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Quick clicks: Members come first edition

Several of this week's links remind us of the importance of serving members and helping them succeed, and they also offer some advice on how to do just that. Enjoy.

Chapters and social media. Lowell Aplebaum writes on the AssociationTECH blog that social-media know-how can vastly increase the success of association chapter leaders, and component relations professionals should provide such training.

Customer service and social media. Maddie Grant, CAE, provides an easy-to-follow use case for how to make your customer-service department more efficient and more effective via social technology.

Member (or donor) relations. Laura Otten writes that nonprofits too often fall into a dangerous sense of entitlement. "No funder owes us funding simply because it has funded us in the past," she writes. Her focus is on charitable nonprofits and donors, but the lesson translates to associations and their members, as well.

Meeting member needs. Anna Caraveli shares the story of the turnaround at the Photo Marketing Association, which changed course by taking on a new perspective. "Paradoxically … it is fighting and advocating for members rather than for the association's agenda … that best serves the association's interests," she writes.

Conference evaluations. Sarah Ruzek at the Midwest SAE's Associations Live blog offers several ideas for questions for your conference/education evaluation surveys.

Staff development. Aaron Wolowiec, CAE, writes that, in making a case for investing in professional development for your entry- and mid-level staff, you should answer the same, age-old question that marketers aim to answer: What's in it for me?

Web design. Dodd Caldwell writes "Ugly nonprofit websites aren't surprising … great web design can be an even bigger differentiator for a nonprofit than for a for-profit." And then he describes the five elements of great nonprofit website design.

Work vs. talk. Wes Trochlil writes (twice) about the importance of doing actual work. Sounds silly, but Wes says, in his experience, his most successful clients are the ones who understand that even great technology can't do all your work for you and who act on one or two ideas rather than talking about a dozen.

Governance. Eric Lanke, CAE, adds to the conversation on Race for Relevance and suggests that, if the book's recommendations seem outlandish or unfeasible for your association, they nonetheless make for a starting point for negotiating for change with your board or other stakeholders.

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