Five Ways to Build a Strong Membership

Twice in my career I have run membership organizations. In each case building membership was important to our work. And I learned a lot about that from others who had been building membership successfully for years. These are five of the better tactics for building and retaining a strong and lasting membership in my experience:Continue reading “Five Ways to Build a Strong Membership”

The Lettuce Tower

I have been a gardener my whole life and Lisa and I have now established eight large raised-bed gardens behind our home in Fort Collins. My mother and sister were florists, my dad ran a lawn mower business and my grandparents were farmers. Growing things has always given me a source of renewal and connectionContinue reading “The Lettuce Tower”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival

Knowing we would be on the Big Island of Hawaii by March 21, we looked at the calendar and saw the BIG ISLAND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL put together by the Kona Cacao Association scheduled for March 22-23. Oh my. How do you resist something that has three of your favorite things in its title? What aContinue reading “The Big Island Chocolate Festival”

Seven Ways to Connect with a Large Audience

My wife says that I can sleep anywhere. I’m pretty sure that is true. I slept in church as a kid, snoozed my way through large lecture halls in college, and I’ve never survived a planetarium program without a nap. It’s easy to look out at a very large audience and lapse back into lecturingContinue reading “Seven Ways to Connect with a Large Audience”

Beware the Memorized Spiel

I once attended a guided tour of a large, expensive visitor center for a major religious group in the United States. Elders of the church met people at the door of the center to offer a free, guided tour. I joined a tour and our group obediently followed the guide as he delivered what wasContinue reading “Beware the Memorized Spiel”

Mto wa Mbu, A Great Cultural Tour in Tanzania

February 5 to 16, 2013, we’ll be in Tanzania to host a photo safari/ecotour with World Discovery Safaris and Safari Legacy. One of my favorite stops on this particular itinerary is Mto wa Mbu, near the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park. Mto wa Mbu (which translates to Mosquito River) is a community in centralContinue reading “Mto wa Mbu, A Great Cultural Tour in Tanzania”

Teach a Child to Give

Giving is a behavior that children learn from parents and role models. Giving gifts is one of the traditions built into our winter holidays. Some give toys, clothes and games to their kids. Some give their kids money. There are some other opportunities in this season that might be good to think about. We canContinue reading “Teach a Child to Give”

Join Us On Safari Feb. 5-16 to Tanzania

If a safari in Africa is on your bucket list, there will never be a better time than now to visit the Serengeti in Tanzania. A proposal to build a highway across this pristine plain could threaten the wildlife migrations of the future. We hope it will not be built but too often this kindContinue reading “Join Us On Safari Feb. 5-16 to Tanzania”

Fall Festival at the Foot of Mount Fuji

We recently returned from speaking engagements in Korea and a visit with Masa Shintani and his family in Fujinomiya, Japan. Our friends lived in the town of Shibakawa until 2010 when it was incorporated into Fujinomiya, a city of about 130,000. Since 1942 this city has grown from the merging of several very old smallContinue reading “Fall Festival at the Foot of Mount Fuji”

Enjoyable or Engaging?

One of the most commonly quoted characteristics of interpretation is “enjoyable.” Sam Ham was one of the first to mention this term as a trait of what he calls the “interpretive approach to communication.” This makes sense to me – after all, if people are in a leisure setting and have chosen to be there,Continue reading “Enjoyable or Engaging?”