US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management - The Finest in Professional Develop


"Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that Shelley Doak, Executive Director of the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association has recently completed her second year at Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program held on the campus of Villanova University in Villanova, PA.

Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities."


I wanted to share my first hand experience working with this great program. The faculty are outstanding, the curriculum touches every aspect of our work, and the people are positive and lots of fun.

The Institute offers a selection of one-week (4 days) programs throughout the calendar year in five different locations. I attended the Northeast Institute out of convenience but also because it attracts half associations and half chamber executives.

As Greg Ferrara, NGA, my fellow classmate will attest, Northeast Institute at Villanova University is a great time!

Here's a snap shot of what I picked up:

Effective Government Affairs Programs - Grass Roots

1. "Tag" or pair up your members with members of the Legislature.

2. Host business tours to illustrate how an issue will impact the business, and video your members to post on You Tube to build awareness among your members and their customers.

Marketing Strategies for Your Organization & Events

1. Ask members and prospective members, "What keeps you up at night?" What programs and services address their needs? Do your events help them.

2. Don't pitch your event, but rather, tell a story of why you've invited certain speakers.

3. Ask members to video testimonials about their experience at your events.

4. "Telling stories are signals not the noise."

5. What does your organization do that is remarkable?

6. Expend your energy on core members who don't "cost" you so much!

7. If you list "networking" as a membership benefit, remove it. Networking just is; it happens when people show up at events.

8. People who show up at events value networking.

Business Communication Technology Trends

1. Post content that people will thank you for; use videos!

2. You want to first build awareness, then comes relationship building and then conversion (new member).

3. Put #'s in your email newsletter subject line, such as "5 Ways to Save Money" and you'll see a bigger differential in open rates.

4. Use photos in your posts, quote of the day, install Facebook Pixel, and always direct traffic back to your website.

5. Use Getstencil.com to create a canvas.

6. Is there a newspaper, magazine or online publication competing for your members' attention? Why is your newsletter or magazine so compelling?

Using Data to Grow and Sustain Your Organization

1. If you gather data, use it! "Care enough to ask your members."

2. Consider focus groups instead of surveys and don't run your own focus groups. If you do, keep quiet!

3. A focus group can be a simple lunch with a member.

Delivering Value

1. Pitch your mission rather than your events.

2. Call your members 90 days before dues invoices goes out; just to say hello, to show them you care.

3. How are you attracting younger members? Consider student memberships for $25/year, and retirees? You shouldn't discount retirees' membership dues.

4. When a member receives their dues invoice, what do they think of your organization?

Managers Who Motivate

1. "Knowledge does not evoke change, conversations do."

2. We all want to be heard, understood, appreciated and acknowledged.

3. Always set clear expectations with your staff.

4. Read the Gallup's Strength Based Leadership. Their conclusion: Followers want a leader who is: compassionate, trust worthy, provides stability (sane) and who provides hope!

Events Strategy and Operation

1. Increase ticket prices closer to the actual event date.

2. Is your meeting ADA compliance?

3. Ignite Talks for a WOW opening.

Customer Service Inside and Out

1. Say Thank you.

2. Serving others is a privilege, not an obligation.

3. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.

4. Take the high road; there are plenty of people taking the low road.

5. And finally -- This is a gem: Tell a prospective member, "We want you to be a member for life because we want to support you for life! I'm going to send you an annual dues invoice, but we want you to consider this a lifelong membership!"

Happy to answer any questions. Email me at shelley@mgfpa.org. Enjoy!

#Awards #People

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