INDIRECT VALUE OF A CHAPTER ACTIVITY.
In this example, the association looked at the impact of chapter mentoring programs that help drive members into the association’s certification program. Peter said, “This is a place where it’s difficult to come up with a precise number, but you can come up with a number.”
The association found a 15 percent higher certification program enrollment from areas with chapter mentoring programs. The association nets about $275 per certification enrollee, of which 238 came from such areas. So they attributed 15 percent of that total to chapters, generating about $10,000.
ADVICE ON THE ROI MATRIX EXERCISE
When selecting activities to analyze, Patrick said the evidence becomes more powerful when it reflects your association’s goals and aspirations over the next three to five years.
What data do you have that can help support that work, and bring your department and chapters into alignment with that journey?
He also suggests starting small and not “biting off more than you can chew.”
He started with U.S. chapters and the data they already had at their fingertips because he didn’t want to spend a lot of time digging or begging the chapters for information.
Eventually Patrick worked with other departments to collect the data he needed to fill out his ROI matrix. But he also had an ulterior motive for working with them: “I wanted to educate other staff about our chapters so they could form a different perspective about what chapters do and the value they provide to our organization.”
“This was an eye-opening exercise for us at GBTA,” Patrick said. “I’m not going to lie; I was terrified to run this exercise because I was afraid I’d get numbers that showed we were getting a zero return from all the money we’re investing in our chapter network.”
His ROI matrix proved the opposite: chapter activities had a direct impact on additional revenue for GBTA. As a result, he got the approval to hire an additional staff person who will focus on volunteer engagement and help him oversee their committees.
WHERE DOES THE ROI MATRIX GO FROM HERE?
Two years ago, Peter started developing this model by asking a handful of associations to help him build the initial matrix. He now has examples from 25 associations who are using the chapter ROI matrix. “We want to continue to refine it, so our next step for the chapter ROI matrix, as a community, is to collect more samples.”
If you decide to go through this exercise, send Peter whatever you put together. He’s trying to gather a large pool of different valuation samples so the CRP community can build, test, and share new matrix templates.
Remember Patrick’s advice: start small with the data you already have and the information you already know (or can easily find) about your chapters. Even assigning a value to only one chapter activity can show your association’s leadership the return on investing in chapters.