Association budgets are tightening in response to pandemic-related revenue losses and in anticipation of more financial challenges ahead. This is bad news if your association’s C-suite and board see chapters as a cost center, not a revenue source.
In reality, chapters contribute to your association’s bottom line. They bring in new members and deliver value to members through educational events, volunteering, and networking—activities that increase member engagement and retention. But how do you prove the ROI of chapters?
With the help of chapter member engagement data, you can make the business case for more HQ attention and investment in chapters. Engagement data shows the positive impact of chapters on association revenue when they’re empowered to better serve members.
CHALLENGE: GETTING ACCESS TO CHAPTER MEMBER ENGAGEMENT DATA
Chapter member engagement remains a mystery for many associations. Your association management system (AMS) captures member engagement data at the national level, but not at the chapter level—that’s the missing piece.
How do you know if a chapter is offering fewer programs during the pandemic and if member engagement is declining as a result? If you wait for chapters to submit a report, it might be too late, the damage to membership value already done.
Monthly membership reports alert you to declining membership renewals—an obvious signal that membership value isn’t being delivered. But retention is a lagging indicator. It measures something that happened (or didn’t happen, in this case) in the past.
You need a leading indicator, like chapter member engagement data, to get ahead of retention issues and prevent non-renewals. You need access to chapter data—like registrations for virtual meetups, webinars, and virtual conferences—that reveal declining member engagement in real time.
If you can watch registration and payment data in real time, you can spot worrisome engagement trends before it’s too late. You can see the leading indicators that influence member retention.
You need a way to peek behind the curtain and see what’s happening in your chapters right now. You need to know how (or if) members are participating in chapter activities so you can ensure membership value is delivered and membership dues revenue is received.