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Associations Posts

Online Community Platform vs AMS Add-On: What Software Does Your Association Need?

Written by Andy Steggles | on June 6, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Online communities are now better known for their ability to improve member engagement, satisfaction, and retention than they were even a few years ago. It makes sense, then, that more and more associations are considering, or expanding, their online community plans.

With this rise in interest comes an increase in online community software options. Companies that previously focused on database work, such as association management software (AMS) providers, now offer community modules as an add-on to their main product.

But are add-on options right for your association? It’s certainly convenient to nestle your community within the AMS you’re already familiar with. But will it achieve the same results as a dedicated community platform?

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Member Engagement, Online Community

How to Decide Between an Open Source or a Proprietary Community Platform

Written by Liam O'Malley on May 23, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

When designing your organization’s website and community, you need to think about what type of platform you want to build it on—in other words, do you want to build it on open source tools, like Wordpress or Joomla, or do you want to go with a proprietary source offered by a software as a service (SaaS) company? 

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Topics: B2B Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Online Community

6 Key Features of the Best Learning Management Systems

Written by Julie Dietz on May 9, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 6 minute read

By 2020, 65% of all jobs in the U.S. will require some type of post-secondary education or training. Unfortunately, colleges and universities aren’t even meeting today’s needs. According to employers, new college graduates don’t have the skills to fill entry-level jobs.

These findings, which indicate a major problem in the education industry, were laid out in a whitepaper from Shelly Alcorn and Elizabeth Weaver Engel. And while the problem for universities is clear, so is the opportunity for associations.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software, Member Experience, Online Community

Why Do People Volunteer for Professional Associations and Trade Groups?

Written by Julie Dietz on April 18, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

“We make a living by what we do. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Of the many ways to give back, volunteering is one of the most profound. Giving your time and knowledge is invaluable, which is one of the reasons organizations appreciate their volunteers so much.

Volunteerism has been the lifeblood of many groups throughout the centuries and continues to be a driving force today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25.3% of the US population volunteered in 2014. They helped people in need, advanced causes, and furthered organizations.

How many people volunteered at your association? And what brought them to your door?

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Topics: Volunteer Management, Associations, Online Community

Why Online Communities Still Aren’t a Top Business Strategy (And How to Change That)

Written by Katie Bapple | on March 30, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Dear online community professionals,

We have work to do. Today, we are failing to showcase the inherent value we believe online communities can provide, because too many of our arguments are unproven. Beliefs are not facts. Beliefs don’t drive revenue.

We need to reach further, grow the ranks of our advocates and allies inside the office, and push ourselves to learn the information we so desperately need to grow and succeed.

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Topics: Online Community Management, B2B Communities, Associations, Online Community

How to Build the Business Case for Your Association’s Online Community Strategy

Written by Andy Steggles | on February 14, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

You’ve spent countless hours interviewing members and pouring over data. You’ve researched techniques, combed the internet for tools, and finally come up with a solution.

The best way for your association to provide long-term value to members is with an online community.

It’s perfect. You can increase non-dues revenue with an online store, deliver benefits with user-generated content, and engage members with discussion forums and blog posts.

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Topics: Marketing, Member Communities, Associations, Online Community

12 Top Association Articles from 2016

Written by Christina Green | on December 28, 2016 at 8:45 AM | 5 minute read

Remember Cliffs Notes, the popular synopses of required reading and classic literature? For some of us, they were a go-to back in high school. They condense a tome like War and Peace into 25-30 pages, giving you the highlights along with a few symbolic references that high school English teachers eat up.

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Topics: Associations, Marketing Automation, Online Community

4 Ways to Use Nostalgia to Grab Your Customers' or Members' Attention

Written by Christina Green | on December 27, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

Author Tom Wolfe made a statement with the title of his novel, You Can't Go Home Again.

Maybe he's right that we can't go back to our childhood rooms or the other good times in our lives, but you certainly can remember them through nostalgia. And many of us do. For better or worse, nostalgia can be an influential force in all our lives, one which associations and businesses can harness to build engagement.

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Topics: Associations, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What's Next? 6 Membership Trends to Watch in 2017

Written by Christina Green | on December 22, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

It seems like only yesterday we were worried about what would happen when the computers hit the year 2000. Now it's nearly 2017 and a lot has changed.

Just think about technology. I was watching a movie from 2001 recently and one of the main characters had a laptop. They said the word "laptop" with the same reverence of someone talking about the "goose that laid the golden egg." In 2001, a laptop was a prized possession. Most families had only a desktop because at that time, laptops cost twice as much. Only traveling businessmen cutting-edge techies had them.

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Topics: Associations, Member Experience, Marketing Automation, Online Community

5 Factors that Can Make or Break Your Association Website Redesign

Written by Julie Dietz on December 19, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

There was wood everywhere. Paper on the floor, nails on what was left of the counter, and a paint-splattered drop cloth was all that protected the kitchen tile. It was a mess.

That's how my kitchen looked during its recent upgrade. The end result was beautiful, but redoing an entire room was a huge undertaking.

It took weeks to finish, cost a fortune, and there were probably at least half a dozen considerations that I didn't fully think through before work got started.

That's how a website redesign feels.

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Topics: Associations, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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