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The Mystical World of Chapter ROI

Author: Charlotte Muylaert, Billhighway

Knowledge Bank > Article > The Mystical World of Chapter ROI

What Is Discussed In This Article?

Unicorns are impossible to find. ROI doesn’t have to be. This article explores the challenges that get in the way of tracking and driving chapter ROI and how the right data can be your best friend. We explored the challenges that get in the way of tracking and driving chapter ROI and how the right data can be your best friend.

The Mystical World of Chapter ROI

 

We continue to hear the same question being asked – are chapters worth it? Our guts tell us yes, but having the numbers to prove it is much more challenging. We continue to hear the same question being asked – are chapters worth it? Our guts tell us yes, but having the numbers to prove it is much more challenging. It’s Not All Rainbows & Roses.

  • Only 5% of associations calculate ROI*
  • 1/3 of associations have no performance assessment for chapters*

*Source: Mariner Management & Marketing LLC’s 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Report 

In a recent webinar, we unpacked this concept of chapter ROI. Why is it so hard to calculate? How can it be turned into something manageable? Where do you even begin? See the key takeaways below, as well as links to the complete presentation and recorded webinar.

 

Obstacles to ROI

 

Unique Chapter Challenges

  • Dysfunctional leadership
  • Strategic misalignment
  • National opposition
  • Volunteer burnout
  • Inability to recruit new members

 

Communication Challenges

  • Misalignment with national
  • Communication cadence, frequency and style
  • Quality control & value proposition

 

Staffing Challenges

  • Average association has 3.3 full-time employees*
  • 65% rely on chapter volunteer leadership*

*Source: Mariner Management & Marketing LLC’s 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Report 

 

Governance Challenges

  • Chapter responsibility
  • Risk management
  • Limited effectiveness
  • Uniqueness between chapters

 

What Drives ROI?

Every organization has a different mix of revenue streams. Focusing on each stream and understanding the role it plays in your revenue mix is important.

  • Member retention & renewals
  • Event upselling
  • New memberships
  • Product & service sales
All of these obstacles and drivers of ROI come back to one word that Peter Houstle of Mariner Management & Marketing LLC mentions in the quote above – data.

One of the fundamental problems that associations have when it comes to this value assessment and performance evaluation process is that, in the majority of the cases with associations with chapters, the data sets are fragmented. They don’t have a unified data set.

 

Where does the data process begin?

  1. Keep it simple – Start with a few performance metrics and data points that matter most to your organization. Taking on too much at once will be a huge burden and could be distracting towards your ultimate goal.
  2. Know what matters – Not all data is created equal, and something that works for one association may not work for another. Know what information matters to your association. You may need to rope in some additional teams internally to ensure everyone is on the same page as to what you should be measuring and where the biggest data gaps are.
  3. Know your obstacles and challenges – No one is perfect. If you have rogue chapters, or maybe chapters that aren’t collecting data in the first place, start there. Acknowledge your potential obstacles and get ahead of them, or level set and know that some pieces of the project are going to come later.
  4. Collect the data – Figuring out how to collect the data can be the biggest challenge, and doing it in a way that doesn’t burden staff and chapters. Technology is usually the answer. You’ll want to know if your existing systems are capable of accomplishing what you want or if you need to evaluate and select a new solution – if that’s in your association’s best interest to do so.
  5. Interpret the data – You need to understand what the data is telling you. Are chapters struggling with member retention? Is acquisition a challenge? Are there patterns across chapters that surprise you? Sharing the takeaways from the data across your organization can help shape strategic objectives.
  6. Learn from other CRPs – If you have a specific challenge, chances are someone else has it, or has had it. So ask around. Leverage other component professionals who understand your unique challenges.

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