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Employee Spotlight: Pardieu Kapepula
By Noah King | July 30, 2021

Pardieu Kapepula HR Generalist Ambitious and driven go hand in hand here at fusionSpan. Seeing us grow from a team of fifteen to twenty employees, and now to nearly one hundred, speaks volumes to how ambitious and driven fusionSpan is. We are thriving through challenges and constantly setting company goals to strive towards, and always seeking opportunities to... read more

How To Prevent Carding At Your Organization
By Sanket Khare | July 22, 2021

As an Association or nonprofit, you likely rely heavily upon your members paying by Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover for membership dues, certifications, event registration, and more. Now, imagine what would happen to your organization if you couldn’t accept credit card payments for any period of time. The prospect of not being able to accept credit card payments... read more

Track Your Association Engagement With Pardot Scoring
By Komal Chauhan | June 18, 2021AssociationBest PracticesMarketing

Many associations want to quantify how engaged their prospects or members are with the organization. While this is ideal, many associations do not have an integrated system that can look at how the user engages across multiple platforms – web, marketing, and CRM. Various marketing tools have the capability of scoring users based on engagement, but the key... read more

Rethinking Marketing Automation And Your Membership Lifecycle
By Susan Baumbach | June 3, 2021AssociationBest Practicesmarketing automation

Many association professionals are undoubtedly aware of the membership life cycle of Awareness, Recruitment, Engagement, Renewal, and Reinstatement. The concept can be pushed further since your relationship with members does not look the same year after year, instead, it evolves. Thinking about the membership life cycle three-dimensionally is more realistic. Therefore, we now have a Membership Spiral! In... read more

Employee Spotlight – Bryan Mobley
By Noah King | May 26, 2021

Bryan Mobley Project Manager What drew me to the technology industry are the constant innovations andvarious solutions that can be utilized to solve an issue. I love how no matter how similar two projects may be, they always have their own unique solutions to get them past their respective finish line. Once a month, fusionSpan will share the... read more

Set Yourself Up for Success with Salesforce Sandbox Refreshes
By Himali Shah | May 13, 2021Salesforce

This blog was originally published on March 28, 2019. Salesforce Sandboxes are crucial to testing new releases and functionalities in a controlled environment before they are placed in your live production environment. Before you test on your Salesforce Sandbox environment, we highly recommend taking the time to refresh your Sandbox’s metadata with the production org. Despite this, many... read more

50 Questions to Ask AMS Vendors During Product Selection
By Gayathri Kher | April 29, 2021AMSAssociationconfiguration

This blog was originally published on September 18, 2013. Are you ready for a new Association Management System (AMS)? If you just answered ‘YES’ or ‘MAYBE’ then read on… Finding the right AMS for your organization can be like Prince Charming finding Cinderella. Sure, you have a glass slipper – you know what you want. Now, how do... read more

Employee Spotlight – Stephen St. John
By Noah King | April 23, 2021

Stephen St. John fusionSpan Solutions Consultant Change is hard for everyone but having self assurance and a strong support system can allow you to make changes for the better. Do not get complacent in your personal or professional life and always try and learn new things. Once a month, fusionSpan will share the talent and hard work of... read more

Personalizing Content For Your CRM Driven Website
By Manav Kher | April 15, 2021CMSContent Sensitive WebsiteCRM Integrations

This blog was originally published on September 13, 2016. The first interaction most people have with an organization is through their website. Having an attractive website that is easy to navigate and well organized to engage effectively is essential for every organization. The latest web technologies enable developers to create attractive websites and, with some effort, organize content... read more

Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption – Step 12: We Are Live, Just Relax Right?
By Noel Shatananda | April 1, 2021AMSAssociationBest Practices

You are live, have gone through the go live challenges, and have worked on the other phases whereby the implementation project can be closed. What now? Here are a few items to consider: Expand Training Spend time developing training materials, and put a system in place for keeping the training materials up to date as business processes change.... read more

Dashboard Analytics
Create Better Membership Dashboards With Apache Superset
By Alan Luo | March 11, 2021Associationdatamembership

Dashboards have always been a crucial part of analytics. As the demand for Business Intelligence (BI) tools increase each year, the amount associations spend on BI products has followed suit. Robust platforms, such as Einstein Analytics and Domo, mainly charge fees by user count. This in turn might limit the number of users that can see visualizations. Should... read more

Employee Spotlight: Haoyue Zhang
By Noah King | February 25, 2021fusionspan

Haoyue Zhang fusionSpan Data Analyst The technology industry is improving the way we live and work which makes me feel excited and satisfied. Once a month, fusionSpan will share the talent and hard work of the people that we call our team. From delivery, consulting, operations, and more – we pause to get a little bit personal, showcasing... read more

How Do I Love Data? Let Me Count The Ways!
By Catherine Matthews | February 23, 2021Best PracticesdataTech Talk

Valentine’s Day was last week, and at the invitation of my friends here at fusionSpan, I’m popping in to share a few thoughts about my one true love – data! I Love that We Are (Finally) Moving Past Just Talking about Data The past 12 months have brought change in just about every corner of our lives. In... read more

Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption – Step 9: UAT & Training
By Noel Shatananda | February 18, 2021AMSAssociationBest Practices

Your organization has been hard at work throughout the implementation and data conversion phases of the project. The team has made great progress, but all the activity has been predominantly conducted by the core project team working on perfecting individual modules of the overall project. The testing that has occurred so far is unit/module level testing. It’s time... read more

Building Pipelines with Tibco Cloud Integration
By Alan Luo | February 11, 2021Dada PipelinesETLScribe

TIBCO Cloud Integration, formerly known as TIBCO Scribe Online, is a cloud-based data integration tool that helps businesses sync data between two existing applications. TIBCO Cloud Integration has a wide variety of connectors, allowing it to extract data from HubSpot, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3, Dropbox, databases, and much more. While TIBCO Cloud Integration offers code-free... read more

Employee Spotlight: Dan FitzGerald
By Noah King | January 29, 2021fusionspan

Dan FitzGerald fusionSpan Software Engineer I think my favorite part of work might be that we get to work with so many different technologies. From all of the Salesforce related technologies (Visualforce, Apex, SOQL, Javascript) to the DevOps tools we use to backup and deploy code, there is always something new to learn and explore. Once a month,... read more

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Leveraging Baseline NetForum Enterprise in Customizations
By Hans Stechl | January 14, 2021AMSAssociationfusionspan

NetForum Enterprise is a feature-rich association management system (AMS), but most associations will inevitably find themselves needing to customize. That’s fine – NetForum allows customizations. The challenge comes in down the road when you’re looking to upgrade and the customization does not support new functionality available in the new release or worse breaks down completely. Implementing customizations that... read more

The One New Year’s Resolution Every Association Should Make
By Meghan Durbin | January 13, 2021fusionspantechnology

As we close 2020 and move into 2021, association leaders may be looking for ways to increase their organizational efficiencies – a kind of new year’s resolution. Association leaders should resolve to review how technology supports the organization’s processes. Unfortunately, many organizations delay examining their use of technology, taking an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach,... read more

Leverage Pardot Forms as Lead Generation Tools
By Komal Chauhan | December 17, 2020AssociationBest PracticesMarketing

Forms are very common features on association websites to collect information from visitors, regardless of if they are members or not. The information gathered on forms can help turn anonymous visitors into identified prospects. For example, when a visitor provides an email address in the form while signing up for a free newsletter, you will be able to... read more

Employee Spotlight: Rachel Sigler
By Noah King | December 3, 2020

Rachel Sigler Project Manager for fusionSpan’s Professional Services department. What I enjoy most about my current position is just helping clients and seeing the difference we make for them - it doesn't have to be the biggest project to make an impact Once a month, fusionSpan will share the talent and hard work of the people that we... read more

How Google Analytics Can Improve Your Association’s Digital Presence
By Adam Hinkel | November 19, 2020AssociationDigital StrategyGoogle

As an association in an increasingly digital world, providing value to members through online-content is essential. However, it can be difficult to determine whether or not that value is truly being delivered without knowing how users are interacting with the content on your website. By using Google Analytics, associations can measure return on investment, identify which digital strategies... read more

Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption – Step 4: Product Partner Chosen, Now What?
By Noel Shatananda | November 12, 2020AssociationTech Talk

You made your product selection, and are excitedly looking forward to implementing your new AMS platform. Now comes the decision to select an implementation partner. Look carefully at who you plan to use to implement your chosen product. You want a team that understands your business, knows how to integrate all the best of breed systems that you... read more

5 Ways to Improve Your Next Email Campaign in Mailchimp
By Pravin Shewale and Komal Chauhan | November 5, 2020AssociationBest PracticesDigital Marketing

In today’s age of social media and digital transformation, email is often overlooked as a marketing tool to effectively use to reach members. Email campaigns are an inexpensive option for associations to reach a large group of members and are even still relied upon as the primary form of communication. One email marketing tool that fusionSPAN’s Digital Strategy... read more

Deliver Value to Association Members by Leveraging Fonteva Reports
By Ashish Puduserry | October 22, 2020AssociationBest PracticesSalesforce

In today’s age of digital transformation, leveraging data efficiently and effectively is imperative for associations looking to deliver consistent value to their members. We often work with clients leveraging platforms such as Salesforce and Fonteva, which are tools that offer a wide range of functionalities and customization when it comes to reports and dashboards. For some readers, you... read more

Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption – Step 2: Always Have a Request for Proposal
By Noel Shatananda | October 16, 2020AMSAssociationTech Talk

As an organization that specializes in AMS support and implementation, we typically step in after the selection of an Association Management System has already been made by your organization. Our first step is to ask the AMS partner or association for their Request For Proposal, but a surprising number of clients never issue one. What is a Request... read more

Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption – Step 1: Ask Why
By Noel Shatananda | October 1, 2020AMSAssociationimplementation

Welcome to Your AMS Journey: Selection to Adoption, a blog series presented by fusionSpan. Throughout our work providing consulting, implementation, and support services to non-profits and associations, we have seen our share of successes and challenges that the entire selection and implementation process involves when adopting a new Association Management System (AMS). In this series, we will shed... read more

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

Improve Your Association’s Customer Service With Salesforce Einstein Bots
By Justin Vo | September 17, 2020Customer ServiceEinsteinmembership

What are Einstein Bots? Whether you know it or not, chances are you have encountered a chatbot while using the internet. Many chatbots can be found immediately when visiting a website, as they exist to greet the visitor and help guide them. Chatbots are designed to simulate human conversation by using scripts and artificial intelligence. An Einstein Bot... read more

Audit Your Marketing Presence Before Implementing a New System
By Susan Baumbach | September 10, 2020Best PracticesDigital StrategyMarketing

For many associations, this time spent working remotely has been a great opportunity to examine current processes and tools. A few months ago, I discussed how to evaluate your current marketing tool to determine if it fits your association’s current and future needs. If the result of that conversation was that a new system is needed, the next... read more

Employee Spotlight: Himali Shah – Salesforce Solution Architect
By Himali Shah | September 8, 2020

Himali Shah Salesforce Solution Architect Growing up, I asked a lot of questions and used to get in trouble for it. Here, it is encouraged and part of my job - that’s cool. If you have ever been in the fusionSpan office, you have probably seen (and heard!) Himali working. One of fusionSpan’s most dedicated team members, Himali... read more

Fonteva Webinar Sync: Providing Seamless Value to Associations Serving Virtual Events in 2020 and Beyond
By Arden Winner | September 3, 2020Best PracticesFontevaTech Talk

As associations continue to adjust to a socially distanced world, virtual events have become less of a convenience and more of a necessity. It is imperative to provide continued value to members, especially when budgetary constraints are at the forefront of many internal conversations. For existing Fonteva customers, or those investigating a switch to a cutting-edge Association Management... read more

Leverage Einstein Prediction Builder For Your Association’s Next Membership Campaign
By Alan Luo | August 31, 2020AnalyticsAssociationBusiness Intelligence

Suppose you are reading this as the marketing manager for your association or organization. Every summer, a number of contacts in Salesforce’s Fonteva platform subscribe to premium memberships. As the marketing manager, you will want to try to understand these members by building dashboards, conducting studies and leveraging statistics. In fact, you might have already done this by... read more

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

How Associations Can Leverage A Project Management Office
By Stephanie Lovett | August 6, 2020Membership ManagementProject management

While the general concept of project management is undoubtedly utilized by associations for key initiatives like events and membership management, many associations can augment their various teams’ efficiency and program effectiveness by establishing a Project Management Office (PMO). For anyone unfamiliar with this term, a PMO is defined as “an organizational structure that standardizes the project-related [and/or program-related]... read more

Single Sign On with Fonteva and WordPress For Your Members
By Sanket Khare | July 24, 2020AssociationsconferenceSingle Sign on

Salesforce solutions and WordPress are two of the most widely used platforms globally, and that is certainly true for membership-based organizations. The ability to create a seamless, personalized experience across both platforms requires a type of integration commonly referred to as Single Sign-On (SSO). For fusionSpan and our customers, this process can take one of several forms, but... read more

Elevate Your Marketing Game With Transactional Emails
By Susan Baumbach | July 17, 2020AssociationMarketingtechnology

Managing email communication with your association’s members includes more than the marketing emails that are sent to advertise events or share information. A key part of email communication is transactional emails (also called Operational Emails), which many organizations leverage to provide members key information. These emails update members with essential information relevant to their association membership. fusionSpan believes... read more

Salesforce Summer ’20 & Fonteva ’20 Spring Release: What You Need To Know
By Rose Palipalli | July 9, 2020Associationsmembershipwebsite

Summer means more than vacations and cookouts in the Salesforce world. After being delayed due to COVID-19, the annual Salesforce Summer ’20 Release update will deploy to all production environments by July 20, 2020. This release offers a number of new features and changes, which you may have seen in the sandbox previews that have been available since... read more

Superset – An Open Source Dashboard Builder
By Alan Luo | June 18, 2020data sourcesopen sourcesuperset

Apache Superset is an open source, enterprise-ready Business Intelligence (BI) tool for building dashboards. It was developed by Airbnb with the philosophy that “data access should be democratized to empower every employee in order to make data informed decisions”. Superset users are able to connect to a variety of data sources, such as relational database management systems (e.g.... read more

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

Managing Email Preferences – Lessons Learned
By Susan Baumbach | June 4, 2020Associationsbusiness processesDigital Strategy

Last month I celebrated my one-year anniversary at fusionSpan as a Digital Strategy Business Analyst, which resulted in a plethora of celebratory emojis on the company’s internal Slack channel. (For anyone with Slack, I highly recommend the Party Parrot emojis!). My job is to help our clients with marketing automation implementations, ranging from Pardot and Marketing Cloud to... read more

Keys To Ensure Growth For Your Remote Team
By Meghan Durbin | May 28, 2020customers needsPersonal Developmentteleworking

While working remotely was a sudden adjustment for many, organizations have been able to make teleworking the new normal and catch their breath. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic might have accelerated remote teams by years! As each business adjusts procedures and processes to ensure productivity while staff works from home, there is a great opportunity for virtual teams... read more

Development Tips For Your PowerBI Dashboard
By Alan Luo | May 21, 2020CRMCRM IntegrationsPowerBI

PowerBI is a powerful tool that is able to handle both data transformation and data visualization. In recent years, the developers behind PowerBI have introduced PowerBI online: a new cloud solution where offline PowerBI Desktop users can upload their dashboards and share it with other licensed users. While the new solution is quite useful, PowerBI does contain certain... read more

Affordable VPN Options For Your Remote Staff
By Manav Kher | May 13, 2020AMSCloudVPN

As many organizations are striving to make teleworking as normal as possible, there is a large focus on the implementation of new tools and software. Most team members are fully remote and on their own wireless network, making a VPN a must-have. What is VPN? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) extends the private network of your office, as... read more

Importance of Support Services After a Marketing Platform Implementation
By Susan Baumbach | May 7, 2020consultingmarketing automationsupport

Sending the first email on your association’s new email marketing platform can be exciting and probably a bit nerve-wracking. Over the past few months, you have worked with an implementation partner to configure the system and ensure it integrates properly with your CRM, helping you to send the right email, at the right time, based on your member’s... read more

Give Your Remote Workforce A Sense of Engagement
By Pardieu Kapepula | April 30, 2020How-Tohuman resourcesTech Talk

The current pandemic has fundamentally transformed the workplace. Remote work is no longer a luxury but for many a basic necessity. For some employees, working from home may be business as usual but for many others, it is likely a slightly more stressful adjustment to make. While working from home may seem appealing at first, it can lose... read more

Accelerators to Empower your Salesforce Organization
By Steve Brodt | April 9, 2020appempowermpp

More than Implementations “Bridging Gaps Through Technology” is not just a catchy tagline we like to say – it is words that drive our everyday work. While we help bridge the gap between organizations and their members, we also aim to provide our customers with the best user experience possible. As we routinely look for ways to stay... read more

Keeping Remote Teams Engaged and Accountable
By Rebecca Breeden | March 19, 2020AssociationBest PracticesTech Talk

Gayathri Kher Co-Founder & President This is a good time for associations to look at their project lists and re-prioritize projects that were tabled due to all-consuming events, staff bandwidth, and travel. Many of you may be grappling with how to keep teams productive, accountable, and engaged as we all adjust to the new normal of fully remote... read more

10 Keys to Client Success
By Hayden Asselta | March 12, 2020AssociationCustomer Success

Happy customers do not equal more business. Over the last few years, customer service continues to become outdated, while customer success has arrived as the new kid on the block. Contrary to what some may think, customer success is not merely a rebranded version of customer service. Customer success is changing the ideology behind the customer relationship. It... read more

Preparing for the Salesforce Spring ’20 Patch
By Steve Brodt | February 27, 2020AMSAssociationSalesforce

What is Happening If you use Salesforce or a platform built on the system, then you are probably well aware of the Salesforce Spring ‘20 release, which came out on February 17, 2020. Although the releases are a regular Salesforce event, the latest one contains a security patch, which may require a little extra attention. Patching normally involves... read more

Technique for Technical Writing
By Meghan Durbin | February 6, 2020How-ToTech Talktechnology

Technical Writing? Let’s start by answering the question – what is technical writing? It’s typically defined as writing direction, instruction, or explanation for specific technological and occupational fields. What used to just be creating how to manuals has evolved into encompassing all sorts of documentation for technical processes; it’s a way of communicating steps for technology in a... read more

New Chrome Browser Will Affect Website Tracking and Marketing Efforts
By Susan Baumbach | January 30, 2020How-ToTech Talk

What is Happening and Why? On February 4, 2020, Google Chrome is changing the security around the use of third-party cookies. First of all, what are third-party cookies? A cookie is considered third-party if it has a different domain from the main website. For example, if the domain is “fusionSpan.com” and Pardot (a marketing automation tool) is using... read more

TABS Views fusionSpan as a Partner, Not a Vendor
By Susan Baumbach | December 3, 2019AssociationMarketing

The Problem Boarding schools in North America have experienced a continuous, 15-year decline in their primary enrollment categories. To combat that trend, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) launched the North American Boarding Initiative’s “Ready for More?” campaign on July 1, 2016. The initiative’s purpose is to answer a strategic imperative from heads of school to address the... read more

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

October 2019 Salesforce MC Release Update
By Courtney Moore | October 7, 2019Salesforce

The semi-annual Salesforce update this fall will happen between October 12, 2019 and November 1, 2019. Here is Gayathri’s synopsis of the stand-out items from the release. Reach out to Gayathri or the Digital Strategy team if you’re interested in Marketing Cloud. Marketing Cloud Setup: Access MobilePush and GroupConnect admin pages from Setup. Enable the following Email Studio... read more

Data and Relationships: Too Much, Too Soon?
By Rebecca Breeden | October 3, 2019Associationtechnology

It’s inevitable. In every implementation of a new AMS solution, we eventually come to the question of what information needs to be collected for particular transactions – joining, registering, subscribing, etc. Inevitably, we are often handed a set of forms that are either throwbacks to the age of paper or are lengthy tomes printed from online forms. And... read more

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

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

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

Making the Case for a Business Hub for your Association (Part 1)
By Manav Kher | February 28, 2019AssociationIntegrationstechnology

Associations are increasingly adopting multiple software systems to obtain the best of breed for each focus area. They are moving away from integrated systems that have multiple modules that manage varied IT functions but only excel in one or two. That means most associations use a multitude of IT systems – including a Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Learning... read more

Falling in Love with Salesforce Reports
By Swathi Patnam | February 14, 2019AMSSalesforcetechnology

Roses are red, Violets are blue, We love Salesforce reports And we hope you do too! Salesforce provides standard report types which can be used to build reports summarizing and analyzing your organization’s data. Salesforce reports are a powerful tool that helps you and your organization’s staff proactively respond to your organization’s trends and activities. Hint: If your... read more

fusionSpan by the Numbers: 2018 Year in Review
By Christi Liongson | January 24, 2019consultingeventsfusionspan

2018 has come and gone, and we have a lot to celebrate! Over the past year at fusionSpan, we’ve continued to grow as a company.  From mobile apps to Salesforce applications, we are proud to partner with some amazing associations and non-profits to build better ways for organizations to connect with their members.  Below are our highlights and... read more

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

Complicated Integrations Made Easy with Zapier – Part 2
By Manav Kher | November 19, 2018AMSDevelopmentfusionspan

Following the Complicated Integrations Made Easy with Zapier – Part 1 article, we will now look at how we can leverage Zapier to easily build an integration with no actual coding. There are hundreds of Zapier connectors that we can use to integrate various systems together. For the purposes of this article, we will use a simple use case... read more

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

Ready to Transition Your Salesforce Org to Lightning Experience? Here Are 3 Things to Keep in Mind
By Karan Mohan | September 27, 2018AMSfusionspanSalesforce

We’ve all gone through change —sometimes good, sometimes bad—but worst of all is the unknown. The transition of your Salesforce organization from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience (LEX) can seem like a daunting change with a lot of unknown, but there’s a lot to be excited about. You would be relieved to hear that transitioning to Lightning is... read more

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

Complicated Integrations Made Easy with Zapier – Part 1
By Manav Kher | August 21, 2018AMSfusionspantechnology

One of the most common questions we get from associations is how to integrate various applications and IT systems. Through integrations, you can copy data from one application to another, or event in one system can trigger an action in another. There are a few different ways that these integrations are usually done: Built-in application support: Most applications... read more

Best Practices Around Salesforce Security Groups
By Christopher Mudd | August 9, 2018AMSSalesforce

What Is a Salesforce Group? If you’re reading this, you are somewhat familiar with Salesforce and maybe even its groups construct. Essentially, a group is a group of users with the same level of access to specific records within the organization. Salesforce offers some great explanations on groups. Here’s an example: Say there is a marketing department Company... read more

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Synchronizing Single Sign-On (SSO) with a Domain Cookie, Part 2: Technical Considerations
By Hans Stechl | July 25, 2018AMStechnologyWebsite Development

In the previous post, we went through an overview of SSO with a domain cookie. In this post, we’ll dig into some of the technical considerations when implementing this SSO solution. System Overview As an overview, here are the responsibilities of each website from the previous post: AMS.abc.org (Identity Provider/System of Record): Provides login page Provides logout page... read more

Synchronizing Single Sign-On (SSO) with a Domain Cookie, Part 1: An Overview
By Hans Stechl | July 19, 2018AMSfusionspantechnology

There are a number of different implementations for Single Sign-On (SSO). SSO is generally approached in one of two ways – The first is a browser-side implementation which usually involves an integration that redirects the user to an Identity Provider’s login page (Identity Provider is the website that is the system of record in which the user accounts... read more

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An Introduction to Google Tag Manager
By Christi Liongson | June 28, 2018AssociationMarketingNon Profit

Is your organization’s website performance aligned with your business goals?  Without properly leveraging your website’s data, it is difficult to know how you can improve your web presence and improve your users’ experience.  We recommend using Google Analytics, a powerful free web analytics service, to track and report your website traffic. If you manage your organization’s website, you... read more

Common Issues for Organizations New to Salesforce (And How to Avoid Them!)
By Himali Shah | June 7, 2018AMSAssociationfusionspan

So you’re just getting started with Salesforce, a powerful CRM that offers users a great deal of functionality, and unlimited possibilities! Or, maybe you are using power association management solutions (AMS) powered by Salesforce, such as Fonteva’s MemberNation or Community Brands’ Nimble AMS. What is the best way to hit the ground running with your shiny, new AMS?... read more

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

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

Four Steps to Prepare Your Website for GDPR Compliance
By Christi Liongson | May 10, 2018AssociationGDPRtechnology

In less than two weeks (May 25, 2018), the most significant change in data privacy in 20 years and protection regulation goes into full effect. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is aimed at protecting the personal and sensitive information of all EU residents, regardless of where an organization is based. Under GDPR, individuals are allowed greater... read more

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

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

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

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

Site Navigation for Dummies
By Manav Kher | February 13, 2018CMSfusionspanwebsite

As a web design company, one of the first things we’ve had to tackle is the website navigation (also called the site information architecture or Sitemap). The site navigation often drives the entire website project and its content, so it is important to determine the site navigation early. Most clients have a site that has become bloated as... read more

What’s Your Remote Work Communication Style?
By Rebecca Achurch | November 8, 2017communicationsIntrovertsRemote

Your work communication style typically refers to the way you communicate. For example, are you a more direct or indirect communicator? Many organizations use a tool like DiSC or Myers-Briggs or Strengthsfinders to help employees figure out their preferences, and those of their teammates, in the workplace. While those same principles apply to remote work, when you don’t... read more

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

Refresh expiring Salesforce X509 certificates
By Manav Kher | September 14, 2017certificateSalesforce

Tired of receiving the “You have one or more certificates in your Salesforce org XYZ* that will expire soon…” notices? Or worse, when your CEO receives it and sends a panicked email to you at 3 in the morning? You can solve the countless email bombardment, for you and your users, by creating a new certificate and transitioning all... read more

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

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

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

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

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

The Dropbox Hack, and 5 Ways to Secure Passwords
By Manav Kher | August 31, 2016cyber securitysupporttips

This morning, Dropbox’s 2012 hacked data, approximately 68M customers’ password sets, were published online. There is a significant possibility that your account has been compromised, and you should change your password NOW. Like, literally right now. Take a break from this article, access your Dropbox account, update your password, and then continue reading. (more…)

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

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

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

Summer Cleaning Series: Database
By Linh Hoang | June 16, 2016CleaningdatabaseEfficiency

Where has the time gone?! This year has flown by, and today marks the first day of summer! If you’re like me, you have left a lot of opportunities for spring cleaning untouched so here is our chance to redeem ourselves. Spring cleaning applies to your home but I am introducing Summer Cleaning, that applies to work and goes... read more

Excel Series: How to Check and Remove Duplicates
By Mary Glavin | June 1, 2016ExcelExcel SeriesExcel Tips

Happy Wednesday all! We’ve survived the long weekend and are back in the swing of things at work. As you’re buzzing by in the productivity lane today, take just a small detour and evaluate how you get your work done most days. If you caught a glimpse of the image with a white X in a green workbook and suddenly feel... read more

Geek Pride Day! Today!
By Mary Glavin | May 25, 2016Geek Pride DayITLOTR

Here at fusionSpan geek is a term of endearment; it’s not simply a noun, but a title of pride among our band of IT employees. In the age of endless days dedicated to the slightly obscure, Be An Angel Day August 22 naturally, or the beloved, national hot dog day this year falling on July 23, comes Geek Pride Day on May 25.... read more

AMS Fest Midwest!
By Mary Glavin | May 5, 2016#Chicago#reviewmyAMS#WorkshopChicago

May 10th, just 5 days post Cinco de Mayo is another day for celebration in this month of budding optimism; AMS Fest Midwest in Chicago is the place to be and it’s cause for small associations to cheer. Those interested in examining AMS options, communicating their concerns or praises, and networking with like-minded and like-sized organizations will be... read more

Documentation: Good for Work and Travel!
By Linh Hoang | April 29, 2016AMSAssociationconsulting

Koala on Phillip Island, Australia Hello Small Staff Big Impact. I’m baack! I’ve spent the better part of the last year traveling around Australia and SE Asia. I’ve met a lot of great people and learned many things. As part of my experience, I held some interesting jobs to supplement my travel income, including crew on a 43... read more

6 P’s for a Strong Baseball Season and Website
By Mary Glavin | April 19, 2016BaseballCMSwebsite

“That’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball” ~Bill Veeck, 1976 Despite the unusual cold that swept parts of the nation last week, the promise of spring beckons as cities savor opening day. Season openers are a light hearted welcome as teams and fans... read more

Regular WordPress Maintenance – The Unsung Hero
By Mary Glavin | March 22, 2016maintenancetechnologywebsite

It was a gorgeous 70 degrees in the District of Columbia on a Wednesday in March, yet offices and business fronts alike reflected attendance and a buzz comparable to a snow day. A vital mode of transportation to many of greater washington DC area commuters, the metro, closed down completely for 29 hours for emergency inspection due to... read more

Non-Profit Tech Podcast: ASAE Online Conference for Small-Staff Associations
By Mary Glavin | February 3, 2016ASAEOnline ConferencePodcast

Brian Kirkland, Senior Director, ASAE and Irving Washington, Deputy Director, ONA On this podcast I’m joined by Irving Washington, Deputy Director at the Online News Association and Brian Kirkland, Senior Director, Learning at American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) to discuss the upcoming Online Conference for Small-Staff Associations. We talk about what people can expect from the conference,... read more

ASAE Small Staff Online Conference
By Mary Glavin | January 14, 2016ASAEAssociationevent

Joining ASAE  has been invaluable for our company; specifically, their small staffed community has provided support and possibilities we benefit tremendously from. The opportunities to participate in their conferences, workshops, and to network and engage in this community, centered on modest staff sizes, has been a notable factor to our own growth and achievements. The ASAE small staff... read more

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…)

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

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

Do You Use Windows? Upgrade IE NOW…
By Manav Kher | December 4, 2015IEIE versionIE11

…or else your PC will be host to myriad viruses, worms, and other nasty digital critters next month. On January 12, 2016, Microsoft is decommissioning all product and security updates for all but the latest Internet Explorer. Make sure you have upgraded to Internet Explorer 11 or Microsoft Edge prior to the decom. (more…)

Shopping Around for the Best Deal
By Jessica Sansaet | November 25, 2015AMSAssociationShopping

It’s that time of year again: families are gathered, work is closed… Oh, and EVERYTHING IS ON SALE! The question is, when do you get the better deals? For decades, people have been running out the day after Thanksgiving to get all the lowest prices for just about anything you can imagine. Now there’s another way to get... read more

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

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

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

The Quest for an Event Registration System
By Gayathri Kher | October 20, 2015Associationconferenceevent

I thought I had been assigned a simple task – To find an event registration system for a client that has an annual conference. The main goal of this group is to improve end user experience while still being able to incorporate their business requirements. Seemed like a day’s effort to me …. to research potential vendors, document the information, and... read more

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

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

Win7 to Win10 Upgrade Breaks Office 2013/365
By Manav Kher | September 28, 2015AssociationOffice 2013Office 365

After having gone through several Win7/8 to Win10 upgrades, we found an anomaly. Users running Windows 7 and Office 2013/365 may face significant problems with their Office Suite after upgrading to Windows 10. This complication seems limited specifically to Windows 7 and Office 2013/365, and does not appear to affect upgrades to Windows 10 from any other version... read more

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

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…)

Women in IT – Interested?
By Jessica Sansaet | August 14, 2015Career in TechnologyITSTEM

“What do you do for a living?” Many people seem surprised when I answer that I work in IT. Almost as if the phrase “woman in IT” is some kind of mythical creature, akin to Big Foot or a unicorn. But should they be surprised? I developed an interest in math and sciences at a very young age.... read more

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

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

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

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

Kaseya VSA, Part 1: Network Management on a Budget
By Manav Kher | June 29, 2015automationbackupsKaseya

Screenshot of Kaseya VSA, taken from http://www.veeam.com We recently rolled out Kaseya VSA to handle our Managed Services clients’ network management processes. It’s an awesome product and we highly recommend it for small staff organizations who may not have resources to hire dedicated IT staff. Read on, and check out Kaseya’s Virtual System Administrator. (more…)

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

Backup and Disaster Recovery for a Small Office
By Manav Kher | June 12, 2015BackupCloudCloud storage

A little while back we were looking for a backup solution for our office. We have a small network of about 10 computers and it’s a mix of Mac OS X and Windows 7/8 workstations and a couple of Linux servers. Our main criteria for finding a good solution were ease of use and cost. Backup and Disaster... read more

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

On-Site Registration with ExpoLogic
By Jessica Sansaet | May 7, 2015Associationconferenceevent

I recently worked an on-site registration for a conference for the first time. I had heard many “horror” stories about the on-site registration desk and before I left, I was informed that I would be absolutely exhausted by the end of the week. However, this was no horror story for me. If anything, it was like one of... read more

Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” Update – What Does It Mean To Your Association?
By Gayathri Kher | April 22, 2015AssociationGoogleindex

Yesterday, April 21, 2015, Google went live with the search algorithm that will boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages. Let’s take a look at what this means to your Association: When was this first announced? Google released that they are experimenting with a new mobile friendly ranking algorithm in December 2014 and announced it officially in February 2015. What is this algorithmic update and whom... read more

How To Make Event Check-In A Seamless Process
By Gayathri Kher | April 17, 2015Associationconferenceevent

One of the burning questions that every meeting organizer wants the answer to is “What do my conference attendees want?” Attendees are demanding more value out of in-person meetings. Now more than ever, associations need to make meetings more interactive to enhance attendees’ conference experience and keep them coming back year after year.  So how do we provide a creative experience... read more

netFORUM Pro driven WordPress Site
By Manav Kher | March 24, 2015Access ControlAMSAPI

netFORUM Pro is a widely adopted association management system (AMS). It provides several interfaces that can be used for member interaction. eWeb or “external web” which is a web based interface where members can perform certain actions – like purchase renewals, buy products etc. xWeb is the “XML web service” interface. Mostly a programming API to interact with... read more

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

Hot Topic – Salesforce Based Platforms
By Linh Hoang | February 27, 2015AMSAPIASAE

There has been lots of buzz lately in ASAE’s Collaborate community regarding Salesforce based AMS/CRMs for associations. Since we’ve got our fingers on the pulse of new trends in the association world, we thought we’d share our thoughts and let you hear from an expert in this arena. (more…)

In-House vs. Out-of-House Badge Printing
By Jessica Sansaet | February 6, 2015AssociationBadge PrintingBudget

Anyone who’s been involved with event registration knows that there can be many speed bumps along the path before reaching the end goal: a successful event that provides a positive experience for the customers (and staff!). Since I work with a few companies for their event registration processes, I decided to share some of my new-found insight from... read more

How to Write A Press Release
By Sheree Santantonio | January 30, 2015audienceForbesHow-To

In February of last year our good friend Alexi Turbow began a 3 part blog post series entitled “Why The Press Release?“. We know you all have been on the edge of your seats waiting for the next installment, so here it goes! There are many great step-by-step articles out there on press releases, but they don’t really... read more

Dear Betty: Lessons from the Ice Bucket Challenge
By Dear Betty | January 14, 20152014ALSAssociation

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 entire nonprofit industry (both... read more

Grow Your Association Management Career in 2015
By Adam Thocher | January 2, 20152015ASAECAE

With each new year, we reflect on as many of the last 365 days we can remember while simultaneously resolving to [insert unattainable New Year’s resolution here]. For me, 2014 was a big year with more resolutions checked off the list than I had anticipated.  Topping the list are wedding plans coming together, travel adventures from Costa Rica... read more

fusionSpan Holiday Party
By Sheree Santantonio | December 23, 2014Associationcelebrationevents

Last Friday the fusionSpan team got together to celebrate the holidays. We shared great food, libations, and many laughs. Our talented party planner, Linh, prepared a wonderful spread, with the help of our baker, Jessica, and chef, Sheree. We had a blast playing holiday themed games such as Stocking Surprise, the Present Unwrapping Challenge and Mystery Christmas Sketch... read more

My First Tech Conference
By Jessica Sansaet | December 19, 2014AbilaAMSASAE

As I enter the large exhibit hall at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center, I’m immediately surrounded by hundreds of people, all here for one purpose – to see what’s “new” in the technology world. Wandering around the ASAE Technology Conference and Expo, one could stumble upon just about anything, from 3D printers to projector signs and... read more

Happy Holidays From Microstaff
By Sheree Santantonio | December 12, 20142015Associationchristmas

The holidays are right around the corner and we wanted to take this time to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to our company’s growth. We have had some big and exciting changes this year with our new office space located in downtown Washington D.C., and new additions to our growing staff. We could have not... read more

Dear Betty: Something Different for the Holidays
By Dear Betty | November 20, 2014Associationcelebratechristmas

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 have scarcely gone... read more

Dear Betty: Back to School!
By Dear Betty | September 19, 2014Andy SernovitzASAE communityBlog

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 put one in... read more

If Events Could Talk: 10 Strategies for Fueling a Powerful Voice
By Linh Hoang | July 7, 2014brandingBrevityChannels

Check out Aaron Wolowiec’s recent blog post featuring “10 strategies your association can immediately implement to boost the reputation of its signature events and, in turn, its bottom line.” Has your association conducted a communication audit within the last three years? More specifically, are your meetings and publications teams working together to ensure your association’s events are effectively... read more

Go Small Businesses and Associations!
By Linh Hoang | June 27, 2014benefitsbig impactbranding

I recently read an article about the advantages of a large business. I wanted to take this chance to champion the small business/association. How do we turn these advantages for large businesses into advantages for our small staff associations? (more…)

Live Streaming – Partnering for Success (Part 1)
By Gayathri Kher | June 13, 2014attendanceCEUconference

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) based in Arlington, Virginia, is always looking to add new and exciting elements to their Annual Family History Conference. After the 2013 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the discussion to offer live streaming began. With only 10% of the their membership attending the annual conferences, the general consensus from staff and board was that having a hybrid... read more

Summer Interns for Your Small Staff Association
By Linh Hoang | May 16, 2014administrationcollegehire

Summer break is quickly approaching and it is a great time to consider hiring an intern. Let’s face it, your small staff association can use all the help it can get, but let’s make sure we do it right. Why hire interns? It is a mutually beneficial relationship – at least it should be if you’re doing it... read more

Dear Betty: How do we know what to include for FREE in memberships?
By Dear Betty | April 14, 2014benefitsdiscountfee

Dear Betty: Should everything we offer (webinars, events, discount cards, publications, etc.) be included with membership? Or should members have to pay an additional fee for some of our programs, products, and services? Should everything also be available for a fee to non-members? Or should some stuff not be offered to non-members at all? How do we know... read more

Goodbye Windows XP!
By Manav Kher | April 8, 2014compliancemacmicrosoft

I loved Windows XP. Even as an avid Mac user, I have always found XP to be effective, uncomplicated and stable. Microsoft stopped selling Windows XP a while back, but kept supporting the OS.  ‘Til today that is. (more…)

Dear Betty: How do we ease the pain of a dues increase?
By Dear Betty | March 18, 2014Associationbenefitsboard

Dear Betty, At the request of our Board, our association recently worked with a consultant to evaluate our membership structure. The consultant strongly recommended increasing our dues rates. I’m worried about the impact this will have on our retention rate. How do I explain an increase in dues to our members? How do I ease the blow for... read more

Canvas LMS Third Party Authentication with SAML
By Manav Kher | March 12, 2014authenticationcanvaslms

We are using Canvas LMS but want to use our own existing authentication, so our users don’t need a second set of credentials to login to Canvas. I struggled a little bit with this so thought of posting this for reference. To get Canvas LMS working with third party authentication, you really have two options Host canvas LMS... read more

Why the Press Release?
By Alexi Turbow | February 27, 2014announcementcelebrityconflict

Sure you’ve heard of it, but what exactly is a press release? What is its purpose and how do you write one? How do you go about distributing this document once it’s been written? These questions are all going to be answered over the course of my next few posts.  At the heart of the matter is what... read more

Smart Marketing for Associations on Valentine’s Day
By Linh Hoang | February 14, 2014campaigndonate life americafacebook

Happy Valentines Day! Associations that represent greeting cards, flowers and chocolates are having a great day but you can get in on the action too! According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, the average consumer spends $116.21 on Valentines Day and here’s what they’re spending it on: Gifts Most Often Given on Valentines Day (Allowing for multiple gifts... read more

How to make an infograph
By Linh Hoang | February 7, 2014dataengagementinfograph

First, what on earth is an infograph? Infographs (aka information graphics) are visual representations of information. You have probably encountered an infographic without realizing it. Examples include metro or mass transit maps, weather charts, site plans, and graphs. A good infograph will: 1. Show (large) amounts of data in a clear and concise way 2. Encourage the eye to... read more

Dear Betty: How do we clean up dirty data?
By Dear Betty | January 31, 2014amcAMSaudit

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 as we go,... read more

Tips on Selecting an Event Hashtag
By Gayathri Kher | January 20, 2014consultingeventsNon Profit

You can find the usage of hashtags on every social network now a days, and more than likely, your attendees and members are already using them in some way or another. Hashtags play an important role in social media marketing, but in this post we will focus just on how best to select a hashtag for your events.... read more

Integrating Cvent with Avectra netForum Pro
By Manav Kher | January 6, 2014AMSconsultingevents

One of our clients, a small-staff association, wanted to improve user experience during the annual conference registration . In the past they just used their AMS, netForum Pro to register attendees but increased customer service calls forced them to look for an alternate solution. This time around they wanted to simplify the registration process and reduce the work that their... read more

Happy Holidays from fusionSpan
By Linh Hoang | December 20, 2013Blogfusionspanhappy holidays

It’s 5 days until Christmas and we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of our friends, fans, and future followers. We launched the Small Staff Big Impact blog in September 2013 in the hopes that we could leverage our expertise and the expertise of others in the industry to help small staff associations... read more

netFORUM Pro Consulting Giveaway
By Linh Hoang | December 19, 2013AbilaAMSAvectra

In the spirit of giving (and with your tight budgets in mind!), this holiday season fusionSpan would like to help a small-staff association by giving away 8 hours of free netFORUM Pro consulting. fusionSpan is proud to be a Certified Implementation Partner with Avectra, an Abila Company and provides implementation assistance, training, consulting, and has develop customized software solutions for multiple... read more

Social Media Planning During the Holidays
By Alexi Turbow | December 13, 2013campaignfacebookholiday

Image: RGB Social Around this time of year, business tends to slow down and there is an overall lack of motivation to start new projects until after the New Year. However, just because you might not be as compelled as normal to work on your social media strategy does not mean you should give in to that temptation.... read more

Answering Your Members’ Holiday Wishes
By Linh Hoang | December 6, 2013better jobgood healthholiday

I love Sarah Hill’s recent post for the MemberClicks blog on Answering your Members’ Holiday Wishes. It comes at the perfect time as we are all juggling end of year plans and projects while keeping our members in mind. Check it out: Have you ever REALLY listened to “Santa Baby?” If you haven’t, take a listen. The amount of... read more

Designating Staff for Social Media
By Alexi Turbow | November 26, 2013Blogcommunicationfacebook

Communication skills are important to all aspects of life, including work. It doesn’t matter if your expertise is in political science, economics or journalism – everyone needs to be able to communicate. This means anyone within your organization can be tapped to work on your organization’s social media campaign. How do you find the right person within your... read more

Dear Betty: Why don’t our chapter members join?
By Dear Betty | November 20, 2013Associationattendeeschapter

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 entice them to... read more

Engage Your First Time Attendees to Maximize Their Benefit
By Conference Charlie | November 15, 2013Associationattendanceattendees

Your repeat attendees are wonderful — they love you and you love them.  But, that familiarity can create a bubble that seems impenetrable to outsiders. Don’t let this happen to your event. Embrace your newcomers — make them feel special and welcomed. Track Attendance Records Make sure you keep good track of attendance. Use this information to tailor... read more

Three Tips to Getting the Media Attention You Want
By Alexi Turbow | November 11, 2013activitiesalexiAssociation

Trying to get the attention of the media can seem like a daunting task, especially when you have minimal to no staff dedicated to this. But even with limited funds or staffing, it is still possible to get the media attention that you crave. Below are three ways to get started: Hosting or attending an event While the... read more

Association Fundraising for Success: Embrace the Big Picture [Part 2]
By Cathy Josman | November 6, 2013AssociationcommunicationDevelopment

Basic as these tenets may seem, it is truly stunning to see how many organizations manage to lose sight of these essential elements as other pressures mount around efforts to achieve underlying specific dollar or participation goals that may or may not have been developed with the larger picture in mind.  These challenges aren’t unique to smaller organizations. ... read more

Association Fundraising for Success: Embrace the Big Picture [Part 1]
By Cathy Josman | October 31, 2013AssociationcommunicationDevelopment

  It’s a delight to contribute several guest blog posts here on fundraising tips & tricks for associations, especially the many small organizations who face a myriad of support and resource challenges. Today’s initial thoughts start at a high level, because as important as tactics and execution can be (future topics), I believe the most important factor in... read more

Process Documentation… Why do I need that?
By Gayathri Kher | October 25, 2013Associationconsultantdocumentation

As association IT staff, we are involved in a number of un-ideal tasks: running the graveyard shift, adopting last-minute design and functional changes to applications, dealing with what we view as unreasonable requests from members and other staff, to name a few. However these annoyances pale in comparison, to process documentation, a task the mention of which we... read more

5 Ways to Zap Small Staff Association Stress RIGHT NOW
By Linh Hoang | October 17, 2013Associationbusyhelp

Source: MemberClicks Hello Small Staff Associations! We found this great article by Sarah Hill of MemberClicks directed towards and written especially for you. Times are tough…and if they’re not tough, they’re always busy. In addition to the stresses Sarah talks about, the government shutdown caused some un-needed stress. Even if you aren’t directly employed by the government, they... read more

How to Win Big at Meeting Promotion
By Conference Charlie | October 11, 2013Associationconferenceevent

You have to get the word out about your event, and chances are you should have started your marketing campaign a few weeks ago. Don’t fret! This article will give you the inspiration to get your marketing right on track. Identify Themes Right Away Use your last event for guidance. What themes came up that your attendees feel... read more

Ease Your AMS Worries with the Use of a Good Consultant
By Gayathri Kher | September 26, 2013AMSconsultantdatabase

Have you considered hiring a consultant to help you identify the ideal system for your association and help with the data conversion? If your nonprofit has a small staff, little technical expertise or limited time, a consultant may be just what you need. You’ll want to make sure the consultant you choose has relevant association experience to understand... read more

Conference Site Selection Tips
By Conference Charlie | September 20, 2013Associationcitiesconference

Where do you want to take your next event? This blog will give you some important things to keep in mind when you are selecting your city and venue. It will include some tips to help you ask the right questions and make the best decision for you and your organization. These tips will also help you compare several attractive proposals that may... read more

Prioritization: Part 1
By Linh Hoang | September 9, 2013Associationmaxmimizenon-profit

When you take into consideration the limited resources you have with a small staff association, it is more important than ever to prioritize. It is easy to go through the motions of your day and not think about prioritizing but by allotting time to this task, you can maximize your staff’s time and resources by deleting obsolete tasks... read more

Birth of a Blog
By Gayathri Kher | September 9, 2013AssociationBlogNon Profil

Those of us in the association world know that the needs of small staff associations are not very different from the larger organizations. All of us are faced with much of the same dilemmas and challenges. In staff meetings and discussions with colleagues we often find ourselves in the midst of a variety of topics including How do... read more

At fusionSpan, Bridging Gaps Through Technology isn’t just a tagline – it describes what we believe our clients can accomplish with a little additional support.