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Cybersecurity: What is it?

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We’ve all heard the term cybersecurity before, but what does it mean? Cybersecurity, at its simplest form, is the protection of electronic intellectual property, whether it be from theft, damage or service disruption. Think of cybersecurity as the doorman to the building that houses your organization’s most important data. The Importance of Cybersecurity Cybersecurity is imperative to the retention of intellectual property to large associations and small businesses alike. It was reported as of 2019 that 50% of all cybersecurity attacks were against small businesses. This makes cybersecurity equally important, if not more so, to small businesses. The barrier to …

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The Importance of Fundraising through Social Media for Organizations

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If you are reading this article right now you’re probably reading it through some sort of social media. Internet users have among 5 to 6 different social media accounts. In this modern era, it is safe to say that most of us use our social media accounts a lot. We use it to connect with friends, family, and coworkers. We also use it to engage with posts, pictures, and pages from causes and organizations we care about. Since people use social media 24/7 in order to connect with others and things that matter, it’s only logical that online fundraising would …

Thinking outside the box: Maverick Organizations

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There is an electrifying thrill that runs up the spine when your organization becomes a maverick in your industry. You know your mission has the chance to change the world. To make this a reality, your playbook needs to adapt from orthodox templates. Are you looking for a cohort to display examples of best practices but still experiencing a challenge finding the next step?  Expand your mind. I find great value in widening my scope to learn from different fields outside the target industry I am working in. Developing hobbies I’ve let grow dormant or reading up on topics a …

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Finding Valuable Mentorship

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Who pushes you to explore your inner potential to excel in the boardroom and beyond? Identifying quality mentors within the current professional landscape takes the ability to see that almost everyone you encounter has something they can teach you. Taking from an exercise from my recently published inspirational journal, 30 Days of Extraordinary: A Guided Journaling Process to a Fulfilled Life, you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. Take a moment to imagine a dining table, set to your liking. Now imagine welcoming the frequent flyer guests of your life to take a seat at the …

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Association Event Planning: VPG Pro Tips

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Event planning can be a stressful task for many associations, but it doesn’t have to be. With over 25 annual conferences and events under our belt, Van Petten Group has compiled five tips to help your organization plan an engaging event. Step 1: Choose an ideal venue Each association has its own qualities, which define the organization. Our job as an association management company is to find what suits you best. Choosing the right venue can be a challenging task – especially if you have a limited budget. However, we will always choose a unique venue that is easily accessible, …

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Boardroom Wellness: Amplify Your Vision with Regular Assessment

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When breakthroughs are made for advancement of dynamic organizations, it is because many intricate systems have worked in harmony to output something brand new. It is integral to keep a close eye on the system that puts everything into motion, the board. Regular self assessment of the health of the board as a whole can be a beautiful method for breakdown prevention. When was the last time your board assessed your strengths and weaknesses? What might you find this time around that could open the door to supporting your mission even further? Assess for success. To ensure the passion of …

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Tips for Addressing Conflict: Is your Organization’s Conflict Style Constructive?

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While driving you forward, your organization is fueled by the ideas and perspectives of complex thinkers that look to the world with a studied gaze. With such unique and passionate visionaries at the helm, conflict can naturally bloom. Heated discussion can arise when deciding on best solutions. These kinds of conflicts have the ability to foster great change and advancement but only if they are addressed constructively. How will your board harness this heat to keep the mission at full tilt instead of looking to put out the fire and sweep it aside? Do you avoid conflict at all costs? …

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Your Meeting is Now, Where are You?: Tips for Being Present

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We live in an age of amazing freedom to connect with industry professionals all over the globe, but with this magic comes a price. You have the power to take a meeting while in a car traveling for a flight or going home for dinner with the kids, but when you do, how do you ground your focus in the task at hand? Do you feel like you could be doing better than you have, but need a nudge? If you take care to curate tools to access your full attention, you will bring your organization to the next level …

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Transform Amateur Speakers to MVPS (Most Valuable Presenters)

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Communicating the innovations of your organization’s field when led by passion has the opportunity to open minds and solve seemingly unsolvable problems. This is a interesting line to walk when ingenious experts who usually work in isolation and are not comfortable speaking to a crowd. Being able to share new concepts that could change how your field functions takes skills not always fully cultivated. Here are a few tips to turn your field experts into extraordinary speakers. Be confident in your stance before you even say a word. Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, reveals how body language communicates with your audience …

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Non-Profit Check-Up: Is Your Strategy Serving Your Organization to the Fullest?

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When you end a board call and feel the endorphins released by the enthusiasm of a great meeting of the minds, you know you are part of something special. There is no mistaking the feeling of true collaboration. When the people that make up organizations can come together and spark joy in each other, there is magic to be made. Setting this image as a goal to aim for is truly attainable when you have a clear mission and an inspired vision that will inform an evolving working strategy that your entire board understands and can get behind. Have you …