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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…)

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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