Creating an In-Sync and Engaged Membership

Being engaged at multiple levels with chapter members is essential to grow and sustain membership. As a chapter leader, the value provided by the chapter is often clear, but to a new member who is just starting their career, membership value may not seem worth the financial output. There are many ways to engage with members including traditional meetings and events, member meetings, member-get-a-member programs, shadow days, mentoring, sharing member stories, building community, and more.

Improving the engagement starts recognizing that members have different ideas about what constitutes both value and successful engagement. Some members simply want to attend meetings to list the membership on their resume’, while others want to be highly active and volunteer. Leaders need to connect with members where they are and not guess what members or prospects might want. It is always the most important task of any chapter board to ask members and prospects what they want to see using a survey. This is the clearest way to ensure you are syncing up with the needs of the people while still adhering to the chapter mission.

But while you wait for those survey results to come in, here are three ideas off the bat to get in sync with your members:

  1. Holding meetings is important, and every chapter needs to hold them. But they don’t have to have the traditional speaker-audience format. Instead, create a hands-on, oriented space that provides members and prospects with a beneficial lesson that they can take with them, in life or on the job. Better still, expand on this with opportunities for sustained engagement between members.


  1. For many members and prospects, a key goal of joining the chapter is to meet others within the industry. Staying in sync with this is a key goal that is essential to maintaining member engagement. Provide networking opportunities at every event or meeting. Even plan events in which their sole purpose is about networking. 


  1. Of utmost importance is staying up-to-date with industry standards and trends, offering events that give member and prospects the opportunity to stay current with the latest trends. Possibly offer Continuing Education Units (CE) for attendance and participation at events. CEs keep the chapter in sync with the career advancement aspirations of members. 


Following these ideas are marks only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building strong member engagement. Being in sync takes continual effort and communication that leads to successful chapters.



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Increasing Chapter Membership

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