According the 2016 Chapter Benchmarking report, associations lean on chapters for member engagement, leadership development, membership recruitment, marketing/communications and local resources – rating these elements as ‘absolutely essential’ to ‘essential’ roles. The rub comes in their ratings on effectiveness in those areas – all of which generated a gap between importance and effectiveness.
For most associations this evaluation is largely based on limited metrics. In fact, while respondents mostly offer why they think chapters are worth the effort, they fall short of metrics that prove or disprove this thinking. So, why do associations still seek to keep or invest in chapters? What’s keeping associations in the game is likely that in the absence of knowing if there is a return on investment, they carry on.