StarChapter of November: IREM Georgia

Updated: 11/06/2018  |  Category: StarChapter Successes

IREM Georgia serves real estate professionals who manage ALL REAL ESTATE property types, The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has been an integral force in the State of Georgia since 1970. They are dedicated to delivering leading-edge networking and educational offerings for every stage of your career, evolving with their members to provide lifelong professional development opportunities.  We were able to connect with Deborah Westphal, CPM®, ARM® the Executive and School Director of IREM Georgia to share with you how they are able to continue to innovate to engage their members.

1. What was IREM Georgia‘s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

We instituted a personal touch by reaching out to new members via phone and email to encourage them to attend events and programs. To expose our chapter to prospective members, we instituted a plus one or more strategy urging existing members to bring one or more people to a function at a reduced or no cost rate. So not only did our existing members become more engaged, it allowed us to feature our chapter and add members. We also reached out to dropped members and updated them to all the new changes and initiatives we currently have to offer and inviting them to return.

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized this year.

"MASTERING THE ART OF BUSINESS" which consisted of an option for attendees to attend a half or full day conference focusing on Being The CEO of Y-O-U and Talent Management for a Dynamic Work Environment! These seminars were approved with CE Credits through the Georgia Real Estate Commission and instructed by Sherle Brown and Dr. Debbie Phillips. One of our Special guests, Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM is the 2018 Secretary/Treasurer Nominee and a Senior Vice President of IREM. Chip shared with the attendees an overview of significant ways to build value on Real Estate and some of our up and coming IREM initiatives. To add excitement to the day, we were engaged with our Industry Partners and their annual tradeshow, designed to provide a valuable exchange between an elite group of contract service providers, the members and affiliates of the local IREM Chapter.

3. The IREM Georgia network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other chapters?

Yes, Region IV which is composed of four Florida chapters and Georgia have met at the regional conference and the national conference. At both conferences we had breakout sessions where we discussed opportunities to enhance and expand programs, functions and events. Our RVP, Aaron Bosshardt, also led a session to extract ideas of what is working and not working at your chapters. Paul Mendel, our 2018 chapter president, addressed the attendees regarding BOMA and compared what IREM offers over BOMA. Other chapters agreed that IREM offers much more value than BOMA, yet we don’t emphasize it enough to our membership all the resources we have. The idea came out that we should have an IREM “Tool Kit” that clearly illustrates all the tools and resources we have at our fingertips. Finally, chapters shared their innovative ideas and successes. Back home, we shared what we learned with our board.

4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?

Our chapter this year decided to “get personal.” Which means it is time to pick up the phone to encourage members to attend and actively participate in upcoming events and education courses. Our board (council) used less email and more phone conversations to actively engage members to help in initiatives and special projects. We emphasized that council members be more personal in working with committee chairs and even our president would reach out to committee chairs to offer help and encouragement. These personal touches demonstrates to committees that the council cares and is wanting to be there for them and appreciation is clearly evident. Committee chairs become more enthused knowing the council is there for them and helping where needed. We promote a team effort.

5. What is in store for your members next year?

2019 is the year of renewing ourselves as a Chapter with new and innovative Leaders who are guaranteed to bring their experience and enthusiasm to the Group. Our goal will be renewing our brand to engage and motivate our members by providing new Sessions of training, meetings that provide meaningful and current topics that are highly needed in our Industry as a whole. Our Leaders are ALL dedicated to support our 2019 “WE’RE ON FIRE FOR IREM” Theme for the year which will be heavily promoted by our leaders with attitudes of ownership, value, and contribution. Our leaders have shared many ideas of renewed confidence that they have what it takes to take the Georgia Chapter to the next level!


5. How have been able to utilize StarChapter to run IREM Georgia and reach its goals? 

We have promoted the Star Chapter as “one stop shopping” for all your membership needs. We leverage the Star Chapter by promoting upcoming events, programs and educational courses with the ability to register and pay while navigating through the site. We highlight key initiatives such as the income expense data encouraging all to share data. Our Industry Partners are advertised which they appreciate which increases retention of their sponsorship. Emails are sent out on a timely basis referring members to the website (using links) for new information and details on an array of subjects. Our chapter has reached out to Headquarters regarding our chapter’s desire to have an IREM Ga smart phone app to make the membership engagement totally mobile and truly accessible anywhere at any time. Truly would be one stop shopping at your finger tips and bring us up to date with other organizations that have apps for their members.

Would you like to share the success story of your chapter with other board volunteers? We'd love to feature you! Fill out this form to let us know.

StarChapter of October: AFP East Central Illinois

Updated: 01/04/2019  |  Category: StarChapter Successes

The East Central Illinois Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals supports regional philanthropy for a very diverse group of non-profits in seven cities by providing education and networking events to sustain the work of 500+ fundraising professionals.  Their board of directors is a dedicated group of fundraising professionals from a cross-section of area non-profits. 

We recently connected with Terry Goode, Chapter President and Jacqueline Joines, Publicity Chair to learn how their chapter approaches such an ambitious mission.  

1. How has your chapter managed to recruit and maintain members in so many different communities?

We literally take our chapter “on the road” by holding monthly activities in various communities throughout the year.  Our board of directors is a dedicated group of fundraising professionals from a cross-section of area non-profits.  They help plan and host events in their community and invite their peers to get involved. 

Many fundraisers are a one-person shop, and it’s so invigorating to meet people who understand you and share your passion!  Add to that our training, certification opportunities and seasoned mentors and we’re offering a very unique package to help professionals succeed.

2. What’s something special that you’re proud of to offer the area?

Each year we use the largest amount of our funds to sponsor a big event with a national speaker.  Central Illinois isn’t a thriving metropolis, so it’s a huge plus to collaborate with another chapter or organization to bring a “big name” to our beautiful cornfields!  Area fundraisers get a national conference experience at a fraction of the cost because they don’t have plane fares and hotel expenses.   This year we had Rachel Muir and we went out to eat and chat with her after the workshop.  What a treat! 

We’ve been fortunate to host many fundraising and marketing celebrities—Bill Sturtevant, Jerold Panas, Laura Fredricks, and Ty Bennett.  Feeding that culture of giving back in our communities is part of what we do best!

3. How do you promote a climate of giving with area businesses and donors?

We celebrate National Philanthropy Day for our area by hosting a luncheon and recognizing donors, businesses, organizations, youth in philanthropy, an outstanding professional fundraiser, and a volunteer fundraiser each year.  We honor awardees through videos, sponsor speeches, trophies, and program bios.  We involve the community by asking them to nominate awardees, sponsor an award category and then announce and recognize the winner(s) in their category.   This year we’re honoring the top three to increase the excitement and honor more people who make our communities strong!

StarChapter allows us to publicize this event, solicit and collect nominations, register attendees, and complete the event analytics.  It’s our partner start to finish!

4. Speaking of StarChapter, your new website went live in January. How has StarChapter helped you promote your group and achieve your goals this year?

As Publicity Chair, Jackie Joines shares her experience with our new system. “StarChapter is a good full-bodied product that allows us to communicate with members and non-members alike.  [That’s really critical as 80% of our audience is non-members.] It handles the meeting administration process, all communications, and serves as a reservoir for chapter resources.  It may seem a little daunting at first, but the StarChapter staff is ready to help at any time and make the process easy.”

As Chapter President, Terry shares what StarChapter has done for our group.  “We love the new site; it’s professional and easy to navigate.  We’ve had so many more job ads posted this year and all the ad posting fees are collected immediately.  It’s the same for event registrations.  The workload for our Treasurer has literally been cut in half. 

StarChapter has increased our communications effectiveness.  It allows us to collect better information about who we’re reaching and who we’re not.  It’s taken some sleuthing, but we’ve been able to get updated email addresses for all our members and about 20% of non-members that we weren’t reaching.  That’s helping drive the success that we’re seeing.

We’re very happy with StarChapter; we’ve been excited to discover new capabilities and watch how that’s impacting progress on our goals!+

AFP East Central Illinois

Would you like to share the success story of your chapter with other board volunteers? We'd love to feature you! Fill out this form to let us know.