This virtual solution is sometimes called “consolidated banking” because the sub-accounts of every chapter are consolidated under one larger bank account. Consolidated banking is also called:
- Chapter banking
- Component banking
- Concentrated banking
We call it “chapter banking” throughout this paper as a generic term because this banking solution was developed specifically for organizations with chapter, affiliate, or component networks — and it’s unique to the Billhighway platform.
1. A New Sense of Trust Leads to Real Partnerships
“Once chapter leaders get past their initial fear of change, and instead see how it can improve their lives, then trust has a chance to grow between headquarters and chapters,” said Troy. Because of National’s support, the administrative burden of chapter leadership is alleviated. Chapter leaders can shift their focus to delivering a better membership experience, which is what keeps members coming back.
“One of the most important benefits of this system is how it eliminates a chapter’s reporting responsibility and therefore shifts the headquarters staff away from their role as a compliance officer to a more positive role as a mentor, resource, and collaborator,” said Peter.
2. New Data Leads to New Conversations —and Potential Revenue
Start With Financial Data
“The financial data is just part of the data picture. Start with financial data, but aim for more integration,” said Peter. “I would want to match financial data up against other non-financial metrics because there can be a tendency to look at the dollars and think: if the dollars are great, then things are great.”
By integrating your chapter banking system with membership management systems, you get access to the type of data that can start a productive conversation between you and your chapters. You can dig into their data, get the story behind it, and start exploring best practices together.
Attract & Retain Sponsors
For example, expenses at one chapter are about the same as last year, but their sponsorship revenue is way up again this year. What are they doing to attract and retain their sponsors? Find out and share those practices with other chapters.
When you don’t have a comprehensive picture of a member, it’s easy to make assumptions about them. “Data leads to a better understanding of member behavior,” said Peter. “If you have a disconnected or fragmented data system, then Bob Smith looks like a checkbook member at the National level, but is really kicking butt at the chapter level. If you don’t have integrated data systems, you have no clue.”
3. Removes Babysitting Chapters
You no longer have to babysit chapters. You don’t have to make them complete long checklists of reports they must submit to maintain their affiliation status. Chapter banking takes a lot of those things off the checklist. You don’t have to watch over them and hope they do the right thing when managing their bank accounts — the right thing to do is built into the platform.
“Chapter leadership and staff have more space to focus on what they can do to serve the member and move the mission, as opposed to what they must do to serve the National organization.”
4. Understanding What Drives Engagement
If you had a clearer picture of Bob Smith’s engagement at the local level and what drives his behavior and the behavior of members like him, you can create a more symbiotic relationship with your chapters in terms of how you both serve those members.
“More and more organizations are beginning to realize how wacko it is to have a 20th century operational and organizational model driving your organization’s behavior in the 21st century. It doesn’t work from the perspective of the member experience or from the perspective of organizational efficacy.”
5. United With One System
“Ultimately, you want to have everybody working off the same communications platform, the same database, the same technology across the board.”
“If they see how well chapter banking can work, and they get really comfortable with it, they’re more likely to go with you to the next step. That’s what Billhighway does,” said Peter, “They connect distributed and disparate systems throughout the association eco-system and allow them to operate as one.”
6. Transformational Technology
By providing this transformative technology to chapters, your team can dedicate more time to listening, learning about chapter challenges and successes, and sharing those success stories with other chapters. You can fulfill your mission of building stronger leaders, stronger chapters, and best of all, a stronger chapter network.
Download Our Guide
In the Chapter Banking Guide, we share the basics of chapter banking, how your association and chapters could benefit from the solution, ways to overcome possible resistance, and how your national-chapter relationship can change positively with the solution.