How to Get the Data You Need From Your Chapters

You’ve just hung up the phone—another strained call with one of your chapter leaders.

You thought it went well this time, but this is the third month in a row that you’ve asked for member data only to be met with excuses and complaints of “not enough time.”

But, you’re hopeful that your constant follow-up will pay off.

You have a suspicion that this particular chapter isn’t doing very well. But, your chapter leader doesn’t trust you and would rather hide their poor performance than let you help.

If you could just get some data, you’d know where to provide more support and resources for chapter operations or member engagement efforts.

One of the most frustrating challenges you face in your role is probably this same ‘us vs. them’ mentality. Because when your chapters don’t trust you, it’s often difficult to help them achieve their goals, serve their members, or even, improve their financial standing.

The ‘us vs. them’ mentality strengthens its grip when you and your chapters don’t work together to develop common goals. If chapters only focus on their own priorities and needs, they won’t see the value in making an effort for the common good.

Or, it might be a lot simpler than that.

Chapters wish they could comply with your request, but they don’t have the time to put together what you need. But, what does that really mean?

It means you’re making it too difficult. In their mind, the time and effort it takes to share data is more ‘painful’ than the benefit of sharing it.

So, how can you make it easier for them?


Communication builds trust–and trust is what you need if you hope to encourage chapters to share their data and information with you. Let your chapters know you understand their challenges and reaffirm their value to the association. At the same time, find out what resources would ease the workload of busy volunteer leaders.


Partners have common goals and mutually agreed upon expectations for each other. If you wish to get chapters to agree to sharing data, get their buy-in on National goals and strategy. Then, set aside time to review your relationship and what you’re both doing to achieve your common goals.


Your chapters may be willing to share data with you, but are they able to? Their “not enough time” excuse would vanish if you can find a painless way for them to share data and information. And, if you ask for information, let people know how you’re using it. Participation increases when people see the impact of their efforts.

There it is: The first steps for making it easy for your chapters to share their member data.

Now, you might be saying, “These tips are great, but no matter what I do or what I say, things will still fall apart and I’m never going to get the kind of data I need.”

If that sounds like you, it might be time to consider a solution that connects chapters to National by unifying your member and financial data.

Billhighway gives you chapter level visibility so you can view the status and health of your chapters to help you provide better support and resources.

If you’d like to learn exactly how Billhighway can unify your member data, then I invite you to request a demo.

It might feel small, but you’re taking a HUGE step toward the success of your chapters. Plus, we’re always here to guide you along the way.

About the author

Sarah has a soft-spot for component relations professionals (CRPs), creating amazing experiences, and having a good laugh. She focuses her time at Billhighway on building and delivering chapter-focused resources, creating unique experiences for CRPs through webinars, events and the one-of-a-kind Component Exchange (CEX). Sarah is passionate about exploring new ideas and trying new things. What we really want to say is Sarah is a component bad@$$ who is sure to put a smile on your face.