Helping Chapters FulFill Leadership Requirements & Needs

Two associations share how they helped chapters meet requirements by providing training workshops, webinars, a handbook, and an online portal.
Helping Chapters FulFill Leadership Requirements & Needs

Helping Chapters FulFill Leadership Requirements & Needs

IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) believes a strong association board is built on a strong leadership pipeline—and chapters are a key element of that pipeline. The IMA has kept their pipeline full thanks to a successful strategy that began with a top-to-bottom look at their volunteer structure. Once they established a Vice President of Governance and Volunteer Relations position, their success in building volunteerism locally and globally took off.

IMA developed an online portal dedicated to volunteering opportunities. The site helps IMA members for national and chapter leadership positions.



Staff often heard from local leaders that “nobody cares, no one’s interested.” However, younger members said they wanted to volunteer, become engaged, and give back to the profession, but found it challenging to be included in volunteer work. Microvolunteering gives these members a chance to try out different roles, meet fellow members, and learn more about IMA and leadership opportunities.

Now when IMA puts out a call for local and national nominations, many “new” people, including millennials, raise their hands. IMA’s diversity commitment is all about inclusion, so this new program helps all members feel included in volunteer opportunities and assists IMA in gathering diversity of thought on its committees.

Giving Struggling Chapters a Hand to Meet Requirements

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is one of the associations that does enforce its accreditation (affiliation)
requirements—but they also do everything they can to turn components around and get them on the path to success. As you may recall from our earlier AIA story, to remain in compliance, AIA components must deliver a set of Core Member Services: services central to delivering member value and ensuring the long-term viability of the component. Components who meet these requirements are accredited for three years.


AIA’s Core Service Requirements

AIA provides training workshops, webinars, and a handbook on each of the core service requirements. However, additional support, including mentoring and coaching, is provided to components who have difficulty meeting the standards. For example, in the first year of this program, AIA brought 33 at-risk components to an intensive workshop where they learned how to identify problems, take advantage of AIA resources, and come up with solutions. As a result of these small-group interventions, three-fourths of these struggling components succeeded in achieving accreditation.

If a component cannot meet accreditation requirements, AIA helps it explore alternative governance structures so its members can receive all of the Core Member Services.

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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