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Financial! Fiduciary! Fund! Finance! Pick your nonprofit “F-word” of choice. Between bank collapses, inflation, stock market fluctuation, we had to call in the big guns this week. This week, Marc Labadie of RTD Financial joins us to discuss FDIC protections, reserves, insurance, and financial governance. As a financial adviser,  specializing in membership associations, he gives us nonprofit-specific insights into today’s volatile economic environment. Our biggest take aways:Have a standing Finance Committee.Onboard and educate both your Finance Committee and board on financial and fiduciary matters.At least once a year do a financial deep dive with your board.Have an intentional and mission-driven reserve policy.Do a risk assessment to ensure your org has the right insurance. But there’s lots more – plus IT’S FREE! Ya can’t say that too much anymore.Support the show
How many times have you heard the suggestion "we should try the Netflix model" and wondered what exactly that means? Adapting and adopting pricing models is a perennial conundrum in the membership world but today Elisa and Andrew are joined by the global subscription guru, Robbie Kellman Baxter, who talks us through the issues and opportunities of designing subscription-based membership offerings. Robbie's books are The Membership Economy  and The Forever Transaction; her regular podcast is Subscription Stories; and you can read her recent article in Associations Evolve 2023 and Beyond here.Support the show
You’ve heard the debate: Association CEOs should come from industry. Others insist the chief staff executive should be a tested nonprofit leader. Well, we found a unicorn who breaks all the stereotypes. Elisa and Andrew are joined by Terry Baker, CEO of the Society of American Foresters, who reminds us that leadership success isn't based on industry versus association but rather the intentional combination of both. Oh, and he shares his leadership secret of “puppy proposals"...
New to the Chief Brand Experience Officer role, Allison N. Marrero visits the Association Transformation studios to pull back the curtain on her work as a “change junky.” Join Andrew and Elisa for this engaging and energetic discussion on the evolution of the American Society of Interior Designers. #ASID’s Jessica Irizarry adds her perspective on the impact of change and the potential for value and growth.
Has the “rubber band of change” snapped? Dana Aragon of the National Society of Professional Engineers joins us for a broad and triggering conversation. From the band-aids of innovation used to get associations through the last 36 months to nonprofits reverting to the “way things have always been done”. Elisa, Andrew, and Dana deconstruct the association model and discuss how to survive and thrive despite “crisis burnout.”
What are the emerging trends and priorities impacting membership bodies in 2023? Elisa and Andrew take a look at the challenges and opportunities which they suggest leadership teams should be exploring in the year ahead.
All boards know that strategy is important; but almost all also find it daunting. Planning forces directors to confront a future they can only guess at. Worse, actually choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options, and a board may well fear that getting those decisions wrong will wreck their organisation's chances of long-term success. This week, to kick-off Season 4, Elisa and Andrew are joined by Larry Paska from the National Council for the Social Studies, who explains their formula for defining and delivering a strategic plan that is realising sustained success for the NCSS and its members.
A hundred years ago, we moved from working six day weeks to five, and we’re overdue for an update. As we progress through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the 4-day week is a proposed reduction in the work week from a standard 40 hours to 32 hours for the same pay and benefits. Through a variety of pilots across the world, this reduction has been proven to work for employees and employers. The pandemic made it clear we can find a better balance between work and life, and the results of the pilots demonstrate a growing willingness to widely adopt this new model of working. This week Elisa and Andrew are joined by Mark Downs, CEO of the Royal Society of Biology, which is participating in the latest UK pilot (as possibly the only membership body thus far to engage with the model), to discuss the impacts of a 4-day week on the organisation's productivity, staff wellbeing, and member engagement.Visit for more information on the global pilots.
Association management is a vocation; it is a profession; and for an increasing number of people, it is a career choice. It is a craft which requires a complex mix of skills, knowledge, and experience, dexterously combining knowledge of association culture, structure, and politics, with a whole spectrum of professional expertise, ranging from strategy and advocacy to marketing and event management, and everything in between. Defining and maintaining shared professional standards is therefore imperative for the long-term success of the profession. Elisa and Andrew are joined by sector specialist, CAE evangelist, and host of Nonprofit Conversations, Cecilia Sepp to discuss the transformative power of professional recognition and accreditation. 
Constructive relationships amongst association leadership are fundamental to an organisation's success but too often we've seen tensions emerge between volunteer leaders and association professionals. Unless we invest in our relationships, it can be far too easy for an association's leadership team to descend into an emotional quagmire. Elisa and Andrew explore the reasons why these tensions can exist and examine what can be done to ensure relationship success.
At this year's ASAE Annual Meeting, keynote speaker Marcus Whitney encouraged association professionals to reexamine their perception of innovation and offered practical lessons on how organizations could be creative and goal-oriented. But what else did we learn from #ASAE22? Elisa and Andrew are joined by association community specialist, blogger, and fellow podcaster, Kiki L'Italien to discuss the lessons learned from Nashville.You can listen to Kiki's podcast at 
After two years of unprecedented change for individuals and organizations both societally and globally, with their 2022 State of Membership Survey Fonteva wanted to learn not just about where associations have been, but where they are going. Many associations have adapted and evolved as the needs and expectations of their members have changed and many have stepped into numerous roles to lead and be a resource for their industries or professions. So what is the state of membership? Jay Daughtry joins Elisa and Andrew to assess. Fonteva's summary report is available at and the full survey results can be downloaded at 
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is a non-partisan scientific organization which represents a broad spectrum of opinions united under one principle: the promotion and advancement of scientific inquiry, discovery, and communication. Within the context of its diverse membership, the ESA has devised a successful approach to engaging in topics of broad  social interest, including statements on Why Black Lives Matter to Entomology at the start of the George Floyd movement, the January 6  insurrection (Our Place in Democracy), the Hidden Costs of War (in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine), and the recent ruling from the Supreme Court on Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization (On Women's Pursuit of Science). We contend that a modern membership organization has an obligation to participate in societal debate and to influence social narratives wherever possible; and in Episode 60 of #associationtransformation, Elisa and Andrew are joined by Chris Stelzig, Executive Director of the ESA who explains the organization's methods for addressing social responsibilities through constructive dialogue and informed debate. If you're not at the table, then you're probably on the menu.
Maintaining diverse income streams is (or should be) a ubiquitous priority for association leaders. While the pandemic focused our attention on new approaches to securing non-dues revenue, post-pandemic it is incumbent on us to to sustain partnerships and innovations that underpin financial strength, promote business resilience, and support the development of an equally diverse value proposition. As we celebrate our 2nd birthday, Elisa and Andrew are joined by Patrick Wilson, growth strategist and President of The Profitable Association to explore alternative income formulas for modern membership organizations. 
This week's episode is sponsored by our friends at Cambridge Publishing Ltd ( Elisa and Andrew are joined by Martin Bewick, Senior Content Strategist at CPL to explore the value of devising an association's content strategy and the impact of cultivating a content culture.  There is no single 'right' model and Martin helps us understand the process for creating a content strategy that works hand-in-hand with your wider business, marketing and communications plans to ensure you tell a consistent story to your members.Download CPL's report on Channelling the future at 
How's life in Association World? What are the priorities? What are we talking about and what should we be talking about? This week Elisa and Andrew spend time exploring the subjects that pique their interest as they reflect on the ongoing development and focus of membership organisations since launching Association Transformation nearly two years ago.
Salesforce recently published its 7th annual report on marketing within the global nonprofit environment. Over 8,200 marketing professional from more than 30 countries were surveyed on the shifts which have occurred in marketing strategies, priorities, and challenges during 2021. It makes insightful reading and this week Elisa and Andrew are joined by marketing specialists Lorraine Cox, CMktr and Stefan Bradham, CAE to explore recent changes and trends in content strategy, member engagement, data innovation, and digitisation. You can download the report at Mark Schafer's book Marketing Rebellion: the most human company wins can be ordered at 
Ahead of their session at the this year's ASAE's annual meeting in Nashville, Jessica Irizarry, Michelle Runge, and Elisa share their views with Andrew on the imperative to elevate awareness of and appreciation for the centrality of component relations amongst associations. Register for the 2022 ASAE Annual Meeting at 
Organizations that employ the strategy of Continuous Disruptive Innovation (CDI) are a rare breed. They require disruptive leadership teams who create tremendous long-term value by nurturing periods of sustained ideation and value creation. They build platforms or networks that give rise to the development of a series of offerings, each of which creates further disruption within an industry.  Think Google. Think Apple. Elisa and Andrew begin to explore the basics of CDI and consider ways in which the membership world can apply the principles of CDI to the long-term development (and redevelopment) of their value propositions.
The House of Agile

The House of Agile


The last two years have seen unprecedented disruption across the world and businesses have had to adapt to survive. In 2017, McKinsey wrote a report called the Five Trademarks of Agile Organisation. Today's guests, Marcia Philpin explains how she adapted the five trademarks and developed the FPM's House of Agile to nurture, sustain, and grow the FPM during the pandemic.Marcia's article can be read at Registration for the IAL's Essence of Leadership Summit is found at 
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