Guest Author: Tim Ebner, Associations Now
A new benchmarking study indicates that associations view chapters as an increasingly important element of their member engagement strategy. Meanwhile, chapter membership structures and programs are starting to shift in new ways to support members.
When you think of the archetype association-chapter relationship, too often it’s top-down, where power moves from headquarters to the team at the local component. That’s an “old power” dynamic that can hamper members’ sense of affiliation, trust, and loyalty to the organization.
However, when the relationship is redefined and flattened to a more horizontal share of power, where the national organization supports chapters and vice versa, the member ultimately wins.
That’s one critical finding in the 2019 Chapter Benchmarking Report [PDF] from Mariner Management and Marketing and Billhighway, which was released last week and tracks chapter trends since 2016, the last time the study was conducted. Mariner President Peggy Hoffman says more associations are recalibrating their chapter relationships and focusing on chapter initiatives to increase member engagement opportunities.