Daily Buzz: When It’s OK to Break the Rules

You want your members to be happy—but unintentional negative interactions with your staff could prove a major turnoff. Also: The National Confectioners Association is offering more health information and options for its sweet treats.

Why is it that some organizations treat their members poorly?

“My guess is that it is unintentional,” says Colleen Dilenschneider on Know Your Own Bone, which focuses on the needs of cultural organizations like museums. She says this happens when “membership police”—staff or volunteers who interact with members or the public at large—unwittingly condescend, embarrass, or hew too closely to the rules.

Research shows that the top-three dissatisfiers among high-level members paying over $250 each year are (1) solicitation telephone calls, (2) not being treated as special onsite, and (3) proving identity at the entrance,” Dilenschneider says. “Not being treated as special and having to show identification being perceived as a negative experience underscore a general failing by the membership police to make members feel valued.”

While membership rules are important, Dilenschneider recommends easing up some. “Personalized interactions matter, and while membership ‘rules’ exist for good reason, there may be times when it is best for the organization that they are broken,” she says.

More Sweets, Please

Buying a chocolate heart for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? In an effort to give consumers more information about the treats they love, the National Confectioners Association is working with chocolate and candy companies, alongside Partnership for a Healthier America, to offer more options.

“We know that most Americans enjoy chocolate and candy two to three times per week, including at special candy moments like Valentine’s Day,” said John Downs, NCA president and CEO, in a press release. “The gift giving tradition spans generations and is a highlight of the holiday. But we know that people are also interested in understanding how they can make informed choices about the treats they enjoy at the holiday—and throughout the year.”

Part of this effort includes that half of their individually wrapped sweets will be 200 calories or less by 2022. More chocolate and less calories? There’s no candy-coating this good news.

Other Links of Note

Can augmented reality and bots promote a more positive nonprofit culture? Nonprofit thought leader Beth Kanter investigates.

To make civic engagement efforts effective, the Stanford Social Innovation Review recommends starting with these small steps.

What’s your marketing IQ? Nonprofit Marketing Guide explains the different levels of nonprofit marketing maturity.

(RapidEye/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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