10 Ways to Drive Member Engagement and #LeverageChapters

Charlotte Muylaert

October 4, 2017

    What member engagement (and chapter engagement) success stories are Component Relations Professionals (CRPs) sharing these days?

    Find out for yourself. Here are ten ideas presented by CRPs at the only session at ASAE Annual that focused on chapters: Assign Value to Your Current and Future Association Chapters.

     1. Virtual Student Chapter Board

    The American Traffic Safety Services Association created a virtual chapter board for its student chapters. Like many associations, the average member age is 55 years old, so they’re experimenting with new ways to attract and keep a younger membership audience.

    2. Regional Task Force

    The Energy Bar Association holds annual meetings for regional chapters where volunteer leaders share best practices. The association also requests input from its regional chapters during strategic planning time.

     3. Virtual Chapter Leader Meetings

    One association moved their chapter leader meetings to web conferencing using Blue Jeans and Google Hangout—and saw participation increase.

    4. Chapter Listening Tour

     Staff and board members at the American Bar Association got in an RV and traveled across the country on a chapter listening tour. We’re reading and hearing more and more about associations doing listening tours. Cindy at the Association for Vascular Access travels to new chapters to help them get off the ground—and interacts with members to listen to their needs and expectations.

     5. Chapter Advisory Board

     The Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) established a chapter advisory board. Candidates for the board apply or are nominated and then voted on by CoSN’s board and chapter leaders with the board having final approval.

    The advisory board oversees and reviews chapter agreements and policies. It meets monthly and reviews each chapter’s annual strategic plan to make sure it’s aligned with CoSN’s. The advisory board reviews each chapter’s scorecard—a tool grading the chapter’s health and sustainability—and provides their recommendations for action.

    6. Component Accreditation

    One of the audience’s favorites was this idea from The American Institute of Architects. They enacted standards to ensure that all members across the country have a consistent and valuable experience regardless of their chapter’s size or location. To obtain accreditation, components must meet requirements in seven Core Member Services:

    • Member Communications
    • Education
    • Advocacy
    • Public Awareness
    • Governance
    • Membership
    • General Operations

    7. Rebates Tied to Chapter Assessment Report

    Twice a year, chapters of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International submit a chapter assessment report. This report has two parts: a chapter requirements section and a chapter scorecard. To receive rebates, chapters must complete the requirements and score at least 70 percent on the scorecard.

     8. Chapter Rewards Program

    Another association has an annual chapter rewards program that helps the association collect the information it needs and encourages chapters to operate at a higher level. Example criteria are 990 filings, member communications, and communicating their goals to national.

     9. Strategically Aligned Chapters

     At the American Society of Landscape Architects, chapters are considered a “strategic instrument.” They align and share their strategic priorities with national. Chapters are engaged throughout the strategic planning process and have opportunities to offer feedback to national.

    10. Virtual Chapters

    The American Society of Appraisers has members in China, Australia, and Europe thanks to virtual chapters. The association uses webinars and web conferencing to keep chapter members engaged in networking and education.

    Do have your own unique way of engaging with your chapters? Tweet us @Aptify

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