About: Betty

Bio: “Dear Betty” is the association advice columnist alter-ego of Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE, CEO and Chief Strategist of Spark Consulting LLC. Elizabeth has over sixteen years of experience helping associations grow, in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. She speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, Elizabeth loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, garden, and blog about the Philadelphia Eagles.

Posts by Betty:

Dear Betty: Lessons from the Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted on: 14 Jan 2015

Dear Betty: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $100 MILLION to date for the ALS Association. Why didn’t we think of that?!? I know we can’t just copy it outright, but is there anything associations can learn from the phenomenal success of this viral campaign?   Gentle Reader: Ah yes, I think the […]

Dear Betty: Something Different for the Holidays

Posted on: 20 Nov 2014

Dear Betty: Is it already time for sending snowman-themed “happy holidays” greetings to my members and boxes of chocolates and cans of popcorn to my exhibitors and conference sponsors? Isn’t there something different I could do? Gentle Reader: I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it seems like the sparks from the Independence Day fireworks […]

Dear Betty: Back to School!

Posted on: 19 Sep 2014

Dear Betty: Fall always makes me think of back to school, school supplies, and learning new things. What do I need to add to my marketing backpack for success this fall? Gentle Reader: There’s nothing like that first hint of coolness in the breeze, that first crisp night, and those first few falling leaves to […]

Dear Betty: What to include for FREE in memberships?

Posted on: 14 Apr 2014

Many of the programs, products, and services you offer to members should also be offered to non-members for a fee, and when you’re also charging members, likely for a higher fee than members pay. Remember, according to The Association Law Handbook, 4th edition:

Dear Betty: How do we ease the pain of a dues increase?

Posted on: 18 Mar 2014

You know that old saying that the only two things in life that are certain are death and taxes? As any association professional knows, they left one thing off the list: dues increases. They’re a fact of life in associations, but that doesn’t mean your members are going to like them.

Dear Betty: How do we clean up dirty data?

Posted on: 31 Jan 2014

Dear Betty: Our small-staff Association Management Company (AMC) recently acquired a new client. Which is great, but we have a problem. Their data is a mess! Keeping day-to-day operations running for our new association client is nearly impossible given the dire state of their membership and financial data. Should we try to fix the data […]

Dear Betty: What does your crystal ball say for 2014?

Posted on: 30 Dec 2013

It’s overwhelming for everyone, but, I think, especially for small staff executives. Many of these lists seem neither relevant nor even possible when you’re running an association with modest resources.

Dear Betty: Is it too late for an end of year campaign?

Posted on: 18 Dec 2013

The end of the year is approaching fast, and we’d like to take advantage of that to run some kind of holiday campaign. We know we’re getting a late start, but is there anything we can still accomplish in the remaining weeks?

Dear Betty: Why don’t our chapter members join?

Posted on: 20 Nov 2013

Dear Betty, We have a lot of non-members at our conference. I mean A LOT: 43% of our annual conference attendees are non-members. The thing is, the majority of them are active members of their regional chapters (we know because we asked). Why don’t they want to join us, too? What can we do to [...]

Dear Betty: Leverage pop culture to attract to our site?

Posted on: 22 Oct 2013

  We are a 109-year-old organization and, while our members are not quite THAT old, they are aging and, as a result, our membership growth has stagnated. With the renewed interest in genealogy due to some recent popular television shows, we think we have an opportunity to reach out to a younger, more tech-savvy crowd. […]