Are you ready to make an impact for your association?

By • March 26, 2014

Through the routine of daily tasks, are you staying alert for opportunities to make something spectacular happen?

Over the weekend, my University of Miami Hurricanes won their baseball series against the University of Virginia thanks in part to this amazing catch by outfielder Dale Carey.


Even a casual baseball fan knows that baseball is not a continuous action game like hockey or basketball. A typical baseball game consists of nine innings that can run hours, with long periods in which very little hitting or running happens, and a final score that you can count on one hand.

But, baseball players know they must always be on high alert during the game, because the next big play might happen at any moment. And if something goes wrong, everyone at the ballpark knows who made the mistake—YOU! You can’t pin it on anyone else. Ball and bat could connect for a pop-up to center field. A runner could decide that now is the perfect moment to streak toward third base for a steal. Moments like these, and how quickly the opposing players react, often make the difference between winning and losing.

Association life can mirror a baseball game. There are sometimes long stretches of time with little high-profile activity. But there are still opportunities to make a huge impact for your members, your industry, and your association in a flash.

Consider these scenarios:

  • At a social function, you meet an industry colleague who is on the fence about membership in your association – at a time when your membership is on the decline. What will you tell them?
  • A first-time attendee at your conference looks intimidated as they wander aimlessly around the ballroom where your networking reception is going on. How could you change their experience?
  • A sudden event in the news shines a spotlight (positive or negative) on the product or service your industry supplies. Can you respond quickly and thoroughly enough to shape public opinion favorably and catapult your association into the go-to position for information from non-members?

We all know there’s more to association life than processing membership renewal paperwork and hosting your annual education day. Are you ready for those more exciting moments that make the day-to-day worth the work? Are you preparing for the moment when you can impact your association’s well-being for the better? Is it worth it to give your all every day, even if the everyday is a little, well, boring?

Outfielder Dale Carey probably thinks so. His diving catch earned him the No. 1 spot on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 plays on Saturday.

Kelly Donovan is the team leader for online marketing at Naylor.