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Membership Engagement

Best practices on engaging chapter members

BATON ROUGE CHAPTER: Membership Engagement & Incentive Program

SUMMARY: To increase chapter membership and promote member engagement, the Baton Rouge Chapter developed an incentive program where members could earn points by attending meetings, speaking at events, volunteering, renewing their membership, and more. To incentivize specific actions throughout the year, it also conducted monthly challenges during which members could win additional points. The board provided leaderboard updates in its quarterly newsletter to encourage participation, and the members with the most points won prizes, including chapter swag and discounted membership. As a result, the chapter saw membership growth, increased attendance at meetings, and improved volunteer recruitment.

YEAR: 2023

GREATER LAS VEGAS CHAPTER: Building a Members-Only Resource Library

SUMMARY: After pivoting to primarily virtual programming during the pandemic, the Greater Las Vegas Chapter created an online resource library via a free FreshDesk account to share session recordings, slide decks, and other resources with its chapter members. By structuring their site around the Talent Development Capability Model and utilizing tags, the board was able to make their virtual content more easily navigable for users. This transition not only streamlined board operations but also established an additional benefit to chapter membership. Over the past three years, the chapter’s annual membership surveys have demonstrated that the resource library is an often used feature and considered “high value” by members.

YEAR: 2023

CHICAGOLAND CHAPTER: Coffee & Connections: A Monthly Virtual Networking Event

SUMMARY: The Chicagoland Chapter hosts a virtual networking event on the second Monday morning of the month entitled “Coffee & Connections.” Each session is focused on a theme and includes small and large group discussions, clear takeaways, and action items to complete before the next session. At the beginning of each conversation, key takeaways from the previous meeting are revisited to create a sense of connectivity and encourage repeat attendance. This program has grown into the chapter’s most popular event, strengthened the sense of community within the chapter, increased membership numbers, and led to new sponsorship opportunities.

YEAR: 2023

GREATER TWIN CITIES CHAPTER: The Most Powerful Engagements Start Small

SUMMARY: To improve member engagement and foster connections within the chapter, the Twin Cities Chapter started monthly, facilitated small group discussions—two to three chapter members who hold similar professional roles came together to discuss their work challenges. The board drafted questions to guide the conversations, and a board member facilitated each session. The facilitator also supported the groups in brainstorming ideas for chapter growth. The small group setting and strategic selection of participants facilitated individuals to build relationships with professional peers and fellow chapter members. The discussion topics allowed chapter leaders to get a better idea of emerging professional challenges impacting their membership and tailor programming to those needs, while skilled facilitation encouraged members to take ownership of new projects. As a result, the chapter has increased general member engagement, developed two new communities of practice led by program participants, and recruited a volunteer liaison to focus on new member onboarding.

YEAR: 2022

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER: Fostering Connection With Members … and Furry Friends

SUMMARY: In search of an engaging way to return to in-person programming and a fun way to celebrate Member Appreciation Month, the chapter decided to host a member-only networking event at a pet-friendly bar. The unique setting allowed for chapter members to bring their furry friends with them while also providing an opportunity for member engagement and community building. The chapter also recognized its chapter volunteers and included fun giveaways as part of the program. The board received great feedback on the event, with 100 percent member satisfaction from attendees. Board members also recruited a new chapter volunteer and gauged interest in a new special interest group.

YEAR: 2022

BAY COLONIES CHAPTER: “Get to Know Your Chapter” Video Series

SUMMARY: To foster a sense of community and strengthen their social media presence, the Bay Colonies Chapter created a video series to highlight chapter members. Participants sent in photos and videos of themselves to showcase their lives, jobs, hobbies, family, and more, which were edited together into video packages and shared across social media platforms. This campaign led to increased member engagement, including the recruitment of a new board member, and improved performance on social media (with their latest video receiving more than 550 views).

YEAR: 2022

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA: Using Video Quick Tips to Benefit Chapter Membership

SUMMARY: The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter looked for unique ways to amplify awareness of the chapter and provide significant content to its members. Chapter leadership filmed Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) credential holders and executive-level talent development professionals sharing their tips about online learning, facilitating, employee engagement, and other topics. The videos were uploaded and housed on the chapter’s YouTube channel then shared via small clips to the chapter’s website and social media. Through this initiative, the chapter recruited two new board members who saw value in the work the chapter was doing. The chapter has more than 100 videos in its repository, with the most popular video topping 73 views. The feedback has been positive, and they are working to expand their digital content production.

YEAR: 2021

MADISON AREA CHAPTER: Book Swap As a Value-Add

SUMMARY: The Madison Area chapter incorporated a book swap into its annual summer social to increase engagement and add value for members. Attendees were encouraged to arrive at the social with a professional development book they found to be particularly impactful and a brief review summarizing their take-aways. The chapter also gave out bookmarks listing their remaining 2019 programs as a way to further encourage people to engage with the chapter. As a result of adding the book swap, the social’s attendance doubled, the chapter collected books that can be used as future giveaways, and the remaining books were donated to a local library.

YEAR: 2019

NEBRASKA CHAPTER: Driving Engagement With the Past Presidents Council

SUMMARY: To ensure that tenured chapter leaders remain engaged, the Nebraska Chapter established a Past Presidents Council. The council meets quarterly to discuss the status of the chapter and has been a valuable source of strategic advice for current board members. In addition, the council has been directly responsible for conference and program planning efforts as well as continually improving the chapter’s succession plan.

YEAR: 2019

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Pre- and Post-ATD 2019 Members Huddle

SUMMARY: As a service to chapter members and nonmembers, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter organized pre and post-conference huddles to discuss the ATD International Conference & Exposition. During the preconference huddle, experienced conference-goers shared tips and tricks for planning your conference experience. At the post-conference event, attendees shared their thoughts about interesting sessions and “aha” moments. Veteran and first-time conference attendees benefited from the huddles. In addition, the chapter had an opportunity to engage and recruit potential members.

YEAR: 2019

NEBRASKA CHAPTER: Best Practices for Membership Engagement Through LinkedIn

SUMMARY: The chapter aimed to extend its reach on LinkedIn and build a social media following of its membership base and beyond. Because each channel is unique and requires its own strategy to maximize engagement, different tactics were built around the company page, group, and personal LinkedIn accounts for the chapter. Furthermore, targeted messaging on each page generated different conversations that varied the published content. Because LinkedIn is a main driver to the chapter’s website, the chapter believes this approach enables them to reach more people and deliver more relevant content.

YEAR: 2018

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Networking Through Nonprofit Partnership

SUMMARY: Based on feedback from the chapter’s annual member survey, members suggested partnering with nonprofit organizations for a volunteer and networking opportunity. The board worked with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to set up an event that provided both organizations exposure to community members. Fifteen people participated in the two-hour event, and the chapter provided refreshments.

YEAR: 2018

CUYAHOGA VALLEY CHAPTER: Partnering with the ATD Greater Cleveland Chapter

SUMMARY: The Cuyahoga Valley and Greater Cleveland chapters created a partnership five years ago where they co-host at least one joint event per year. The meeting is generally a larger event with more impact that allows the smaller chapter to bring some high-quality speakers to their membership base. The partnership also allows chapter members from either chapter to participate in both groups activities throughout the year.

YEAR: 2018

HAWAII CHAPTER: Our Learning Voyage!

SUMMARY: Over the years, the chapter found that free and low-cost learning programs were inadvertently creating a situation in which members could register then opt to not attend without consequence. This policy negatively impacted facilitators and room costs and limited the amount of networking opportunities for members who did attend. The board chose to reward those who attended by creating a map with 12 learning programs on it, each with a direct tie to an ATD area of expertise (AOE). It visually displays the voyage from learning program to learning program for the year. In addition to a stamping feature to encourage attendance, the map was posted on the chapter website so every member would be encouraged to attend events. Members who received seven or more stamps were entered into a drawing for a free annual Hawaii Chapter membership for themselves and a colleague of their choice, a $110 value.

YEAR: 2018

PIKES PEAK CHAPTER: Bringing ALC to Pikes Peak ATD Members

SUMMARY: To bring information from the 2017 ATD Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC) back to the chapter and deliver conference value, the chapter leaders who attended created a web-based compilation of information using Storify. The conference Storify shared key points from each session with chapter members who did not attend and demonstrated value of attendance at ALC to prospective board members. The Storify increased the chapter’s Twitter reach and momentum during and after the conference as well as spurred new programming ideas for next year.

YEAR: 2018


SUMMARY: At each of the monthly events, the chapter gives away a speaker-selected book that the winner can grow from through reading and a basket with two bottles of wine. The giveaway helps promote the profession while making it fun. The chapter collects attendees' business cards, and the speaker randomly selects a card to identify the “Read Between the Wines” winner. The speaker gets to keep the business cards for networking and/or for possible prospecting. Anecdotal feedback from both speakers and attendees shows that all parties enjoy the initiative.

YEAR: 2017

CASCADIA CHAPTER: Partnership with UMU

  • SUMMARY: Through a partnership with UMU, the Cascadia chapter has offered just-in-time evaluations and on-the-spot polling capability for a variety of functions including their annual conference, monthly programs, and member meetings. The chapter engages speakers ahead of time by asking for three questions to add to the program as an initial survey. As participants enter, they can login using instructions on tent cards on each table and provide their answers to the questions. The board members also set up opportunities for “organic” Q&A, as well as a post-event evaluation. As a bonus, the chapter promotes its Chapter Incentive Program (ChIP) code by using it as the password for everyone to log on!
  • Cascadia - SOS Submission Form
  • Cascadia - Job Aid for Board Members
  • Cascadia - UMU & ATD Cascadia Flyer

YEAR: 2017

CENTRAL INDIANA CHAPTER: Member Engagement Punch Cards

SUMMARY: To engage members more and connect them with the chapter, the board created a punch card incentive system. Members can fill in their cards by attending programs, volunteering, and bringing guests. At the annual conference, everyone who has filled all 12 spaces on the card is entered into a raffle for a high-dollar prize such as an ATD Certificate course. The chapter made it easy for everyone to participate and has received positive feedback.

YEAR: 2017

ROCHESTER CHAPTER: Adjusting Fees to Increase Membership Participation

SUMMARY: The Rochester Chapter Board decided to create a membership bundle that included program registration rates in the price of its annual membership. This change in membership structure was driven in response to member feedback. By bundling membership and program registration into one price, the board attempted to remove any barriers for members or potential members to attend regular chapter meetings. Due to the restructuring efforts, the chapter increased its membership by 125 percent.
YEAR: 2017

ROCHESTER CHAPTER: Adding Membership Value With a Small and Mighty Team

SUMMARY: After attending the ATD Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC), a member of the board brought back a strategic planning tool. The board used this tool to review the chapter’s current practices and identified areas for improvement. The team looked at everything the chapter was producing through a lens of how it adds value for the members, promotes community engagement, and increases the chapter’s operational focus. The board underwent this process in a strategy meeting, which helped the board become more organized and design ways to communicate more effectively with the chapter members.

YEAR: 2017


SUMMARY: The chapter partnered with a local printing/engraving business to provide professional name badges to all members within three days of joining the chapter. The name badge cost is included in the membership price. In the new member application, the member identifies what information they want printed on the badge. New members are presented their badge and welcomed to the chapter at the next professional development event. Annually, members who do not pick up their badge will receive it in the mail. The chapter is not taking on any cost for this initiative, and members love wearing their badges to other events outside of the chapter. The chapter has gained additional members from the free advertising.

YEAR: 2016

BIG SKY CHAPTER: Partnering With Businesses to Improve Engagement

SUMMARY: Montana is a large state, but is ranked 44th in population. Because of this, the Big Sky Chapter is targeting the professionals in the entire Big Sky region, which includes all of Montana, northern Wyoming, western North and South Dakota, and northern Idaho. By working with First Interstate Bank, the chapter can connect through a web conferencing system to involve all members from anywhere. As a result of members being able to connect to meetings without the need to drive to Billings, Montana, chapter membership doubled in less than a year.

YEAR: 2016

CENTRAL INDIANA CHAPTER: New Member Welcome Postcard

SUMMARY: The chapter created a branded postcard with a special message from the chapter’s board of directors. This postcard is signed by each board member and sent to new members within the first month of their membership to welcome them to the chapter and extend an open invitation for frequent communication among the board, volunteers, and membership. Eight months after implementation, the chapter has seen a 13 percent increase in new members. The chapter also implemented a new member orientation on a quarterly basis.

YEAR: 2016


SUMMARY: The chapter created a video that was shown at its talent development conference. The purpose of the video was to reinforce the chapter’s local presence, because building relationships and being part of a local network can help develop careers. The chapter received excellent feedback from the participants at the conference and several guests told the board of directors that they were emotionally moved by watching the video because they could relate to the story. Additionally, the video illustrates how being part of a nonprofit professional organization can help career growth and personal fulfillment. Overall, this video aided in the chapter’s value proposition.

YEAR: 2016

NORTHERN ROCKIES CHAPTER: Attracting Attendees at After-Work Networking Events

SUMMARY: ATD Northern Rockies implemented after-work networking events at local craft breweries in an effort to generate excitement and increase attendance at the chapter’s social events. The breweries provide an in-kind donation of beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and meeting space making it free for the chapter to provide this opportunity to its members and prospective members. These events serve as a revenue stream for the chapter as there are no expenses associated with the event. The networking events were also beneficial for succession planning as the chapter recruited two people to serve on the board of directors due to the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with interested volunteers.

YEAR: 2016

CASCADIA CHAPTER: Membership Cards

SUMMARY: The chapter developed a process to send out membership cards to new members on a monthly basis. The cards include the member’s name and membership end date in addition to the chapter’s logo and contact information. Although new members receive a welcome email from the chapter, the cards add a personal touch.

YEAR: 2016

CASCADIA CHAPTER: Name Badges Showing Member Status

SUMMARY: The chapter created various designs of name badges to recognize chapter members at events. The effort is another way to publicly support, acknowledge, and appreciate its members.

YEAR: 2016

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Developing an ATD Chapter Map for Pennsylvania

SUMMARY: To facilitate networking, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter desired to show from which counties in the state its members reside as part of the chapter’s new member orientation program. The Vice President of Membership contacted her counterparts at the other Pennsylvania chapters for assistance. After information gathering was complete, one of the chapter’s members with strong graphic design skills volunteered to assist with the map’s design. When the map was finalized, the image was posted on the chapter’s website and shared with fellow chapter leaders in the state.

YEAR: 2016


SUMMARY: After taking office, the chapter’s president noticed a continuing decline in chapter membership. To address this trend, the board focused on identifying ways to increase membership without spending any money. The board overhauled the website incrementally to increase its visual appeal and provide more up-to-date information to chapter members and prospects. As a result of its efforts, the chapter now has two monthly supporting sponsors, a growth in membership, and more members visiting and engaging with the website.

YEAR: 2016

NORTH ALABAMA CHAPTER: Partnership with Local University - Legacy Christian University

SUMMARY: The North Alabama chapter partnered with Legacy Christian University (LCU) to obtain a 10% tuition discount for local chapter members. In return the chapter offers three free luncheon meetings to an employee of the college in 2016. Additionally, LCU is able to market its program offerings three times during the year at chapter meetings. This partnership has increased awareness and visibility of the chapter, while offering the members an additional and valuable benefit.

YEAR: 2015

CENTRAL OKLAHOMA CHAPTER: Program Engagement and Membership Value Focus Aligned with ATD Re-branding

SUMMARY: The Central Oklahoma Chapter increased member engagement and recruitment by focusing on membership value. The chapter used surveys to gather member data and used the information to realign its programming, resources and communications with the needs of its members.

YEAR: 2015

CHARLOTTE CHAPTER: Chapter Ambassadors Program

SUMMARY: To attract and retain members, the chapter desired to create a reputation of being a warm and welcoming chapter through the Ambassador’s program. Duties of the ambassadors include greeting new members and guests as they arrive at chapter meetings, uncovering why they chose to attend the event, and assisting them in connecting with members and chapter resources. The ambassador group also designs ice breaker activities for each meeting that help members to learn more about each other and add fun to networking.

YEAR: 2014

SAN ANTONIO CHAPTER: Checklist for Volunteers

SUMMARY: In an effort to ensure the smooth flow of their events, the San Antonio chapter created a checklist to guide event planning and guarantee the completion of task items.

YEAR: 2013


SUMMARY: The chapter implemented a new member orientation to ensure that new chapter members were aware of all the local benefits. This process ensures that all their new members are engaged from day one.

YEAR: 2012


SUMMARY: To encourage volunteer engagement, the chapter instituted a Chapter Points program four years ago. Members earn points for attending programs, volunteering for different committees or sponsoring events. At the end of the year, the top five volunteers are recognized with certificates and tokens. The volunteer who has accumulated the most points during the year is awarded a certificate that can be redeemed for any ASTD certificate or education program.

YEAR: 2012


SUMMARY: The chapter implemented programming that engaged members to help illustrate the value of active participation at the local and national levels. Using the popular "99-seconds" format, they programmed a chapter meeting that featured members sharing the value of their participation.

YEAR: 2012

CHARLOTTE CHAPTER: Virtual Guest Pass Program

SUMMARY: The Charlotte chapter budgeted to allow each member to potentially bring one guest to any chapter program during the year. This was a marketing effort toward member recruitment.

YEAR: 2010

RESEARCH TRIANGLE CHAPTER: Munch & Mingles (No-Cost Networking)

SUMMARY: Munch & Mingles are easy to coordinate events which are free to members; the only cost is name tags. Since you don’t have to reserve a meeting space, you don’t have to be concerned about registration, venue/meal costs or other logistics. We invite members and non-members to attend this event. Many needs are addressed by these events such as the recruitment of new members.

YEAR: 2009

CHATTANOOGA CHAPTER: Chapter Membership Directory

SUMMARY: The Chattanooga chapter began documenting and saving all relevant chapter member contact information into one platform. This allowed for ease of contacting these training professionals.

YEAR: 2009

RESEARCH TRIANGLE AREA CHAPTER: Member Value, Engagement, & Development

SUMMARY: During 2006 the Research Triangle Area chapter experienced a decline in membership by 13% and decided to focus efforts on increasing value, engagement and development of members as a way to retain existing members and attract new members.

YEAR: 2009


SUMMARY: The chapter added meeting information (time, location, map, web URL) to back of chapter leadership business cards. On front of card, they added "Attend one meeting free with this card."

YEAR: 2009

CENTRAL INDIANA CHAPTER: VIP (Very Involved Person) Bucks!

SUMMARY: The VIP Bucks program was developed to encourage participation in chapter events, especially participation in committees. Members can use their VIP Bucks to bid on silent auction items at events and pay for monthly programs.

YEAR: 2008


SUMMARY: The Eastern Pennsylvania store allows the chapter to offer members logo merchandise specific to their chapter. There are no upfront costs, and the chapter chooses the percentage at which to markup items, and receives a monthly check for earned revenue. The store has proven to be a great way to increase chapter pride and visibility while adding revenue to the chapter.

YEAR: 2007

MIDLANDS CHAPTER: Admit One Guest Pass

SUMMARY: The Midlands Chapter posted a “guest pass” on their website for prospective members to attend a free meeting. After meetings, the chapter follows up with prospects that use the passes and has experienced a 38 percent conversion rate of pass users becoming members.

YEAR: 2007

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