association, and if not done correctly, social media can actually inhibit progress. So before you get started, you need to answer these four questions: 1. What channels should you be on? 2. How are you going to provide value? 3. How will you engage your audience?, and ultimately, 4. What are your goals?

1. What Channels Should You Be On?

Choosing your channels wisely in the beginning can save you a lot of stress later on. Because each association is different, it makes sense that different channels benefit different associations. When choosing channels there are three basic things you should consider: your audience, your message and your goal. When you know your audience well, you will be able to determine which social networks they are utilizing. By defining your message, you are able to determine which channels best deliver that message. Knowing what you hope to derive from using social media is imperative to choosing which channels your association should be on.

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Topics: social media, Associations

Time for less sitting, more mobile engagement

Posted by Andy Freed on 9/23/14 7:44 AM

What do Fort Worth, Birmingham, Dubai, Denver and Atlanta have in common? 

All advertise in the first few pages of the July/August edition of Associations Now magazine as locations for your next association meeting.

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Topics: Technology, Association

The Long Road to Standards Adoption

Posted by Bruce Rogers on 9/10/14 2:35 PM

With its much-anticipated announcement this week, Apple became the latest and the last of the leading smartphone vendors to adopt Near Field Communication or NFC technology. The company announced NFC will be in its forthcoming iPhone 6 models and will become the enabling technology for a new mobile payment ecosystem called Apple Pay. Apple Pay will allow consumers with iPhones to pay for goods and services at some 220 thousand stores throughout the U.S.

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Topics: Standards

Dr. Oz Prescribes Vacation

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/23/14 2:20 PM

I’m heading out on vacation for a few weeks tomorrow. Thanks to the iPhone and ubiquitous Wi-Fi, vacations aren’t the time of “real disconnection” they once were. Fortunately, that same technology that can make us feel tied to the office can also enable a bit more fun. For the past few years, I’ve done videos for my out of office message. Here’s this year’s edition: http://youtu.be/DYIS0CaYsNc  

Enjoy, and I’ll see you on the 7th!

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If a picture is worth a thousand words...

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/10/14 7:21 AM

Anyone who came of age in the 1980’s remembers the early days of MTV (back when they still played music videos.)  MTV premiered in 1981 with the Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Never has so significant a change been heralded by a more mediocre song. 

Because video did more than kill the radio star. It’s fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Television has eclipsed print as a news source. Sites like YouTube have become the most popular sites on the internet.  And some TED talks have been viewed by over 20 million people.  

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Topics: communications, Association, association membership

Mistakes Happen

Posted by Andy Freed on 7/8/14 7:13 AM

Everybody makes mistakes. That phrase is a cliché because it’s so true.   

And we make mistakes here at Virtual as well. They key is in how you recover from them. 

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Topics: association management, Leadership, Associations

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CONTRIBUTORS

ANDY FREED

President
Virtual, Inc.

GREG KOHN

Vice President of Client Services
Virtual, Inc.

BRUCE ROGERS

CEO
Virtual, Inc.

TERRY LOWNEY

COO, Senior Vice President
Virtual, Inc.
ALL CONTRIBUTORS »

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