Partnerships as a Form of Member & Chapter Engagement

Two associations established a national partnership with another organization to provide access to opportunities and increase chapter engagement.
The Evolving Role of an Association CIO

Overall Trends & Highlights

  1. Historically, national does their own thing, and chapters do their own thing when it comes to engagement – it’s been a divide and conquer.
  2. The future is trending towards viewing chapters as collaborative partners by providing a foundation for success.
  3. Virtual chapters or online communities are changing the way chapters, members and associations communicate. This is becoming more critical as demographics change.
  4. Chapter task forces or advisory groups are a must before undertaking new chapter engagement models.

National Association of Realtors

NAR set a new, higher standard for “consumer outreach”. They established a national partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America to provide access to opportunities for chapters to reach the new standard.

“The partnership will give BGCA access to NAR’s 1 million members to fill volunteer roles, and it will help the association’s local chapters meet “consumer outreach” requirements under the national organization’s new core standards for chapters introduced last year.”

Takeaways

  1. Set your standards for chapters high, but don’t leave them out to dry.
  2. Provide them the tools and support they need to be engaged at the expected levels.
  3. Chapters and members are willing to meet and/or exceed expectations as long as they are set up for success and given the proper tools.
  4. Create win-wins for communities and your members.
  5. NAR created a toolkit for their chapters.

Ask Yourself

  • Where do your mission and strategic objectives overlap with outside communities?
  • Do your chapters understand current standards and/or expectations?
  • How are you tracking if chapters are meeting expectations?

American Marketing Association

AMA was consistently getting requests for help with finding speakers for different chapter programs or events. People were also coming to the AMA asking for the opportunity to speak. But there was no easy, accessible system for both those people looking for a speaker and those looking to be a speaker.

Takeaways

  1. Look for synergies within your organization, understand where you can help chapter leaders add value to members and help shape and impact the experience had by all.
  2. Networking and education are two of the top reasons cited by members for joining an association.
  3. This partnership puts AMA in a position to help chapters host events with quality speakers that add value to members
“Members come to them with dilemmas, and good associations try to serve their members by finding solutions. That’s what happened at the American Marketing Association.”

Ask Yourself

  • How can you provide additional support to chapters that helps you solve another challenge or puts you in a position to help someone else?
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In the Chapter Engagement handout, we investigate models of engagement outside traditional chapters. We’ll share industry articles and case studies.

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