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June 1, 2010 
Advocacy Matters,
No Really

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Advocacy is often the toughest value to communicate to members. Association for Career and Technical Education executive director Janet Bray tells us about her efforts to make what happens on the Hill hit home for the organization's 30,000 members.
Association for Career and Technical Education CEO Janet Bray
Janet says 5-10% of members love and understand advocacy, 10-15% support it, and the rest are ambivalent and think it'll happen whether they support it or not. She says she's made an increased effort to show the connection between the association's advocacy and the daily lives of educators, even if the impact doesn't seem as direct as attending a conference or receiving a magazine. ACTE launched a blog less than a year ago to talk about policy issues, meetings with legislators, and how they impact members. When a piece of legislation passes, Janet says it's critical to let members know how the association was involved. But sometimes it can take a crisis for people to see what they've taken for granted. It wasn't until a financial mess seven years ago put ACTE's very existence under question that people started to stick up for the importance of its work.
Socious - mini
Association for Career and Technical Education CEO Janet Bray
Janet tells us she's worked at seven associations. (It's even how she met her husband, Dick Bray, who worked for ASAE before retiring. The couple first got to know each other at the American Society for Microbiology, where she was in education and he was in meetings.) Janet says during her tenure in the association world, she's seen too many execs who think their job is simply to carry out the wishes of the board. Instead, she says leaders should be helping boards understand what they need to tell the leaders to do. Ultimately leadership, not management, moves an organization forward.
What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell is at the top of Janet's reading list. She tells us she recently got to hear the author speak at a Higher Education Leadership Summit hosted by Apple. The book contains a collection of Gladwell's New Yorker articles. One of her favorite tidbits is about the three components of meaningful work: a sense of control and autonomy, a higher purpose, and recognition. And speaking of meaningful work, Janet passed on some job advice from a former grad school professor: Always have three months salary in the bank so you have the freedom to leave.

Household Giving on the Rise
charitable giving
Whether it's ol' fashioned guilt on the rise, or just more families finding coins in the couch, household charitable giving is expected to rebound 3-4.5% this year for a total between $222 billion and $227 billion, according to a new report from Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. The study, published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is based on a new model that looks at an array of data from the Federal Reserve to the National Association of Realtors and beyond. In 2009, household giving amounted to $217.3 billion, a nearly 5% decrease from $228.5 billion in 2008.

Foodie Flash Mob
National Restaurant Association flash mob
A month ago, we profiled Dance/MetroDC, a non-profit using flash mobs to promote its Dance is the Answer campaign. Now, another organization has caught on. The National Restaurant Association organized the first ever foodie flash mob at its annual trade show in Chicago last week to the tune of Lady Gaga's "Just Dance." What organization will catch flash mob fever next?
Send story ideas to reporter Jessica Sidman, jessica@bisnow.com.
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