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As we near the end of the year, TSAE hopes its members, partners and other industry professionals are having a safe and enjoyable holiday season. We'd also like to reflect on the past year by providing readers of Association Leadership Briefings with a look at the most trending articles of 2014. Our regular publication will resume Monday, Jan. 5.


10 things every association executive should stop doing in the New Year
YourMembership.com
From Jan. 6: Every year at this time we are inundated with lists that fill our inboxes with the “Top 10” things we should be doing to ensure next year is a successful one. Did you know that on average, 45 percent of Americans make New Year resolutions every year, and that 22 percent fail after just one week, 40 percent after one month, 50 percent after three months, 60 percent after six months, and 81 percent after 24 months? Three primary reasons people (and organizations) fail to achieve their stated goals are: 1. Unclear, vague or unrealistic goals. 2. Failure to track progress toward the stated goals. 3. Weak self-control and self-regulation when facing challenges that distract from the ability to achieve the stated goals. Here are some useful ideas on what you can stop doing, or unlearn, as you take on the New Year.
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Cool things associations are doing at meetings and events
Event Garde
From June 30: In this guest blog post, Associations Now Deputy Editor Samantha Whitehorne contends, “I write about some of the innovative things that associations are doing for their meetings and conferences. While it can be stressful to come up with something new each week, it gives me a chance to spotlight association meetings, which sometimes are wrongly perceived as unable to keep up with the likes of bigger conferences such as SXSW or TED. Here are five ideas executed by associations throughout the past year that I think are the best of the best.”
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4 survey findings that illustrate a big problem for associations
Associations Now
From July 7: One possible solution for associations struggling with membership is rather obvious, but associations seem to be ignoring it. This and other highlights come from recently released benchmarking research.
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3 ways to get members to read your marketing communications
SocialFish
From May 27: Of all the emails that come into your inbox every day how many do you actually read? How much of your junk mail do you actually read? There’s a constant feed of social media posts flooding your accounts. How many do you think you catch? Probably just a fraction. A quick scan of all those unread messages tells you they don’t apply to you. Same with your members — they think much of what you send to them does not apply to them. But this stuff does apply to them, you say! That means your messages are not hitting the mark. Here’s why your members may not be responding to your marketing communications.
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5 surprising reasons millennials join and stay with your association
MemberClicks
From Feb. 10: The heart of your association is your membership. Your members show up and stick around because they’re getting something out of the experience. If any association executive was polled about why their members join and renew they’d probably say something about the great programs, networking with industry leaders, professional interaction, doing good in the community, and so on. While all that may be true, there are other reasons your members join as well.
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When directors go rogue
By Robert C. Harris
From Oct. 27: The reputation of an organization can be tarnished by a director who acts without authority or in defiance. A person who openly criticizes the leadership or complicates with staff relations is a perfect example. Most boards simply tolerate the behavior — few remove or censure a volunteer. Because boards are composed of peers, cordiality often supersedes conflict resolution. Further, there is seldom a consequence for bad behavior set in the bylaws or policies.
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6 ways to create a must-attend conference
Associations Now
From Aug. 25: Meetings and conferences are a large percentage of non-dues revenue for most associations. So you better create one that can’t be missed, right? Here’s how to get started.
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10 things you need to know about non-dues revenue
Association Adviser
From Nov. 10: Millennials vs. boomers? Cool vs. cash flow? Risk management vs. innovation? Just as there are more ways than ever for associations to communicate with members, it seems there are more ways than ever for associations to try to make the cash register ring. So with Boomers retiring and NextGen stepping up to fill their leadership spots, it’s tempting to assume that mobile, social, video and other next BIG THINGS will replace the non-dues revenue staples of annual conferences, print magazines, directories and member newsletters. Not so fast.
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What smart associations do differently
Association Adviser
From March 24: The world’s geography and climate has been changing before our eyes. The economy, financial markets and labor market are greatly improved. So if rising tides lift all boats, why are most associations reporting flat or low single-digit growth?
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10 steps forward-thinking associations are taking
By Maria Huntley
From April 28: Recently, a client asked if I could talk to their leadership team about "growing professional associations in the 21st century." It was a group of dedicated volunteer leaders who desperately wanted to figure out how to grow their association. They had limited tools and resources, and the reality was that they were barely staying afloat in their current state. I decided that first I was going to focus on helping them get in a productive mind frame. Associations have the opportunity to thrive in a changing environment — if they are willing to change.
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