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And just like that, another year is in the books. While 2022 brought about a brighter outlook and plenty of innovation, particularly in the world of Web3 and AI, many associations are still looking to strengthen as an organization and look for ways to empower and connect with members as they look ahead to slightly uncertain times. 

Luckily, plenty of those trends came up in much of the content we produced at Sidecar – which is why we’re putting together our annual list of top blogs. In 2022, we published over 120 articles covering everything from what tech layoffs can teach us about hiring trends to how to prepare for your first association conference

And while it’s always tough to choose favorites, we’re making it easy with a mix of metric-based picks and my favorites. So, without further ado, we’ll start with the seven most-visited blogs on our site this year. 

1. Essential Interview Questions for Board of Directors

For associations, boards of directors play a critical role in an organization's strategic vision and growth. And while every organization has a unique way of finding board members, most rely on an interview process. Our post covers essential questions interviewees should use to find the ideal candidates. 

Related: Building a Board of Directors Onboarding Plan Learn More >

2. Steal the Template: Welcome Letter to New Members

What is the best way to make new members stay? Make them feel welcome from day 1. This post is a long-time favorite and outlines all the essential components of a welcome letter, including an easy-to-use template and some other helpful insights for onboarding new members. 

3. Declining Membership in Professional Organizations and What You Can Do About It

Understanding why membership is declining is key as we look to future-proof our organizations. From concerns over costs to difficulty connecting with younger members, there are more than a few areas associations should be looking to address. 

We explore some common causes of declining membership in professional organizations and strategies and mindset changes to help prepare your organization for the future. 

4. Association Newcomer: Types of Associations

In 2022 we launched our Association Newcomer series. Tailored to help new professionals in the association space, we covered various topics, including the basics of associations, the importance of volunteering and insights into committee roles.

In this post, we explore the different types of associations out there and how their categorization impacts their goals and purpose. 

5. What is Purpose-Driven Leadership?

Associations are purpose-driven organizations, which means the folks at the helm also should be. But what does purpose-driven leadership mean and what characteristics should you look to acquire to lead your association? We’ve got you covered. 

6. 5 Change Management Best Practices for Maximum Success

Change can be difficult, particularly in organizations with long-standing traditions and processes. But as many associations learned during the pandemic, being nimble is essential to surviving in potentially turbulent times. 

We explore fundamental change management principles that can help organizations of all types take on those big challenges. 

7. 8 Ways to Prioritize Employee Work-Life Balance

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, associations are still trying to find balance in the new world of work. Whether your organization returned to the office, established a hybrid schedule or went fully remote, the concern for work-life balance has never been higher.

Read the post to learn strategies leaders can use to set the tone. 

Bonus: My Personal Faves

Of course, it can’t all be about metrics. We’re very proud of the work we do and wanted to also include a few articles that truly reflect our content goals – sharing diverse voices and telling unique stories. 

8. How This Nonprofit Raised Every Staffer’s Salary to a $70K Minimum

As purpose-driven organizations remain hyper-focused on driving results for their mission, they sometimes forget how that work happens – through the people on staff. At the height of the pandemic, and as many organizations were looking to cut costs, Choose 180 opted to raise their starting salary to $70K instead. 

And while it did help retain staff, the decision had more to do with creating an equitable workplace, particularly for those who we ask to do the toughest work for our communities. 

9. We Rewrote Sidecar’s Core Values: Here’s How & Why

As Verne Harnish puts it, core values are the rules we create to help define an organization's culture and personality. However, sometimes organizations take that to mean – write values your members or customers would want to see – instead of getting into the nitty gritty. 

When we rewrote Sidecar’s core values, we did exactly that. We reflected on the anecdotes that truly reflected who we were as a team and organization, and it was such a fun and rewarding experience that I hope others can learn from. 

10. Everything You Need to Know About Board Diversity

As more organizations focus on their DEI efforts, they often forget that unless changes are made at the highest levels of an organization, those efforts won’t get very far. For associations, boards of directors impact the future of an organization – and whether it’s because of their governance or pipeline – it often lacks the diversity of their membership. 

We had a chance to talk to association leaders to explore the importance of board diversity, common roadblocks and what organizations can start doing today to fix the problem. 

Coming to Sidecar in 2023

Coming off our annual planning meeting, there are plenty of exciting things coming down the Sidecar pipeline. And while you may have to wait for some of those announcements in the new year, there are some things you can put on your calendar now before you schedule that holiday out-of-office reply! 

  • Starting January 19: Empower your association leaders of the future with our 8-week leadership bootcamp! Join us and Daniel Stoian, a career diplomat and Fellow at Harvard University, to learn how to connect your leadership style with the mission of an organization and develop strategies to gain the confidence you need to lead an association. 
  • January 17: In partnership with The Art of Mentoring Academy and The Center for Mentoring Excellence, we’ll dive into what a successful virtual mentorship program looks like and explore best practices when building a mentoring relationship. 
  • digitalNow 2023 is heading to Aurora, CO, November 2-4, 2023 and you can already book your tickets for some added savings. Not only will you learn about cutting-edge tech and strategies from organizations already using them, but you can also expect to leave with everything you need to begin experimenting.

We’re super proud of the work we accomplished in 2022 and hope you’ll join us for more in 2023. Be sure you follow us on social and subscribe to our newsletter, the Sidecar Scoop

From myself and everyone on the Sidecar team, we wish you happy holidays and an amazing 2023! 

Jose Triana
Post by Jose Triana
December 15, 2022
Jose Triana is a writer and creative focused on helping purpose-driven organizations learn and find value online. When he isn't working on content, you can catch him going for a run or resting with a good book.