NAADA eNewsletter
October 2014

NAADA Connections


From the President

Keith BarberDear NAADA Friends,

Fall is here, bringing with it numerous opportunities to fulfill our missions on campuses across the country. Tailgates and ballgames…prospective student tours…fall publications…end of year giving—the list goes on and on. Hopefully something you’ve learned through your connections with NAADA is helping you steward these activities and relationships better than ever. 

The NAADA Board eagerly seeks to fulfill its mission as well. At our fall meeting (St. Paul, September 22-23), we spent a portion of our time drawing on the creativity theme from last summer’s conference. We sought to establish annual objectives using the past as a foundation and the future as an open road. To me, this is one of the most crucial ideals an association such as ours can have: respecting the past while focusing on the future. 

Think of it this way. When you drove to campus today, what did you see from the driver’s seat of your vehicle? Can we agree that we each saw two prominent tools? A rearview mirror and a windshield are exceptionally important to safely navigate any road (especially on a college campus!). The rearview mirror is essential to knowing where we’ve been, what might be approaching from behind, and what we might have missed. The windshield is crucial because it reveals what’s current, while also providing clear site to opportunities and obstacles that lay ahead. In my truck, the area of the windshield is 77 times larger than that of the rearview mirror. This is a daily reminder that while I need to reflect on the past, it’s the future that will make the difference.

Over the next several months we’ll celebrate NAADA’s first 40 years. As we do so, we’ll continue to check the mirror and keep focused on the windshield – respecting our past while focusing our vision on what’s to come. May the impacts of such thinking be experienced by the association and each of its members.

Let me know how we’re doing.
Keith Barber

Keith may be reached at

Guaranteed Investment Winner: Your Association Dues

By David C. Ewald, CAE, President & CEO, Ewald Consulting,

A finance professor in 1986 taught me an important lesson that I have applied to my work with associations. I, along with most of my classmates, squirmed in our seats counting the moments until the end of a three-hour lecture on present and future value calculations — hard stuff, at least for me it was. We groaned when he went over his alloted time for the course. How could he do that? Then came “the lesson.” Stopping the FV/PV lecture, he said, “I’ll bet the education field is the only one where the customer wants to pay full price to a vendor and receive less ‘product’ than the vendor is willing to give.” Good food for thought, professor. We left. The professor’s idea applies well to the association world. Many members of associations pay their dues and then neglect to collect the full (or more) value by failing to lead or participate in the many opportunities the association offers for little or no cost.

A favorite question I like to ask board members is this: “If you could be convinced to pay 10 times your current dues to the association, what would it do to your (your company’s) participation?” The response is always the same. That member would become much more invested in the association because he would need to make sure his company saw a good return on its investment. If that is the case at 10 times the dues, then why not get an even quicker return by “investing” now at a lower price? Here are some ways to get more out of your membership:

Serve on a committee or board
Participating in the work of a committee or board will help you or your staff members develop leadership skills that will serve you well. You will be networking and “in the know” regarding what is going on in the industry. You will become appreciated as a leader. That can set you up for future growth in the association — or other leadership opportunities.

Sponsor or host something
Associations are usually looking for sponsors of meetings, events and publications to help keep costs low for members. Kicking in a few dollars to sponsor a breakfast will get recognition for your company, plus a lot of appreciation. Host a tour of your company and have a roundtable discussion about issues you and others face. They’ll appreciate it and you and your staff will enjoy showing off what you do.

Attend training events
Association-sponsored events are usually one of the best deals going in continuing education. Usually they are run to make (at most) a small profit. Programs provide great networking opportunities for you and your staff and are another way to become visible in the industry.

Get your staff involved
Would you like to magnify the value of your membership? Get more staff members involved. The value of your membership is limited only to you if other staffers don’t hear about training events or participate in leadership opportunities. When you get staff involved, they grow in their careers and they learn about their (your) industry. Importantly, attendance at association events can be an affordable “perk” to give your staff that will leave them recharged when they return to work.

Share an idea
Afraid your competitor will learn what you are doing and use it to capture the market? After 25 years in the field, I’ve never heard of it. In my opinion, many industries are more likely to be put out of business by their work being outsourced to another country or by a competitor that isn’t yet in the business than by a current competitor down the street. Share what you know, learn from them and get better together! Share the ideas by writing newsletter articles, teaching a course or participating in roundtables.

Many saw portfolios shrink beginning with the crash in 2008. Through that time, associations have continued to provide one of the best returns on investment. Like the stock market, a member can’t just invest her money in an association and hope for great returns. The good news is that unlike the market, investing in your association pays dividents no matter what the state of the economy — as long as you decide to take an interest in it. Pay closer attention to the strength of your association commitment and I’m sure you will see the rewards. Share your stories with me at

David C. Ewald, CAE, is President & CEO at Ewald Consulting, an Association Management Company headquartered in St. Paul, MN with offices in Chicago. He can be reached at or at 651-290-6276.

The Value of NAADA – Time to Renew Your Membership!

By Joe Leisz, CFRE, Colorado State University,

Fall is in the air, it's Homecoming Season, and from here at CSU in Fort Collins I can see snow on the peaks. I was thinking about NAADA and the warm Texas wind I’ll be experiencing this summer when I was driving through the snow Monday night to visit some donors on their ranch. It was a comforting thought.

Many thoughts actually: educational sessions, travel adventures, behind the scenes tours I’d never dreamed of, friends from a career, colleagues who’ve helped get through tricky alumni activities, fundraising frustrations, and so much more…

NAADA is a unique and valuable organization. We make it that way, and its value is demonstrated year after year by the lessons we learn which help us all reach new heights with record student enrollment, glossy newsletters and informative websites that keep our alumni engaged, fundraising goals exceeded (and the impact realized from the buildings, research and scholarships those funds support), and so much more.

It’s time to renew your membership in NAADA. Invoices will be going out soon, but you can beat the rush and renew online now (we’d greatly appreciate it). If you are a current member, you MUST be logged into your company primary member account in order to renew. If you are a former NAADA member and would like to return to full membership, click here to Renew your NAADA Membership.

Please help keep our organization strong as we celebrate our 40th year – and thanks for your support!

I hope to see you and all of our NAADA members at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas from June 16-19, 2015.

2015 NAADA Annual Conference – Call for Proposals

The NAADA Education Committee invites education session proposals for the annual conference of alumni, communications, development, student affairs professionals and alumni volunteers of land grant universities and colleges of agriculture and related sciences. This year’s conference will be held June 16-19, 2015 at Texas A&M University. The deadline to submit proposals is November, 15, 2014. Feel free to send your ideas for potential topics and speakers to the Education Committee Chair, Jennifer Shike.

The following program goals for the NAADA 2015 conference sessions will guide the Education Committee in selecting from proposed sessions. Session proposals are strongly encouraged to support these goals:

  • Provide a conference climate which inspires creativity and innovation that generates fresh ideas from within and across each professional area of NAADA.
  • Deliver thought-provoking and engaging programming to stimulate learning and sharing that promotes creative approaches to change.
  • Empower professionals to seek creative ideas and solutions for greater impact and increased success through collaboration and networking at home and with NAADA partners.

The theme of the 2015 conference is Make your MOVE. Motivate. Organize. Visualize. Empower. Our hope is that the educational components of this conference will help every NAADA professional do just that!

>>Submit a Proposal HERE

We look forward to hearing from you!

VCB Recording Available

In case you missed it, the Virtual Coffee Break on "Ag Alumni Travel Opportunities" was recorded and is available in the Knowledge Center. Feel free to share this recording with those who may be interested in your institution.

Welcome New Members

Help us welcome our new NAADA members. Feel free to drop them a note of welcome!

Mark Scott, University of Arkansas, Communications
J.J. Pitman, University of Arkansas, Development
Terry Bumgardner, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences, Development
Jessica Munson, Washington State University, Alumni
Chrissy Shelton, Washington State University, Development
Mark Langworthy, University of Missouri, Development
Colleen Abbott, University of Missouri, Volunteer
Jack Boles, University of Arkansas, Alumni
Mark Cochrane, University of Arkansas, Dean
Katie Gazda, University of Georgia, Alumni
Elliott Marsh, University of Georgia, Alumni

Back to Top

NAADA Headquarters
1000 Westgate Drive
Suite 252
St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: (651) 203-7246