Why Do Some Chapters Do So Well While Others Struggle?
Updated: Oct. 12, 2018 | Categories: National Perspective
Overall chapter success is at the forefront of every organization’s goals for growth and positive impact on their community. There are a couple of main areas where chapters struggle. Communication between outgoing and incoming board members is something that chapters must address. When chapters create processes to facilitate this communication and support new board members, they are closer to success.
Great chapters have consistent processes in place
Welcoming new board members to a chapter presents an opportunity for success or failure. Consistency is a challenge, as sometimes board terms are for only one year. Chapters that develop a process to help new board members transition into their role successfully minimize downtime.
Training new board members to manage site content, set up the newsletter, send out mass mailings, and manage member information can be time consuming. The outgoing board member may not be available to bring the new person up to speed.
Boards need consistent training processes that are convenient, easy to access, and flexible. Video tutorials, user guides, and ongoing training sessions give new board members the chance to learn about new responsibilities in a setting and time that is convenient for them.
A self-help portal will allow board members to seek answers to their questions any time of the day or night. Offering new board members training that is motivational and informative creates an environment that brings out the best in each chapter’s leaders.
Successful chapters eliminate single points of failure
Another area of communication that chapters often find frustrating is the single points of failure that exist when only one person handles crucial systems like website maintenance and updates or social media accounts.
Managing transitions when the maintenance and development of these systems is handed off from one member to another is challenging. What happens when the person in charge has a family emergency or becomes ill?
Chapters who are consistently successful have an “all in one solution” that allows another member to take over with ease, if necessary. At any point, a member of the chapter’s leadership team can step in to ensure that critical website and social media updates are in place.
Even small chapters benefit from website and content management that keeps long-time members engaged while drawing in new members. Board members value their ability to focus on customizing their message without having to concern themselves with the technical side of communicating with members.
There’s more to growing a chapter than simply increasing member numbers. Providing value to the chapter and the community is the ultimate objective, and creates a natural draw for new members. Avoiding pitfalls related to board changes and single points of failure keeps the chapter on track to meet and exceed goals.