Saturday, May 31, 2008

Online donation page: increasing contributions

A report by Donordigital says improving the online donation page can make a difference in online fundraising results. They suggest testing with own organizations to see what may work. Findings include:

1. Bigger donation buttons makes a difference;
2. Color of donation button can make a difference (e.g., use green vs. red);
3. Eliminate extra data fields with personal info (e.g., title and suffix fields);
4. Polite requests can be more effective than urgent requests ("please make tax-deductible gift" vs. "Help us");
5. Doesn't statistically matter if use firm language such as "Donate Now" instead of "Submit";
6. Include a brief appeal on the actual donation page too - as that can be where you'll lose them.

Their findings indicate less than half who click through to make a donation complete it.

I personally like when online donations have PayPal option. It's so much easier in my opinion when can just click a button that already has all my financial info rather than have to retype it (and walk somewhere else in the house to get a credit card). Obviously there are causes where I'll type numerous amounts of personal data into forms or write a check - but I agree with the report that the actual donation request and amount of info can make a difference in willingness to contribute.

In addition, personalized online contribution requests with personal page of the person asking for a contribution, or their picture, increases my interest too.

What works or hasn't worked for you with online fundraising?

Friday, May 30, 2008

By the power vested in me ...

So who should install an association president? Whoever would make the oath special for the person being installed.

There likely isn't something that "requires" someone holding a specific office to conduct a ceremonial installation - so the power to administer an oath could be whoever the association may allow (i.e., vest that power with). We've had it be past presidents (the one they want), national presidents, past national presidents, our association legal counsel, someone in their company special to them (typically company owner), another president they served with at local level, a legislator, a relative .... and even an association executive.

Nothing makes an evening quite as, um, questionably special as an installation by someone they've never met before - even if that person holds an office somewhere. Almost guarantees the name won't be pronounced correctly.

Our question to incoming president: Who would you like to install you? We want it to be special for you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Psychology of Meeting Dates

I'm a believer ... Meeting Wizard is a great, free program. I've only used it three times so far but saves tremendous time when trying to find a date for a meeting that can work for multiple people.

There's one feature of the program that I think has a psychology to it: Whether or not to allow the ones invited to participate in the meeting to know who else is invited and displaying to all what dates/times each can do.

* If I show all the names, and later replacement name(s) needed, then everyone would know who was asked last;
* If everyone can see who can do what date(s), then the fact the first person rules out dates may make others rule out dates they really could do, so the first one to respond may have a real advantage;
* If I don't show the names and dates then someone might not realize that there is a date that lots of others can do, and they may be more open to including a specific date as an option than they would otherwise.

So far, I'm not showing the list of names and displaying what days everyone can do. If you've used this or a similar program, what's your meeting dates philosophy: display or in the dark?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

who's coming, who's going, who won't apply

I've been writing an AE e-newsletter for a long time that among other things includes info about who's coming and going. One way I can tell who's left my own industry is by reading the association executives job postings every week. Clearly if their job is posted, they're gone (although I am aware of one situation where someone found out she was terminated when saw her job advertised.) And sometimes it even seems clear why they left by the language in the job posting (e.g., if certain features in caps when others aren't like "HIGH MORAL STANDARDS", or if odd sentences appear like "must get along with other staff and support leadership", or even a clear notation like "he now works for (name) association" or "after a retirement".)

Thoughts on what may or may not appeal to AE job applicants:

1. If someone leaves voluntarily, especially for retirement, I think good to include that. Makes it appear it's a place someone wanted to stay;
2. Wouldn't there be more applicants for a position when the salary range is actually noted? If salary is a detail that would be a part of a consideration anyway, why not just include it?
3. What's the deal with the "include salary requirements" - does that mean there is no established salary range, or that it's effort to see if they can get a reduction in a salary from what paid last person, or that want to establish which candidates might be "overpriced" to eliminate from consideration? I just don't see how the applicant sending in "requirements" is good news for the applicant (... is that the point?)
4. It's really clear when a posting is from a "way of life" location because they note positive things about the area too, not just facts from the position description. I'd think if a position is being posted on a site where there's a national audience, that it should try to sell the location too?

5. When resumes requested to be sent to a generic email at the association office does it sort of scream to applicants "there's no chance this is confidential"?

What do you find in postings that's notable?

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Office Birthday Party

I know I'm about to sound like a birthday scrooge, but one of the first things I stopped when I became CEO of my association 20 years ago is the office birthday party. When first hired into a staff position, there was a tradition of everyone chipping in a significant amount of money anytime any co-worker had a birthday (and yes, I'm considering $10-$20 or more to be significant) along with ordering cakes and/or headed out to lunch. Multiply that by multiple staff people and it was a lot of personal time and money towards co-worker birthdays. Since I was on staff before being CEO I was already aware of definite division among staff of those who couldn't wait for birthdays and those who really disliked being "forced" to participate/contribute. (And we all know office dynamics don't exactly welcome the "if you want" concept.)

Although this didn't happen at my office, something I've heard happens at other offices includes buying birthday gifts for each other (so each person gets a birthday gift from every other co-worker) or having an "anonymous" contribution (or non-anonymous contribution) to a fund to buy gifts -- and someone always keeps score whether there's an intent to keep score or not.


1. While some believe birthdays are huge reasons to celebrate, many others don't care about birthdays at all;
2. Anything that suggests or requires employees chip in their personal money for other employees - especially if seemingly directed by the organization - just doesn't feel right;
3. Anyone can give or send a gift or card "off hours" to someone else (and should if personally inclined to do so) - but once one employee hands a gift to a co-worker in front of others in the office then it's automatically going to be registered by others - my opinion best to keep that personal unless plan to give something to everyone (and then do you secretly wish/expect gifts in return?)
4. Aren't many offices sedentary enough without cakes arriving every month or few weeks too?
5. Not everyone wants to share their personal financial situation - or personal funds - with co-workers. Be sensitive that you may not know what'
s going on in someone's life and that money could matter to them (even if doesn't to you);
6. Hopefully people really do have an outside life with family and friends, so not having the office birthday party doesn't remotely mean they don't have a birthday celebration;
7. Some offices give half or full day personal time on birthdays; or use funds that would be spent on cakes to give a gift card (paid by the association) to an employee as an alternative to having a cake or expecting co-workers to fund parties/gifts;
8. Consider shifting the focus to better recognize their time as employees - such as significant employment anniversaries - which is more directly related to being in the office;
9. If need to celebrate birthdays, could economize on employee costs by setting aside one day a year as a birthday celebration day with employees who want to participate drawing names for gift purchases (with a price cap).

Oh - and have a happy birthday - whenever it is.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reply to One, Not All

Last night a group decided the #1 online annoyance, other than spam and spoofing, is those who use "Reply to All" to email that doesn't request responding back to everyone. The "Reply to All" people seem to use that feature with most email they receive, not just select ones. And those who reply to only the sender, seem to routinely just reply to sender (unless requested otherwise).

"Reply to All" is also a typical way that an email goes to those not realized were blind copied and the responder regrets it. As the saying goes, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

I often copy and paste a portion of an email to the sender into a new email rather than hitting "Reply" so my email response can entirely leave a thread. Too many group emails are carelessly forwarded to others, along with comments from others only intended for the sender.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tip 2: Stop Spending

This is the second in my random installments of money tips. Once when managing the finances for a candidate for a national association office, her campaign co-chairman suggested that rather than continue to raise funds, we just look at what we really didn't need to spend. It was good advice.

Tip 2: Stop Spending.

An obvious way to have more money is to stop spending money, yet it's one of those tips that always need to be listed. Several friends and colleagues have found times in their lives where a serious financial situation - illness, job loss or salary downsizing (personal or spouse), personal emergency or even huge college costs - made them need to immediately look at spending.

It might be tremendously easier than you'd imagine to seriously look at what spending money on, and just stop or significantly decrease. And then you'll wonder why you didn't stop years ago. If in a two-income family, try living on one salary for a month or two and saving the rest (or cut 1/3 if one salary). Might be more manageable than imagined, and could cause you to consider spending less generally.

Same is true with association finances. When the economy falters, money is often needed but it's also often considered a bad time to seek more money. Check ways to stop spending.

Why wait for the financial emergency?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blending the notes

At my daughter's baccalaureate last night, a minister (who's the father of twin classmates) gave a sermon. Fast forwarding through the tear-jerker parts about what it's like to be a parent on the eve of high school graduation, he gave an analogy to a story he read.

Jazz great Wynton Marsalis was playing trumpet in a little bar in NYC - a ballad from the thirties - and hitting emotive notes reflecting the song's title. The last two notes, not yet played, were disrupted by a cell phone ringtone in the audience. The man rushed out to answer a call, and it appeared to ruin the moment. Instead Wynton started playing the notes in the ringtone over and over, riffing on them, and then finally perfectly merging them into the last notes to the song that had been interrupted. He got a standing ovation.

The minister told the students there would be many times in their lives they would be interrupted, but they need to play on.

It reminded me of a situation at a meeting where someone was really angry about a decision and arrived at a meeting furious, wanting to address the group .... and did. He was the ringtone. It could have been considered an interruption, but rather was considered a tone that needed to be heard, and then incorporated into the final version of the decisions. Sometimes we just play on. Other times we blend old music, with new sources of music, and hope the outcome can lead to a standing ovation. Disruptions can be healthy for organizations.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Are we dogs yet?

I open motivational email when the word “dog” is in the subject line. Love dogs. Hope you find this inspirational too. I revised it for association execs. Original doesn’t say who the author is ….

Upon the death of his dog, a six-year old boy wondered why dogs live shorter lives than most humans. After thinking about it said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” He then continued, “Well dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.”

What association managers can learn from our dogs:

"1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
2. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
3. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
4. Take naps.
5. Stretch before rising.
6. Run, romp, and play daily.
7. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
8. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
9. On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
10. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
11. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
12. Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.
13. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
14. When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience."

- author unknown

And my advice for any colleague (as the saying goes ...): "If you want a friend, get a dog."

Picture from this site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Words to Ponder

So I admit (and those who know me already know this) I serve on policy committees. And for those who don't like too many policies, the place to be is on a policy committee. While looking through quotes on a social media site of a policy pal, I find this quote:

"Truth is not determined by majority vote." (Doug Gwyn)

Words to ponder.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hand 'em the car keys

A quote former colleague Jerry says to me is "hand 'em the car keys". Sometimes it's really hard to let go ... of a subsidiary that needs to spin off, a member who has been term-limited, a great employee with a great new opportunity ... but if we're doing our jobs then programs grow, people grow, and we need to hand 'em the car keys and let them drive away ....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sick CEO: ill, disabled, incapacitated

Having just survived a horrible bout of food poisoning (never had it before - never want it again), a few thoughts on the sick CEO:

1. Sick: Found another reason to hate flying - fairly stuck if food poisoning strikes while in flight. Makes sense to check into a hotel next door to the airport when impossible to drive and impossible to wait. Didn't want to be "remembered" by getting into a car of an association officer with that particular illness.

2. Disabled: A colleague who attended the DC conference continues to improve from injuries in a car accident, and used a scooter to move between rooms and two hotels where conference held. His wife posted this comment: "(Name) is talking about the limitations people in wheelchairs and on scooters experience. Both hotels comply with the ADA, yet ramps, room entrances, and elevator access have really frustrated (name). Handicap access areas are tucked away and hard to find. The blue handicap signs are very small and not easy to locate or see. As you would expect, (name) says he is going to write the (hotels) and outline how they can improve their hotel experience for their handicap guests." When our members with disabilities attend meetings in our office or off-site conferences, do we check in with them, or follow up to learn if there are ways to improve?

3. Incapacitated: That same colleague suggested association execs think about what their association would do in the event the CEO is incapacitated - such as by an unexpected car accident or illness. An employment contract may spell out when incapacitation results in termination; but in an interim period or if that clause is not exercised, the CEO should decide and recommend how to proceed in the event the situation happens. Such as, if the CEO has right to make all staff decisions, then the CEO should decide who will be interim CEO in the event of incapacitation, as well as ensure there's legal ability for an officer (President and/or Treasurer, for example) and/or alternate staff who can sign certain legal documents and checks. When incapacitated, it's often not possible to make legal or staff decisions.

An earlier post addressed disaster planning when the CEO dies. Anything you'd suggest that's not mentioned?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fainting at the microphone

Had to give a really brief presentation on an issue this afternoon. Wasn't feeling well as walking over to the hotel of the meeting - really shaky and started to have worse case scenario thoughts in my head - such as, "what if I faint at the microphone?" There were others in the room very versed on the issue who easily could have done it in my place; and at a minimum I should have asked one to be prepared in the event decided someone else needed to.

But didn't: Didn't ask, didn't faint.

If there's ever a next time though, someone will be asked. Yikes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

When you're still the CEO at age 97

As part of its centennial celebration, our national association spotlighted an extremely successful member who's part of the past (history), present and future of the industry. Notable feature: she's 97. Interviewed by the national president as part of a Forum (with several thousand attending), those present were spellbound with her tales of how the organization and business have changed in the past six decades, when computers were introduced, the personal role she played in the association; along with how the association contributed to her (enormous) success.

Also mentioned a great deal of her business success attributed to an employee, who will be her successor "someday" (but already the company president) ... who's already been with her for nearly 50 years.
And gave these reasons for her energy at 97 - never drank, smoked or retired.

She's been the talk of this week-long conference. A few observations:

1. Many of us watching immediately inspired to want to collect the oral histories and experiences of our long-serving members;
2. Retirement may be redefined - not always a given there's going to be opening at the top of an organization anytime soon;
3. It's possible to have a vibrant and extraordinarily successful company, with employees willing and able to stay for 50 years;
4. She gives a great deal of credit for her success to her key staff - and names them - even on
her web bio;
5. Absolutely no fear of change or innovation.

Think about recording or inviting in those who hold the stories for your industry and association.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now don't move ...

A common question I get is how I can think of something to write about every day. Even after 25 years in association management, it's still one big continuous unique experience. Such as ....

Before a meeting with one of our U.S Senators in DC today, a photographer asked that we line up for a picture, so when the Senator arrived she'd walk right into the picture with us. This was about 10 minutes before our appointment to meet with her. A couple of her staff were early too, and one asked if we'd like an update on one of the bills before the meeting; we said sure since just posing. But what was funny to me is we were standing/sitting there, a group posing for a picture, trying not to move, but discussing technical aspects of a housing tax bill ... and we did this for 5 minutes.

So I had to move to take a picture of it. Note empty seat in front row.

Story ends with Senator arriving on time directly into her spot in our photographic line up, took the picture, then all returned to various places around the room to do our issues for the next hour.

I had no idea any group could stand still waiting for a picture for 5 minutes (including mine). Could yours? But the approach definitely maximizes the use of time if want a group picture but also don't want to remotely cut into time for issues discussions.

Monday, May 12, 2008

8 things my mom taught ...

Cynthia D'Amour inspired me with her description of her mother; so I decided to describe mine too ... My mother had 4 children in 4 years, then divorced at age 26, went back to school to earn a degree, working the night shift full-time as a nurse, and kid time. I always thought I had the most beautiful mother in the room. And guess how often she complained? She didn't. She loves being a nurse, loves learning, loves being a mother ... and I have absolutely no idea how she did it. Extremely accomplished in her career, by the time she retired (a few years ago) she was managing a thousand employees and large number of really important public health projects.

Mom taught me ...

1. To define success correctly. Her definition of success is being happy. And in her case, happiness usually involves a bathing suit.

2. The glass doesn't have to be half full, it can be completely full. There really are people who wake up every day knowing it's going to be a good day. She smiles all the time.

3. Don't use salt, butter, gravy, or grease on anything. I don't even know if those were in our house, but they certainly weren't used.

4. Know you can do anything. The characteristics I'd most likely be described by are hard-working and high energy. And whenever someone asks how I can accomplish as much as I do, or where I find time to do the huge numbers of things I'm involved with, comes my answer: you should meet my mother. Her answer to that question would be "well I've always had a lot of energy". I was recently telling her about my son in an exit row being being grilled by a flight attendant; and she said "I like sitting in the exit row - I don't just think I could save the entire plane, I know I could". If there's one thing I know in life too -- my mother could evacuate the entire plane if she was in the exit row. So if my Board of Directors wants me to do anything by next week, could I? Yes, I can do anything.

5. There's a high road. Even though I was 6 when my parents divorced, and saw my dad frequently, there was never one instance I can recall when either of my parents ever said anything bad about the other one while I was growing up. Like any divorce, plenty could have been said. In association management there are vast opportunities to complain and criticize. Or you can take the high road and talk about the really exciting things you're working on or how grateful you are to have such wonderful officers and interesting issues. Which approach makes for happy kids, or a happy association?

6. To take pride in your profession. My mother was often asked why she didn't go to medical school. Her answer: "because I'm a nurse". She knew in elementary school she wanted to be a nurse and she deeply respects and loves nursing. If anyone has a nurse in your life you know what that means. She doesn't think of herself as "not a doctor". I know those of us in association management may be asked why we're not running big corporations instead. The answer is "because I'm an association executive". You can love your profession, even with others suggesting that you be what isn't your profession.

7. Be prepared. Part of her job was emergency preparedness and emergency response from a public health perspective. It's so important to be prepared and plan for bad situations. Maybe the emergency won't come. But sometimes it does.

8. Take care of your health, and help others. She'll drive me to a blood bank to donate on vacation. I'm grilled about having physicals annually (which I do). She's been physically active and fit her entire life. It shows. She helps others - e.g., once organizing a group of nurses to scrub homes of migrant workers. She was glad she could help them. Some believe they'
re called to serve others. Consider your health, and your job, privileges. Many people don't have opportunities - can be related to health, poverty or many other life conditions. Have gratitude.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom ... and to all other mothers who may believe "there's no such thing as too much love".

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No, I don't know that ...

In a recent interview with Oprah, singer Tina Turner reveals that after she left Ike there was much she didn't know about life and work .... Her quote: "I released myself. I wasn't intimidated by not knowing. I simply said, 'No, I don't know that.' I was okay with not hiding from it."

Such great advice. With the vast scope of activities and expectations in association management, it's so important not to be intimidated by what you don't know how to do. And being able to admit you don't know can free you into finding out how. If you only do what you know, you'll miss huge opportunities to innovate and learn ... as well as miss opportunities to make mistakes, which also are opportunities to learn.

And since it's Mother's Day I'll add that I believe it's true with parenthood too. I hadn't even picked up a baby in my life before the day I had one. A nurse had to give me instructions on things like how to wash her little baby fuzz hair with a drop of shampoo and I thought OH MY GOD I'm NEVER going to be able to do any of this. Having likely dozens of "I don't know that" moments those first 2 days of her life freed me, and prepared me, for the rest of my life.

As Tina says, don't be intimidated by not knowing.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mom, your Facebook ad is on my page ...

My teenage daughter had friends over last night and they were looking at Facebook. I got an IM: "Your Facebook ad is on my page" - and it was. As noted in an earlier post, my association has a combination traditional and social media campaign to the public. In addition to our Facebook presence, we recently added a Facebook ad to drive interest in our site/program for those not already being directly contacted by other Facebook users' networks. It's generated many links and really inexpensive compared with other types of ads.

We're encouraging our association membership to really look at how they might integrate social media into their own businesses. If other associations have a public component to any campaign/effort and want
targeted ads - check out what Facebook offers.

She proceeded to tell her friends about our campaign (who are also in our campaign demographic). Word of Mouth is exactly why we're on Facebook.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Spilled Beer Clause

We rented a bus to take a group from DC to a Red Sox game in Baltimore next week. The bus contract has 2 clauses and fees I haven't seen before. First, it says no liquor allowed on the bus. But if any liquor or beer is spilled in the bus, there's a $200 cleaning fee. And if anyone is sick on the bus, there's a $250 cleaning fee.

The first question we got (days in advance) from a passenger: Can the bus swing by a drive-through liquor store on the way to the game?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Would you call an ambulance?

If a member is in your office and clearly very sick but says not to call an ambulance or paramedic, and your staff really thinks you should, do you do it?

The situation happened at my office today. It's a worthwhile discussion for a staff meeting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One Starfish at a Time

Someone once gave me one of those Chicken Soup books and I remember a story about starfish. A guy walking along a beach finds someone throwing starfish into the ocean to save them. The guy comments there's so many starfish couldn't possibly make a difference; to which the man throws another starfish in the ocean and replies "made a difference to that one".

I tell my friend Judith Lindenau that I'm one of her starfish. The generosity and gifts of her mentorship, example, advice, professionalism, honesty, and so much more has truly led volumes of association executives to be better people, professionals, friends and volunteers. So it's no real surprise she's getting well-deserved recognition by the nation for what she's done for other nations through her volunteer work with the International Real Property Foundation, and new association professionals in emerging nations.

On behalf of starfish everywhere, congratulations Judith!

Here's the notice about the award: "Subject: President's Volunteer Service Award - IRPF is pleased to announce that Judith Lindenau has earned the President's Volunteer Service Award from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

In 2003, President Bush created the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation to find ways to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our Nation. The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. Judith has earned this award through her demonstrated commitment to helping form the Professional Association Management Companies in Georgia and Bosnia created in order to develop the network of real estate association partners with the capacity to provide continuing professional development assistance to their members ...

This award recognizes Judith's dedication to volunteer service and signifies that she has served our community and our country with distinction. The Foundation deeply appreciates her years of effort and the support Judith has been providing ... Once again, congratulations to Judith."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Are facts believable?

Today we decided not to use a statistic with a candidate survey because it was so overwhelming huge that concern it would never be believed. And part of trust is being believed.

Today there was an article about melanoma (skin cancer) in our local paper. The Melanoma Foundation of New England offered grant drawing to schools where 70% or more of students signed a pledge not to tan prior to going to the prom. And a Maine school was among the winners. The article says "People who use tanning beds before the age of 35 increase their melanoma risk by 75%, and teens in the US account for about 2 million tanning bed visits annually." But also notable was this, "A survey at New England schools that could not get the 70% of the class to make the no tan pledge uncovered one reason .... they just didn't believe the facts .... which tells us that we have a lot more work to do."

A favorite colleague is being treated for melanoma. A mole had changed colors, started bleeding and then diagnosed as malignant. A favorite blogger reports her experience with melanoma and works to create awareness. Everyone needs to review the pictures of what to look for, and take it seriously. Early detection can save your life.

Some facts need to be believed. And if we think they won't be, there is much more work to do.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

4 Tips from other Association Execs

I'm a blog reader too, and here's more practical advise from other association executive bloggers ...

1. Ask your members to develop content for an "idea" program on a wiki (Kevin Holland);

2. Save money on business travel (David Patt);

3. If you put any letter in with your dues bill, don't be surprised when payment held up (Kevin Holland);

4. Consider your own personal oath for reducing waste and/or acting with more social responsibility at your association (Kristin Clarke on ASAE Acronym)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Gas prices fueling lower attendance

A colleague received a letter from a Board member today resigning due to the rising cost of gas prices. Has to drive several hours monthly to Directors meetings. In theory each position should be so valuable that no one would object to personal expenses to participate; in reality we compete for member time and now also more member money as the costs to volunteer rise with gas prices (especially in geographically large states like mine).


1. Consider alternate forms of meetings (webinars, calls) - although as much as I like technology I do find those to be really distant to live meetings in effectiveness for real conversations;

2. Reduce the number of meetings. Does any group (other than for social or legislative purposes) EVER need to meet monthly?

3. Provide partial or full reimbursement for gas costs for volunteers on key groups - or provide if past a certain distance (e.g. over 50 miles).

While not a fan of the "paid volunteer" approach, with gasoline costs what they are and the impact that the economy has on certain professions, I do believe it's reasonable and timely to really look at potentially paying mileage or gas expenses to meetings right now.

In addition, if you've had too many meetings for too long, this is a great time to have the discussion about cutting back from monthly to quarterly meetings, or quarterly to three times a year. It's also a great time to try social media options to reduce fees and provide alternate ways for involvement.

Separately, gas prices will surely impact conference and committee meeting attendance too. Might want to look at options to reduce costs anticipating higher travel costs to get there.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Trying to Coordinate Schedules

Was glad to find this post from Mickie Rops about the frustration of trying to find a date/time for a conference call by multiple email messages .... She suggests using a program named Wouldn't it make it so much easier for scheduling committees and conference calls to have everyone go one place and record their availability options? It's free and (thank God) doesn't do those annoying Microsoft Outlook formatted reminders -- but does do reminders.

I just finished rescheduling an arbitration hearing involving the schedules of multiple parties, witnesses, attorneys and hearing panel members. I wonder if this type of program could work for hearing schedules too?