HOW TO PREVENT CHAPTER FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT
Three words: communication, communication, communication. Regular formal and informal communication helps you gain the trust of chapter leaders. They’ll pay more attention to the training and resources you provide, and they’ll turn to you when they need help.
Each relationship between a chapter and National is different. The relationship is based on the strength of the individual relationships (or lack thereof) between volunteer leaders/staff at your association and volunteer leaders/staff at the chapter. Your contractual relationship makes a difference too.
Your relationship (and intel) will improve if you make it a habit to touch base with chapter officers and board members occasionally. You might be surprised by what they share with you. You could catch them on a bad day and they just want to vent. Or, they may want to provide insight into struggles that are occurring without your knowledge.
TRAINING IN FINANCIAL SKILLS
Since finances aren’t everyone’s idea of a good time, keep in mind the 3 E’s: educate, entertain, and engage. Arrange financial training for all incoming officers via a webinar, series of videos, or online learning program. Use your learning management system to track participation so you know who’s completed the training and who hasn’t. For treasurers and board members, provide training that focuses on their specific responsibilities.
Post an interactive guide online for their reference—not a 150 page PDF handbook, please. Provide monthly, quarterly, and yearly checklists.
When needed, provide one-on-one coaching or peer mentoring. Peer-to-peer learning works wonders. At your annual chapter leadership events, ask your most financially proficient chapters to give a presentation about financial management best practices.