Chapter Affiliation Requirements: Tracking Performance

Almost all respondents set some affiliation requirements - only 3% don't. We saw an interesting shift in affiliation requirements from the 2016 report.
Chapter Affiliation Requirements: Tracking Performance

Chapter Affiliation Requirements: Tracking Performance

Almost all respondents set some affiliation requirements—only 3% don’t. However, only 29% said they have a formal assessment tool to track performance.

  • 73% of associations require chapter bylaws.
  • 89% require either an affiliation agreement or charter.
Leadership positions filled
A specific number of members
Annual report (s) describing activities...
Current charter
Annual financial reports
Current Affiliation Agreement
Minimum number of meetings/events
501(c) designation
Current branding agreement
Insurance (D&O, Liability, etc.)
Minimum reserves

An interesting shift in affiliation requirements since the 2016 Report is the number of associations who are requesting more meaningful metrics.


Minimum Chapter Members

The number of associations who require chapters to have a specific number of members increased from 34% in 2016 to 61% in 2018—the average requirement is 29 members.


Minimum Chapter Events

We also noted a requirement for a minimum number of chapter events—the average being 4 events. Note: the number of members or events doesn’t seem related to any data indicating these are “magic” numbers for success.


Shift in Affiliation Requirements

Another big shift in affiliation requirements is the increase in the number of associations requiring filled leadership positions—from 45% in 2016 to 67% in 2019.

Consequences for Not Meeting Affiliation Requirements

More than half the survey participants have documented consequences for chapters who don’t meet affiliation requirements. However, only 20% fully enforce their requirements.


Enforcing Requirements
  • 20% said they fully enforce their requirements.
  • 14% said they rarely or never enforce requirements.
  • 55% have consequences for chapters who don’t meet affiliation requirements.


Enforcement Policies

A common theme in the comments from survey participants: they have enforcement policies in place, but they’re difficult to enforce as two respondents shared:

  • “Theoretically, yes, including the right to terminate the affiliation with the chapter if it is and remains non-compliant. But, that option never has been exercised.”
  • “Yes and no. It takes a lot for us to disband a chapter but we’ve done it when no new leaders are available.”
  • The primary methods of enforcement are probation, financial measures (e.g., withholding rebates), or de-chartering.

Closing Chapters

Of the respondents with chapters, 34% added chapters and 70% closed chapters.

86% of respondents said they added and/or closed chapters in the past five years. Whether chapters were closed for non-compliance or simply shuttered themselves is unknown.

20% of respondents from the 2016 Report reported adding or closing chapters. In any case, chapter activity has increased greatly since the 2016 Report.

Chapter Benchmarking Report: What the Data, Success Stories & Opinions Tell Us

Download The Report

Mariner Management, in collaboration with Billhighway, launched this second edition of the Chapter Benchmarking Report. The report was designed to gather industry data that helps associations benchmark their chapter programs against others. We also wanted to fuel the dialogue on what makes an effective chapter—and an effective chapter/association relationship.

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