Offer Local Professional Development Programs

Updated: Aug. 31, 2017  |  Categories: Volunteers, Goal Setting  

If you are a volunteer board member in a local association chapter, you should considered creating a professional development program that would allow your members to pave their path within their professional trade. Most professional development programs are crafted by the national association and do not necessarily reflect local or regional needs of professionals. This is where local board members come in. Healthy chapters give their members reasons to linger. Inspired, motivated and interested members become active members and in turn reciprocate in fulfilling the chapter’s mission statement.

There are 3 essential components for successful professional development program that every chapter should follow:  


A lot has been said about the advantages (and disadvantages) of networking. In most cases and in particularly with professional association chapters, your members join to gain more exposure to career or networking opportunities in their respective region. Organize small/large formal conferences or informal holiday parties to get your members engaged and active. Compared with a national association, it will be easier to organize and get a lot of your members on board.


Networking is not a stand-alone activity. Its best realized by sharing valuable content with your members to help them develop better practices. Your marketing assets are a great way to start. Write articles, blogs and white papers and communicate with your members across multiple off and online platforms. Dive into the burning issues at your local community, town or county. Read local newspapers and be on top of the things that matter.


We all live in the social world! We want to be recognized especially within our small community. Acknowledge and recognize your members’ professional accomplishments. Institute a badge or point-based system, set qualitative or quantitative goals, offer a social media sharing button and reward your members for conquering their professional milestones.

Depending on your chapter’s size, scale down/up and look at the bigger picture. Your chapter could grow and your members will get more involved if you offer the right incentives.

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