Guest Author: Tim Ebner, Associations Now
Launching a chapter network has helped PEN America, a literary organization with almost 100 years of history, recruit new members and reinvent opportunities for member engagement at the local level.
Reaching 100 years old is a milestone for any association, and it naturally prompts thoughts about how to reinvigorate the organization as it begins its second century.
For PEN America, a literary organization approaching its 100th anniversary, the moment led to a strategic focus on growing membership and injecting energy into the organization at the local level. Last month, PEN America announced a member expansion plan to create regional chapters.
So far, six local affiliates have been announced in Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Detroit; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dallas-Fort Worth; and the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The strategy reflects a significant shift from the way PEN America used to operate, says Director of Membership Rebecca Werner.