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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Cut Through The Clutter with Elizabeth Weaver Engel and Hilary Marsh
By Justin Burniske | September 24, 2020AssociationPodcastTech Talk

In our latest Non-Profit Tech Podcast, fusionSpan’s Justin Burniske talks content creation with Hilary Marsh, Chief Strategist of the Content Company and returning guest Elizabeth Weaver Engel, Chief Strategist of Spark Consulting, LLC. Associations are content machines, and we are all looking for ways to reduce the load on staff through effective content curation. Tune in as the... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Urban Land Institute’s Transition to Online Learning
By Justin Burniske | August 13, 2020AssociationsDigital Strategymembership

In our latest Non-Profit Tech podcast, fusionSpan’s Justin Burniske and the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Vice President of Digital Marketing, Melanie Starkey, deep dive into one of ULI’s latest project’s – the implementation of ULI Learning. As a global non-profit and membership association, ULI was tasked with implementing their Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver online learning for... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: How Working From Home Is Changing with Rebecca Achurch
By Justin Burniske | June 11, 2020ConsultingPodcastremote work

In this podcast fusionSpan’s Justin Burniske discusses work from home benefits with Rebecca Achurch from Achurch Consulting, as well as what changes could come from this period of unplanned remote work. Rebecca also discusses protocols and guidelines companies can use to help set the company and their employees up for success when remote working. To learn more about... read more

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Why Associations Need Tool Owners, Not Tool Experts
By Justin Burniske | October 31, 2019AssociationConsulting

“So what do I need to do in the CRM?” The question caught me off guard. I was responsible for training new staff on the CRM, but I didn’t write anyone’s job description. How was I supposed to know what they needed to do in the CRM. “I guess whatever your manager says you need to do.” I... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Blockchain for Associations – Separating the Hype from the Promise
By Justin Burniske | September 12, 2019BlockchainCredentialingEducation

In this Podcast, Justin talks with Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting, and Shelly Alcorn, Chief Operating and Curriculum Officer about their white paper, “Blockchain for Associations: Separating the Hype from the Promise.” Their paper addresses the topic of blockchain, its potential, and how it could be integrated into everyday life. The areas of... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Strategic Implementations of New Systems at Your Association
By Justin Burniske | April 15, 2019AssociationPodcasttechnology

In this podcast, Justin Burniske chats with Rhea Steele, Chief Operating Officer of DECA Inc. on how to strategically implement new software systems at your association and how to successfully facilitate the change management that occurs with the implementation of systems. Here are some helpful resources that Rhea shares in this episode: Switch: How to Change Things When... read more

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Six Musts Around Onboarding Staff to Your Customer Database
By Justin Burniske | March 13, 2019AMS

Quality onboarding is essential to long-term success. Association executives are becoming more and more cognizant of how important customer data, and in turn their customer database, is to their organization’s success. Yet most associations struggle to establish a culture of data, where everyone understands the value of customer data. A first step in fixing that culture starts at... read more

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fusionSpan at #ASAETech18
By Justin Burniske | December 14, 2018fusionspan

fusionSpan kicked off last week at the Annual ASAE Technology Conference. As our team has continued to grow we have looked for more ways to engage and give back to the association community, and ASAE Tech is a great example. Not only did we have lots of great conversations with attendees at our booth in the exhibit hall,... read more

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AMS Implementation: Why a Business Process Discovery is Essential BEFORE Making a Move
By Justin Burniske | November 2, 2018AMSConsultingfusionspan

One of the biggest challenges with association management system (AMS) implementations is that organizations often confuse processes in their old system with their business requirements. When this happens, organizations request customizations to make the new system function like the old system. [Read one of our related blog posts: Enterprise AMS: When is a customization right for you?] Wasn’t... read more

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Communication Tips for Millennials in the Workplace
By Justin Burniske | September 13, 2018fusionspan

First, let me point out that I am a millennial. Second, these tips don’t only apply to millennials. Technology tools overwhelm the workplace, but no one discusses how to actually use the tools. I’m not even talking about the more complex CRM or ERP tools, just the basics, everyday tools. With that in mind, I’ve put together 12... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Talking Data Privacy with Todd M. Tolbert
By Justin Burniske | May 23, 2018AssociationfusionspanGDPR

Todd M. Tolbert, the Chief Administrative Officer at the Internet Society, joins us in this episode of Non-Profit Tech Podcast, hosted by fusionSpan’s Justin Burniske. The conversation touched on a range of topics around data including the differences between data privacy and data protection, common misconceptions on data privacy, and mistakes that nonprofits and associations make related to... read more

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fusionSpan’s experience at Xperience18!
By Justin Burniske | May 17, 2018Associationfusionspantechnology

Last week fusionSpan was at Community Brand‘s User Conference – Xperience18! Five days packed with lots of learning, sharing and connecting. Here are a few highlights! fusionSpan was networking We had a booth. Community Brands has compiled quite a cornucopia of products, which in turn meant there was a unique range of organizations at the conference. From small non-profits... read more

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netFORUM Enterprise: Six questions to ask about your next customization
By Justin Burniske | April 12, 2018AMSfusionspannetForum

netFORUM Enterprise is a feature-rich system out of the box. But if your organization selected netFORUM Enterprise, they also likely selected it for the flexibility allowed through customizations. Being able to customize means you’re not dependent on a vendor’s roadmap to get the features your organization needs. That said, before you go out and hire a vendor to... read more

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Enterprise AMS: When is a customization right for you?
By Justin Burniske | March 29, 2018AMStechnology

Organizations choosing enterprise-level Association Management Systems (AMS) likely do so for a range of reasons. They know they’re getting a product with a rich feature set and all kinds of configuration options. They know they’ll have a greater deal of flexibility. But, likely most important, is the system can be customized to their need. Unfortunately, customizations are a... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Steal Like a Fundraiser
By Justin Burniske | March 20, 2018Associationmembershipnon-profit

In this podcast, Justin talks with Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting, and Sohini Baliga, Director of Communications at the nonpartisan budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, about their white paper titled, “Steal Like a Fundraiser.” Their paper addresses innovative practices in the charitable fundraising environment that association executives might want to adopt, specifically... read more

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Delayed Gratification and your CRM
By Justin Burniske | February 22, 2018AMSAssociationCRM

“Did I lose my special treat?” A frequent question from my son. We’ve created a system in our home where if he behaves, he gets a “special treat” after dinner – usually in the form of 22 minutes of TV. While there are some issues with the system (what’s the leverage for behaving once he’s lost this special... read more

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Underutilized Technology: Getting the Most of Your System
By Justin Burniske | October 12, 2017AssociationBlogimplementation

Underutilize technology and it will rust away… As part of an office redesign, an organization I used to work at installed all new screens in the conference rooms. They also installed two large touch screen projectors that allowed for an “interactive” presentation. Instead of sitting behind their laptop, the presenter could control their presentation directly from the projection... read more

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Why Your CRM is Like Your Fridge
By Justin Burniske | May 2, 2017CRMCustomer Relationship Managementdata cleanup

“OMG – what is that smell?” Nothing seems to bring a company to its knees like a terrible smell in the office refrigerator. Within minutes the company wide chat/email gets flooded with demands for people to take personal responsibility, denial of any wrongdoing, and a full-on investigation that makes the Spanish Inquisition seem tame. Threats of everything be... read more

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New Years Resolution: Update your SOPs
By Justin Burniske | March 7, 2017documentdocumentationplan

You know what’s no fun? Chores. They are what you might call a, “necessary evil.” One of the hardest transitions in life is when you first leave home, and you suddenly realize A) just how many chores your parent(s) or guardian did that you took for granted and B) that you have no idea how to complete most... read more

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Bridging the Education to Employment Gap
By Justin Burniske | September 29, 2016Career ChangeEducationEmployment

With many millennials having challenges finding the right work opportunities, associations are uniquely positioned to support them by offering education opportunities. By offering industry specific education opportunities, associations are able to address the workforce needs of their current members while also providing the knowledge to their newest potential members. A recent white paper by Shelly Alcorn, CAE, Principal,... read more

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AMSFest – Up close with an AMS
By Justin Burniske | September 22, 2016AMSAMSFestAssociation

fusionSpan was at AMSFest, put on by Teri Carden, founder of ReviewMyAMS.com. It’s an intimate event where association professionals can get an up-close look at a bunch of different AMS (association management systems) vendors all in one place. They also can talk with industry partners (like fusionSpan) about what the trends are and what they should have on... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Salesforce with Kristan Singleton
By Justin Burniske | September 1, 2016CRMnon-profitPodcast

Salesforce, by its very name, sounds like a product that only for-profit companies can leverage. Yet, as Kristen Singleton –  Director of Tools and Technologies at Education Resource Strategies (ERS) – explains, Salesforce can play a significant role in the information management at non-profit organizations as well. On this podcast we discuss how ERS is leveraging Salesforce, challenges they faced in transitioning to using... read more

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Why help desk ticket systems aren’t just for IT
By Justin Burniske | August 25, 2016helpdeskTicket system

Everyone gets complaints. Complaints about their service, complaints about their products, complaints about the cost, complaints about the noise (more on that last one in a minute). Which is why at fusionSpan we have a help desk system that allows us to track everything. A help desk allows us to both ensure we’re following up on all our customers’... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Business Intelligence Tools with Mike Fletcher
By Justin Burniske | August 15, 2016AssociationBIBusiness Intelligence

Mike Fletcher, Director of Information Technology, Endocrine Society Talking business intelligence (BI) tools with Mike Fletcher, the Director of Information Technology at the Endocrine Society. Mike recently went through the process of finding a BI tool, ultimately deciding on Power BI. We discuss why he wanted a BI tool, the process of picking a BI tool, some of... read more

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Summer Cleaning Series: Website
By Justin Burniske | July 29, 2016CMSITWeb Maintenance

No one would argue that a website is an essential component of any new business. Even my grandmother has a website! Yet for so many organizations they completely ignore their site after spending gobs of hours to build it, completely forgot about like Woody from Toy Story. Don’t do it! Don’t be that organization everyone sneers at because... read more

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fusionSpan Holiday Party 2015
By Justin Burniske | January 5, 2016Awardshappy holidaysParty

At fusionSpan, 2015 was an exciting year with a lot of growth, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have time to take a break and celebrate the year. We took an afternoon to have ourselves a little celebration before the holidays. Hope everyone had a Happy New Year – here’s to a great 2016! (more…)

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Dan Labert from NACBA
By Justin Burniske | December 9, 2015Higher LogicIntegrationsmembership

Dan Labert, the executive director of NACBA We’ve recently rebranded the podcast as the Non-profit Tech Podcast, presented by fusionSpan. This week I spoke over the phone with Dan Labert, the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys about his recent move from listservs to an online community platform (Higher Logic) integrated with their member... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Associations Implementing Lean Startup Methodology
By Justin Burniske | November 17, 2015AssociationsBusiness StrategyLean Startup

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting, and Guillermo Ortiz de Zarate, Director, Information Systems, NCARB. This week I got to sit down with Elizabeth Weaver Engel (@ewengel), CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting, and Guillermo Ortiz de Zarate (@GuillermoOZ), Director, Information Systems, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, to discuss their recent white paper, “Innovate the Lean... read more

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Solving your App-ocalypse: Strategic planning with your technology
By Justin Burniske | November 5, 2015AssociationsITSOP

At this point everyone will agree that software systems have permeated all areas of business. From HR to Marketing to Accounting to Customer Relations, every area requires the staff to utilize some tools or application to complete their job. Yet at many, if not most organizations, there are a mash-up of tools in place that always seem to fall short of... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Adam Thocher from AAPOR
By Justin Burniske | October 30, 2015AAPORamcAMS

Adam Thocher, Executive Director at AAPOR I got to talk with Adam Thocher about his new position as Executive Director at the American Association for Public Opinion Research and what it’s like being a part of an Association Management Company (AMC). We also discussed what the “perfect” association technology would look like, what his organization is going to... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Conversation with Mark Ace about Collaboration
By Justin Burniske | October 15, 2015AssociationCollaborateKavi

Mark Ace, President at Kavi Corporation We got a chance to talk to Mark Ace, President of Kavi Corporation, about his recent blogpost, “Five Characteristics of High-Performing Teams.” We also discuss the ways different organizations are leveraging their technology in order to accomplish their collaboration goals, as well as some of the issues small staff organizations face with... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: Talking with Edward Grandi from the National Genealogical Society
By Justin Burniske | October 1, 2015AMSAssociationsgenealogy

Edward Grandi, Executive Director at the National Genealogical Society I got a chance to sit down with Edward Grandi, the Executive Director of the National Genealogical Society. We talked about his approach to leadership, how he works to get the most out of a small staff organization, and what are some of the things front of mind for him going... read more

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Non-Profit Tech Podcast: All about an AMS!
By Justin Burniske | September 2, 2015AMSAMSFestAssociations

Teri Carden, founder of ReviewMyAMS.com Welcome to the inaugural fusionSpan Podcast! Our first episode of the Non-Profit Tech Podcast is with the creator of ReviewMyAMS.com, Teri Carden. She discusses the value of an association management system (AMS), how associations are using their AMS, and when it might be time to consider a new AMS. Teri also talks about... read more

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Team building – Skip the lane and hit the links!
By Justin Burniske | August 28, 2015bowlingnon-profitsmall staff

Looking to do something a little different for your next team-building outing? Take a look at Topgolf, a fun group activity that feels a lot like the bowling version of golf. fusionSpan recently took a Friday afternoon off to try it out, and the reviews all came back positive (much to the chagrin of my local bowling alley attendant). (more…)

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VIDEO BLOG: Moving your association to focus Outside-In
By Justin Burniske | August 4, 2015Anna CaraveliAssociationchange

Part 2 of fusionSpan’s conversation with Elizabeth Engel and Anna Caraveli about their recent white paper: Leading Engagement from the Outside In: Become an Indispensable Partner in Your Members’ Success. Here we dive further into what steps association’s can take now to become more member focused. Did you miss part 1 of the conversation? Make sure to check... read more

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PREZI: What is an API and why should I care?
By Justin Burniske | July 23, 2015APIAssociationIntegrations

API: Application Programming Interface. A vague phrase that offers little insight if you’re not a computer science major, yet if you’ve spent any time around system vendors or website developers they’ve likely thrown the acronym around as if its taught in the third grade of every classroom in America. Fear not, we’ve created a Prezi (a free, online presentation... read more

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VIDEO BLOG: Association Engagement – returning the focus to members
By Justin Burniske | July 15, 2015Anna CaraveliAssociationCommunity Site

Associations often focus on increasing attendance at their events, people signed up for their listservs, and overall membership numbers – but is that always in the best interest of members? fusionSpan spoke with Elizabeth Engel and Anna Caraveli about their recent white paper: Leading Engagement from the Outside In: Become an Indispensable Partner in Your Members’ Success. Part 1... read more

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Your association is using Twitter wrong – and that’s okay
By Justin Burniske | June 22, 2015AssociationsMarketingnon-profit

Scanning a list of the top 100 Twitter account and you’ll find a lot of singers, actors, athletes and other celebrities. Only a handful of accounts are branded as organization accounts. Organizations that do break into the top 100 represent social media companies, news organizations, and sporting groups (while an association does come in at #60, there model... read more

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Syncing your sites – is it worth the cost?
By Justin Burniske | May 13, 2015APIAssociationData entry

Is it worth paying to have your systems reflect the data being stored in your database? With technology today almost anything can be automated. Yet so many organization are unwilling to invest capital to automate mundane tasks in order to save their employee’s time – updating multiple contact lists with the same information, generating website content after entering the same information... read more

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Connecting with Users
By Justin Burniske | March 12, 2015AUDC 2015AustinBabies

I recently had the opportunity to present at AUDC in Austin, TX during their Ignite session. The Ignite session requires individuals to present 20 slides, each slide appearing for only 15 seconds, resulting in a five minute presentation. Given the speed of the slides, presenters were encouraged to use more pictures and fewer words so I used my favorite... read more