An Executive Director's point of view


April 23, 2015: Investing in people

Category: Employment
Posted by: David M Patt
Companies that invest in the welfare of their employees are more profitable than those that don't, claims entrepreneur Sebastian Ross. Check out the evidence he uses to support his contention.

And remember, too, that if your association takes good care of its employees, the employees will take good care of the association.
Here are some suggestions about what to avoid.

And here are some tips for doing it right. And here are more, and some more.

April 21, 2015: Executions

Category: Culture
Posted by: David M Patt
The Society of Correctional Physicians is one of many medical associations that call upon its members not to participate in executions.

It has nothing to do with the legality or morality of capital punishment.

Doctors simply believe their mission is to cure people, not kill them.

April 20, 2015: Ask for money later

Category: Fund-raising
Posted by: David M Patt
Fund-raising is about building financial relationships for the long term. It's not just about obtaining money right now.

Relationship building creates a bond that will last a long time, and it will generate income for a long time.

Pressuring a donor right now may secure money right now but it will not guarantee anything for the future.

So, build community first. You can ask for money later.

April 19, 2015: Attending a luncheon alone

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
This is how to attend a luncheon, or other plated event, when you are alone and you are not an outgoing person.

Your goal should be to sit in a place that enables you to talk with people in a socially non-threatening manner.

1. Stand at the entrance and patiently scan the room. Nobody will be staring at you. The only people looking at you will be others who are alone and who hope they know you, so they can call you over to their table.

2. Look for a table that is partially occupied by other people who appear to be alone. They are probably in the midst of trying to connect with each other, so you are more likely to fit in and feel welcome.

3. Try not to sit at a table that is occupied by a group of people who seem to already know each other. They won't talk to you and you'll feel like an outcast.

4. Do not sit at an empty table, either. It will just emphasize your being alone. You need a place where a social structure has already begun forming, so you can be a part of it.

5. When you've selected a table, sit right next to somebody who is already seated, even if that person is talking to someone else. Do not leave any chairs between the two of you. Introduce yourself and sit down. If that person is an association professional, she'll broaden her conversation to include you. When somebody sits next to you, include them in your conversation, too.

6. If possible, sit facing the front of the room, so you won't have to turn around to view the emcee, speakers, or video screen. That will also enable you to see everybody at the table and better manage your interactions with them.

7. Do not put your belongings on the chair next to you. That gives the impression you don't want anybody to sit with you or talk to you. Stuff your briefcase and laptop under your chair. Keep your purse in your lap.

8. Do not read a book, newspaper, tablet, or anything else. And don't talk on your phone or check your email. That signals that you don't want company. If you feel like you must do something, read the program handout, if there is one.

9. Exchange business cards with the people you meet. Even if you have no use for the contact information and never expect to use it, the swap is a bond that will connect you during the luncheon.

10. When the event ends, say good bye to each of the people you've spoken with. If you want to continue a conversation with any of them, send an email later that day (or if you are at a dinner, send it the next day).

April 17, 2015: Write good

Category: Publications
Posted by: David M Patt
Here is the lead article from a major newspaper:

"Officials say a suspect seen beating a man with four others hit a 23-year-old Columbus police officer with a vehicle Wednesday near Matilda Lane Apartments."

Did this person use the four others to beat the man?

Lesson learned: If an association displays poor writing in its published works, many people will assume the same, low level of professional expertise exists in the group's other programs.

April 15, 2015: What's a donation worth?

Category: Fund-raising
Posted by: David M Patt
Here are some things donors do that organizations don't like.

The same can sometimes be said about sponsors and members. Is it always worth it to accommodate them?

April 07, 2015: Museums going online

Category: Technology
Posted by: David M Patt
Here's how one industry is utilizing online communication to expand its audience.

Thanks to Courtney Hunt for pointing to it.

April 05, 2015: Exercise good judgment

Category: Decision-making
Posted by: David M Patt
There is no pre-ordained solution for every problem, so don't waste your time searching for one.

Read this.

April 01, 2015: Too much information

Category: Membership
Posted by: David M Patt
What do you really need to know about your members?
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