What’s Changing for Chapters?

Billhighway and Mariner released the third annual Chapter Benchmarking Report. Read the interview discussing what's changing for chapters.
The 2022 Chapter Performance & Benchmarking Report

Guest Post: Elizabeth Weaver Engel, Spark Consulting


Mariner Management and billhighway recently released the third edition of their chapter benchmarking report, and I had the opportunity to interview Peggy Hoffman and Peter Houstle about it.


Q: This is, I believe, the third edition of the chapter benchmarking report. What’s changed between this round of data collection and the previous two rounds? What really jumps out to you as being different this time? Did you learn anything that surprised you?

Nothing really jumps out as new or different with respect to chapter structure, operations and performance. All three “deserts” (data, volunteer, and strategic focus) identified at the end of the report have been around for quite a while. The additional inputs noted below helped validate the existence and extent of the deserts.

The substantive change, a shift to virtual events, produced an unexpected outcome for all in two respects, also as noted in the report. Specifically, time zones, rather than geography, redefined operational boundaries. The shift to a virtual environment produced several interesting side effects. Many chapter members who had never participated in traditional in-person events showed up for virtual programs—suggesting an opportunity for responsive chapters to expand their value proposition beyond those members willing to get in a car. At the same time, paradoxically, this shift also placed chapters in direct competition with programs delivered by the central organization (association headquarters/HQ) and other chapters. This, in turn, begs the questions: “Who is the target audience for chapters?” and “How do chapters best compliment/complete the value proposition for members working in tandem with both HQ and other chapters?”

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