The American Advertising Federation Baltimore Chapter, AAF Baltimore, traces its roots back to 1918. Their mission is to promote and support Baltimore’s thriving advertising community and to respond to the needs of their members through educational and informational programs, networking and social opportunities, and legislative advocacy. We were able to connect with their past president, Matt McDermott, to learn how StarChapter has been able to help them with their membership engagement plan and streamlining the management of their chapter.
1. What was AAF Baltimore’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?
This past year, our chapter ensured new members got individual welcomes from members of the board, along with outreach from committee chairs based on the interests of the new members. We also reminded them of the various resources of the association and the importance of the industry network, while continually promoting events and news through social and email.
2. The AAF Baltimore network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other organizations?
The board regularly looks to other organizations such as the AMA and AIGA for ideas and partnerships. We also receive great ideas from AAF National and our regular meetings with other AAF chapters within our district. We also depend on our members to provide insights into their challenges and their successes to help drive new ideas for programming.
3. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?
- Don’t commit unless you can follow-through. We have big goals – and big responsibilities to our members. We depend on our board committees to be active and accountable to one another.
- Bring ideas. Lots of them. Don’t be afraid to speak up. New perspective is essential to keeping our club relevant.
- View yourself as an ambassador. Know the values and benefits of the organization. You might just need it when talking to a potential member.
4. How have you been able to utilize StarChapter to run AAF Baltimore and reach its goals?
StarChapter has allowed us to centralize all of our club outreach and engagement efforts into one CMS-CRM hybrid. It’s provided a solid administrative platform to manage events, communications and member data. Prior to StarChapter, we relied on a hodge-podge of spreadsheets and third-party providers to keep the club running. Our new website also allows for multi-user management of content and flexible page templates to make updates faster and easier.