2009 News

On trying to map membership

We had a great dinner for CEOs of the organisations involved in the Future of Membership project last night, which followed a productive – if exhausting – day of scenario planning for the full project think tank last week.

Over supper, we got into a long discussion as to why we have membership.  It’s a question that’s come up again and again throughout the project – what do we mean by membership?  Often, it really it depends on what each organisation says it is. 

We’ve tried througho...

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I am what I read?

For a while, my news mainly came from the RSS feeds I chose to come into my netvibes account.  This was a form of personalising the news I received grouped into things more likely to interest me (so tabs for politics, culture, the third sector, technology etc) – still in the main from news providers and journals, but divided up by topic not source. Then I started to use my network on delicious to find my way  to articles that friends and colleagues had bookmarked as being of interest.  Increa...

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Walled gardens and climbing over fences

Last week I spoke at the NCVO Membership schemes conference on what the future of membership might look like. I raised one of the key things that has struck me in our research to date: the difference between recruitment and retention for membership organisations.  As Colin Rochester puts it in his Making Sense of Volunteering,

“the cocktail of motives that lead people to engage [in the first place] may be very different from the factors that maintain their involvement”

In general – and I’d ...

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More on whether we get what we pay for

A while ago, I wrote a piece on the ‘freemium’ model that seems to be growing in relevance as people’s patterns of consumption of information and products, and their willingness to pay for them. 

If you are interested in this topic and have a spare few minutes over the weekend, you might like to take a look at this slideshow (warning - there are 263 slides). Since we're all time poor, I thought I'd highlight that of particular interest to membership organisations are slides 200, 216 and 2...

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Social media and membership organisations

The apparent threat (or opportunity) that social technology presents to membership organisations is summed up in the subtitle to Clay Shirky’s zeitgeisty book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of organizing without organizations. If ‘everybody’ can organise action by themselves (or rather, together), what possible reason is there for organisations to exist?

The first answer is, of course, that ‘everybody’ is not coming quite yet. Older people in particular – precisely those who, demographical...

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Ready for change? Highlights from the Conservative Party conference

After Labour’s conference (see here for my thoughts), last week was the Conservatives’ turn. As the party steams ahead in the polls, all eyes were on them in the hope that the conference would provide us with a better idea of some of the things they would do if their poll ratings translate into success at the ballot box. One of the main criticisms levelled at them has been their lack of concrete policies. Though realistically this is probably to be expected of a party not in government that ...

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How important is the voluntary sector in public service delivery?

As we approach the chancellor’s autumn statement and a likely general election in Spring 2010 the debate over public spending levels is in full swing. What’s more, the language of cuts is now official government terminology: it’s no longer if, it’s now when, and how much. Everything is under review, which organisations in the voluntary sector – who are both delivering services to users and fighting for their rights – both fear and welcome. The mood is one of both trepidation and anticipation. ...

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The Labour party conference, their priorities and the power of the media

Party conference season is often a time of great political plotting, posturing and blunders so will this year’s conferences hammer the last nail into in the coffin of either of the two main parties? Or will they give us a clearer sense of what the parties would do if they were to win the next General Election? A successful conference for Labour or equally a bad performance by the Conservatives could mean the outcome of the General Election is still very much up for grabs.

This week was the Labo...

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Legacies feeling the nip?

The latest findings from the Legacy Foresight’s Legacy Monitor service have been released. This survey benchmarks 38 of the UK’s leading charities, who together account for 44% of the legacies market. Their quarterly benchmarking helps set the scene around legacies and how they are being affected by, for example the recession.

Megan reported on the last quarter, ending that Legacy Foresight expected to see legacy incomes decline by up to 10%.

Well we're not quite at that trough yet! Compared t...

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Hitting the big numbers

Just the other day the FTSE 100 index hit 5,000 for the first time in nearly a year.  As mentioned in our driver, stock market levels are mainly driven by confidence. So does this recent bounce mean we are seeing confidence in the UK stockmarket growing? Breaking the 5000 points barrier led to a fair number of news articles proclaiming the start of the end of the recession. An equal amount of media space has been dedicated to the Kraft takeover bid for Cadburys. Some see take overs (mergers and...

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