Association Member Engagement Strategies Should Include Asking Other Association Chapters What They’re Doing
Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 | Categories: Membership
This is a tough time for everyone, with resources, including dollars, stretched further than normal, and many association chapter members’ stress levels much higher than usual. Are you continuing your chapter efforts as you always have, or are you looking for new ways to help members, while keeping them engaged and interested in your chapter?
One of the easiest ways to expand what you offer to members and prospective members is to learn what other association chapters are doing and see what they’re doing that could be effective in your chapter. Chapter partnerships can be extremely successful.
The benefits of relying on a network of association chapters
Open communication between chapters delivers benefits for aspects from operations to events and activities. What strengths do your association chapter members have that you could share with another chapter, locally or in another region? And what are you looking to expand on or learn about? One of the most valuable things that comes out of a partnership between chapters is the sharing of skill sets.
Weak on social media marketing but have a great PowerPoint designer or writers who would love to help others become better designers or writers to improve their chapter website or chapter communications? Need help with some of your operational processes and chapter board management? Partnering with other association chapters can be a win for all the chapters involved, as well as association chapter members and potential members.
Here are a few ways to effectively connect with other chapters.
Have regular discussions. Set up routine conversations to learn the types of projects, programs and processes that other chapters are using. Share things like ways to improve chapter communications, chapter membership management and even membership marketing ideas. Discuss what is working well and where chapters have gaps that could benefit from outside help.
Share content new and old. Opening your job board or members-only forum to members in other association chapters can be especially helpful right now, when unemployment is higher than normal, and many companies are hiring remote workers. Consider sharing blogs and social media content, newsletter articles, training materials, etc., to save your chapter money and time by utilizing existing materials from other chapters, giving credit to the source, of course.
Short on topics but willing to write the content yourself? Another option is to share association chapter editorial calendars, to see the types of topics discussed in other chapters, the types of trainings they’re doing, the speakers they’re bringing in, etc.
Join on fundraisers and events such as webinars, virtual events, education sessions, and trainings. These events can be expensive and time consuming to plan and carry out, but they’re necessary to bring in members and raise money and awareness, as well as the visibility of your chapter and the education of your members. Combine resources between chapters to share the costs, the work associated with putting on an event, and the chapter revenue. Joining together also expands access to thought leaders, which in turn expands the types of events you can hold.
Live events for multiple chapters provide opportunities for networking with larger groups of people. And making event recordings available for later viewing increases traffic to that recording and can lead visitors to get engaged in other ways, exploring other parts of your site and viewing other videos.
The easiest way to find out what other chapters are doing to engage members and potential members is to just ask. Communicate regularly to work together to help each other while expanding your offerings. These days, your members need your chapter more than ever.