Getting the Data From Chapters

Updated: Sep. 22, 2020  |  Categories: National Perspective, Lack of Insight into Chapter Performance  

getting chapter data

What type of data do you get from your chapters?  Prospect data, bank balances, meeting information?  Not much at all?  How often does this data come back to national?  How accurate is it?  Can it be trusted to base important decisions on? 

Chapters are independent and have a good amount of autonomy, so getting them to reliably send information can be a lot like herding cats.  There are many reasons why chapters fail to send their reports.  If they have the information and data, they still might be reluctant to send it.  In either case, it is important to understand what is happening at the chapter level that prevents the flow of information and data and then look at how to overcome these obstacles.

Has your association tried threatening chapters by withholding rebates, money or access?  Is holding threats over chapters creating the best chapter/national relationship? 

If chapters have no reliable and accurate way to collect and report on activity, no amount of pressure or persuading will change things.  The first goal then should be to help the chapters organize their data and provide a simple and time effective solution to produce valuable reports.  The chapters must be shown a way that is not demanding on their time as volunteers.

This precarious chapter data situation is affecting national in what it knows and how it can perform best to deliver real member benefits to its members overall.

How important would you rate the following information if you could get it from local chapters?                                       


Not Very Important

Somewhat Important


Very Important

Number of Meetings




















Prospect levels





Admin logins





Member logins





Number of newsletter sent





Non-dues revenue






Once you can collect the data on a regular basis, you can begin to see the trends for each.  Just think of what you could do with this accurate information in regard to forecasting and predicting the health of the association as a whole.  You could help struggling chapters, or recognize high achieving chapters and spread best practices to others.

So how can all this be accomplished?  The chapters need a system that is able to track the activity of members as well as the volunteer leaders at the local level.  Then you at national need a way to harness this data and present it in a useful manner, so the whole association can be successful.   

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