Welcome to Blog Watchdog! As always, I must remind you that I'm a paid freelance writer for McKinley Marketing.
You have no doubt been inundated recently with horror stories about the economy and the fiscal future (and present) of our country. What's an association executive to do when faced with the question, "How does all this affect me and my association?" The October 2008 edition of McKinley Marketing's Blog Watchdog focuses on weathering the economic downturn. Read carefully and think about bookmarking them as part of your regular "must-read" list!
First up we hear from a relative newcomer to the community of association bloggers, Bruce Hammond. Sometimes, a tough economic period can be a sobering wake-up call for associations. Bruce recommends taking a step back from the crisis to evaluate products and services with a discriminating eye. Specifically, he suggests asking these questions: What are specific ways to bring in more non-dues revenue? What tactics might stretch our dues revenue further? Read the rest of his questions and more.
Associations that rely on donations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of an economic crisis. The theory goes that as disposable income decreases, donors will be less inclined to give to causes they might support in good times. Nonprofits need to be extra smart to meet their year-end fund raising goals. Not to fear! On the NTEN blog, Randy McCabe of M-Power shares five practical tactics that can help your foundation "do it right when the money's tight."
In another fascinating blog posting, a tenured association executive and blogging newbie has something to say about strategy during a down economy. Kerry Stackpole says don't panic and don't get distracted. "Stick to the knitting," he says. "Knowing where your organization excels, revisiting your core
competencies and making sure you are executing on plan are more
important than ever in difficult financial times." His recommendation is that staying focused gives you a better chance of weathering the storm.
Not satisfied with simply weathering the storm? Then let's rewind the clock and go back to August, when Kevin Holland offered up a few tips on how to increase revenue in a shrinking economy. In a nutshell: 1) Create tangible products that meet a member need, 2) Continue to spend your marketing budget, 3) Focus on membership retention efforts, 4) Create programs for niche audiences in your target market and 5) Experiment. This post is definitely worth reading in full.
As always, if you have feedback or a tip, e-mail bkmcae at gmail dot com.