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Want Association Revenue Growth in 2014?

This post was provided by Dan Varroney, President & CEO at Washington, D.C. area based Potomac Core Consulting, a leading Association revenue growth management firm specializing in Growth Strategy, Executive Coaching & Sales Training, and Competitive Strategy. 

Want Association Revenue Growth in 2014?  Association CEO’s and the senior management teams are looking ahead. Budget discussions are underway and board leadership wants to see an Association revenue growth budget. Corporate profitability is rebounding and the expectation is that Associations too will achieve the same level of robust growth. What can Associations do to improve their competitive edge and grow in 2014?

Stiffening Competition

Renewals remain challenging and while organizations are seeing increases in new member growth they wonder how long it continues. It’s not just the economy anymore, Association Executives for the most part are experiencing increased competition. For profit companies continue to enter markets once owned exclusively by Associations. In addition, new solutions including Not for Profit organizations, coalitions and consulting companies are offering competing products and services.

Sharpen Your Competitive Edge

Thanks to new technologies, data is more accessible than ever before. Associations who capture, interpret and apply data driven strategies can dramatically improve their competitive positioning. In a real time world data provides Associations with speed to market.

These 3 Steps Work

  • Competitive Analysis. Hard knuckle comparison to other Associations and solutions.   What are the gaps and opportunities?
  • Impact Survey. Engage your members. For example, products, services and advocacy.   Are they impactful? What can your Association do to best connect to member business needs and objectives?
  • Business model. Utilize the competitive analysis and the impact survey data to adjust shape a business model that accelerates your Association’s impact.

Buy In

Share the data with your executive committee; seek their input on accelerating your Association’s impact. Engage your senior management team. Work with them to build a vision in that closely reflects the data and the executive committee’s perspectives. They will see the staff efforts as prudent and timely.

Want Association Revenue Growth in 2014?

A number of Associations are experiencing membership growth and increased participation. Recognizing heightened competition they utilized data driven strategies to improve their competitive position. In some instances Associations doubled revenue. How? Better differentiated value and accelerated member participation.

The path to Association revenue growth next year and beyond is paved with a data driven competitive edge.

What strategies did your Association employ to engage members and grow revenue?

Tourism Richmond (BC) Presents 2013 Pulse Report Highlight Session

Pulse Report Cover
Greenfield Services is thrilled to announce a very special collaboration with Tourism Richmond, BC.

On November 14th, Greenfield's Chief Strategist, Doreen Ashton Wagner, and Director of Client Solutions, Meagan Rockett, will be co-presenting a session on the six essential strategies that successful associations implement to maximize stakeholder engagement and revenues from meetings and conferences.

This session is based upon the findings of Greenfield's 2013 Pulse Report, which surveyed 173 Canadian Associations to assess their membership marketing and engagement practices.

Taking place over lunch at Sassafraz in Toronto's Yorkville district, we look forward to sharing research results and imparting best practices to help association executives improve their engagement levels with meeting attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. And improving their revenue in the process.  We thank Tourism Richmond for sponsoring this thought-leadership session.

Attendance is by invitation only.  If you are interested in attending, please click here to indicate your availability, and we will be in touch with you.  For questions on the event or The Pulse Report, please email Meagan Rockett.

About Tourism Richmond

Richmond, BC is the perfect place to host your next meeting or event with 24 brand-name hotels and offers diverse, multi-functional, multi-purpose meeting and event space. This 2010 Olympic Venue City is home to Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and the Canada Line rapid transit line

Want to learn more about Richmond, BC, Canada as a meeting location? Click to watch a video on Vimeo of their meeting facility experience.

For more information about Richmond, please contact Deidre DeVico, National Sales Manager, at 604-821-5480.

Greenfield Services to speak at Canadian Construction Association Conference

We are delighted to announce that Greenfield’s Director of Client Solutions, Meagan Rockett, will be speaking at the Canadian Construction Association’s 2013 Chief Operating Officer’s Conference this November in Ottawa.

Leading the panel, Meagan will address membership marketing and engagement practices, offering tips and best practices based on our 2013 research (please see our 2013 Pulse Report – “Opportunities Beyond Our Grasp”).

Other panelists include Beckie MacDonald with the Ontario Library Association, and Karin Sheldrick with the Niagara Construction Association, who will offer insights on what has worked well with their respective associations.

Meagan looks forward to joining other esteemed speakers at this conference, and helping construction associations work through their respective engagement issues.

Communications In A Multi-Chapter Environment (guest post by @WildApricot)

Lori Halley provided this guest post.  She is the Blog Writer (Engaging Apricot) at Wild Apricot, cloud software for small associations, non-profits and clubs. With a background in associations and non-profits, Lori tries to offer tips and information to help the staff and volunteers of small organizations with day-to-day challenges.  We thought this was an interesting perspective on multi-chapter associations and their communications.

What are the key communications and outreach challenges for multi-chapter organizations? 

We all know that communications are critical to any relationship. And our recent Multi-Chapter Benchmarking Survey findings suggest that multi-chapter relationships are no exception. Survey respondents identified communications – both with members and their Central Organization (or HQ) – was one of the key challenges their organizations face.

While communicating with members is always the top priority for any membership organization, we recognize that those with multiple chapters have additional layers or levels of relationships to manage and maintain.

While our full Multi-Chapter Benchmarking Survey Report offers detailed insight, we thought we’d share some of the highlights of our findings on multi-chapter communications and website administration in this post and through our new infographic.

Communicating with members in multi-chapter organizations 

Our survey data indicates that more than 60% (64.3%) of respondents reported that their chapters work together with the central organization to communicate with members, with slightly less than a quarter (24.5%) of participants reporting that chapters are solely responsible for communications.

With the shared communications roles across chapters and HQ, we wondered who was responsible for which member communications and what methods were used.  This visual from our infographic illustrates the top four communications methods.

You'll note that email is the top communications channel for both chapters and central organizations. However, the chapter understandably plays the key role in terms of face-to-face meetings (81.6%). Both organizations offer newsletters and are involved with managing social media.

Website Branding and Development:

Websites are the primary online identity for membership organizations. Your website is where you engage with and inform your members, supporters and prospects. It’s where folks manage their membership profile, sign up for events, and generally, find out what’s going on at your organization. But our Multi-Chapter Benchmarking Survey identified some key challenges involved with developing and maintaining chapter websites. Some of the specific hurdles that central organizations identified included:
  • Getting the local chapters to find and develop web experts to manage their local pages
  • Trying to get standard look across website platforms
  • Keeping consistent with website and processes
  • Technology – knowledge of and ability to use tools as well as consistency around website process and updating 
On the flip-side of the chapter-central organization relationship, it was also interesting to note that when we asked what additional resources they’d like to receive from their HQ, chapter respondents noted they’d like to see central organizations providing website templates, design standards and technical support to chapters.

Here are some of the survey highlights around website management at multi-chapter organizations:
  • 62.7% of respondents reported that chapters are solely responsible for developing their own websites
  • Just 12.7% of chapters receive technical support and guidance from their central organization
  • In addition, close 77.8% of respondents indicated that there are no standard website templates or brand standards available to chapters
  • 8.8% of chapters do not have their own website, however some respondents noted having pages on the state or national organization’s website

Who manages chapter website content?

More than 80% of respondents noted that chapters manage their own web content; while fewer than 10% of sites are managed by the central organization.
  • 84.8% - said that each chapter has its own webmaster
  • 8.7% - reported that the central organization manages all chapter websites
  • 6.5% - noted other website content arrangements

Want more details on our Multi-Chapter Benchmarking Survey? 

This was just a snapshot of the insight we've gathered about communications and website management at multi-chapter organizations. If you’d like more detailed survey findings on these and other topics, you can register to receive the full survey report here.

Is #Sales Really a Dirty Word in the #Association Space?

On September 19th, I was part of a panel discussion at the CSAE National Conference & Showcase, talking about membership engagement and non-member marketing.

My activity on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn had led me to believe that the term “Sales” in the association space is not popular; in fact, some people believe that they are not selling anything.

But during the panel discussion when I said that as association executives, you are always selling, and that we need to shift our mindset away from it being taboo, there were a lot of nodding heads in the room.

So, was I wrong in my thinking?  Are association executives in a place now where they recognize the funnel that is in place for membership recruitment, retention and engagement?  Or are we just scratching the surface?

Looking forward to your thoughts and comments below.

Image courtesy of