Gifts for association strategy folks

Some of you are winding down for the holidays, others are busily trying to land projects in the last days of 2015, or already gearing up for 2016.

But, it’s the giving time of year, so I thought I’d share some fantastic association strategy and management resources. Some of these I’ve been following for ages, some are newer discoveries… and all of them are worth checking out. (Scroll down for the one that, I’m sure everyone else will agree, is the absolute coolest.)

Associations Now

It’s not just quality – it’s the range and depth and freshness of topics. ASAE is the newsletter I open fastest, hands down. Usually inspiring, sometimes sobering, occasionally really funny. A great deal of the content is available to non-members, too. Website and twitter.

Driving Participation Podcast

No time to read? Listen instead! Iris Creative podcasts focus on building community & participation for associations & non-profits – download, stream, or read a transcript. Recent guests include CSAE CEO Michael Anderson, social media expert Kiki L’Italien. (Upcoming guests include me!) Check out a podcast.

Smooth the Path

Amanda Kaiser is a specialist in member research and marketing, which puts her at the heart of member-based organizations. Her blog is always thought-provoking (in surprisingly few words), always worth reading. Website and twitter.

Do More Great Work

Some of you also saw Michael Bungay Stanier at a CSAE event, so you know he’s a dynamic speaker exhorting us to do great work, not just good work. He’s got a plethora of resources on offer – many bite-sized – at his website – to help spur you on, and his book is also great.


It’s a good time of year to think about what feeds us, way beyond the intellectual. This is a weekly drop-in choir that I have only been able to get to a few times, but it’s been a real highlight of my year, to have the chance to come together with friends and friendly strangers for an evening and build a song together, no expertise required. They tell us the song in advance via Facebook, then we show up at the door, pay $5 for a lyric sheet, and by the end of the night we might sound like this (Adele’s Hello; John Lennon’s Imagine; Neil Young’s Harvest Moon). The group collectively got nominated for Torontonian of the year for their community-building.

Listen to  them in action & hear the leaders explain its genesis.

Hope you have a chance for community and renewal and maybe some song over the holiday season.

If you’d like to talk about how we can help you get 2016 off to a good start, please get in touch.

Contact us at or call 416-737-3935 to discuss how we might be able to help.


We offer resources to help leaders of associations and other not-for-profits think about their approach to strategy and governance, from various perspectives.