Guest Author: Cynthia D’Amour, People Power Unlimited
(I’ve written this post using the term the national association. If your association has chapters, the challenge applies to you – even if you are an international, regional or state organization.)
We are often eager to figure out the next configuration and model for chapters to boost success.
Before you revamp chapters, you need to take a closer look at your national organization…
What are individual members getting for their national dues?
Prior to the Internet, the national association played an important role for members.
It helped bring people and information from across the country and around the world together.
In the snail-mail world, communications were slow and limited.
- As a result of communication challenges, the national office served as the voice of members.
- Members didn’t have speedy access to information.
- They didn’t have a way to always know what was going on in their world.
The monthly journal was a lifeline to information relevant to members.
- Regular newspapers didn’t cover membership issues.
- It took tremendous effort for individuals to stay on top of advancements in their field and/or profession.
Annual meetings and conventions were one of the few ways members could easily find each other and build a network beyond their local community.
- It was hard to identify who was part of your tribe in an analog world.
- The library and directories only helped so much.