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Chapter Leader Community (CLC)
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Membership Engagement
Best practices on engaging chapter members

FLORIDA SUNCOAST CHAPTER: Read Between the Wines

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!

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

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: On-Demand New Member Orientation

SUMMARY: The chapter, working with a local college, brought in an intern to develop an online new member orientation program. The project gave the intern experience with asynchronous, online learning development and working with the local chapter. The chapter purchased a two-month license for Captivate to develop the orientation at a cost of $59.95. The effort provided new members an immediate orientation to the chapter and relieved the VP of Membership to focus on other initiatives as opposed to conducting regular orientations. Through this process, the chapter learned that it takes time to incorporate the learning into Wild Apricot to make it available to members, and would allot more time for this phase in the future. The orientation is set to be updated on a two-year cycle.

YEAR: 2016

FLORIDA SUNCOAST CHAPTER: Name Badges

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

CENTRAL INDIANA CHAPTER: Engagement Through New Member Orientation

SUMMARY: To streamline the process a new chapter member experiences after joining, the Vice President of Membership and President-Elect developed a New Member Orientation Program to complement the informal welcome new members received upon joining the chapter. New members who joined in the past six months are invited to attend the orientation. The chapter currently offers the formal session twice per year immediately following a chapter event, which is promoted through the monthly newsletter, social media, and in person. It has increased monthly programming, specifically with new members and the chapter has seen that new members have become involved quicker with chapter committees and volunteer/leadership roles.

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

LOS ANGELES CHAPTER: My Story

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

SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA CHAPTER: Improving SEVA Visibility and Value

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

GREATER DETROIT CHAPTER: Member of the Month

SUMMARY: The Greater Detroit Chapter established a monthly member profile shared online via the chapter's blog and other social media channels. The purpose of the profile is to recognize and appreciate chapter members, facilitate networking connections among our chapter members, and encourage non-members to join the chapter.

YEAR: 2014

CHARLOTTE CHAPTER: Volunteer Fair

SUMMARY: The Charlotte Chapter Board of Directors recognized the need for more resources to help effectively manage the chapter. The board also believed having members actively participate in chapter activities would increase the likelihood of their renewing and provide “bench strength” for future board roles. To address these the needs, the chapter created a Volunteer Fair held during the networking portion of a regular chapter meeting. The fair resulted in ten new committee members enlisting to help support the chapter.

YEAR: 2014

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

BATON ROUGE CHAPTER: Volunteer Recruitment

SUMMARY: The Baton Rouge Chapter traditionally experienced high involvement from board members, but had few consistent non-board volunteers. To help encourage and promote volunteer opportunities within the chapter, chapter leadership decided to identify and promote specific volunteer opportunities within the chapter. The chapter developed a Volunteer Opportunity Information Sheet, which describes the opportunity, outlines realistic time commitments required for the opportunity, and aligns the opportunity with competencies that are used.

YEAR: 2013

CHICAGOLAND CHAPTER: Student Giveaways

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

CENTRAL NEW YORK CHAPTER: Member Orientation

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

GREATER CLEVELAND CHAPTER: Chapter Points Program

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

GREATER CHATTANOOGA CHAPTER: 99 Seconds

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

MIDLANDS CHAPTER: Identifying Volunteers

SUMMARY: The Midlands Chapter shared their best practice methods of identifying quality volunteers to serve in chapter leadership positions. This process addressed the need that board directors and committee chairs regularly had when trying to increase the chapter’s volunteer pool each year.

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

CENTRAL MISSOURI CHAPTER: Member Recognition

SUMMARY: In an effort to recognize members the chapter decided to spotlight members in its chapter newsletter. By spotlighting members, it brings awareness to the rest of the chapter about who the chapter consists of, what they do, where they word, and diversity within the chapter. This effort also increased chapter membership loyalty.

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

CENTRAL OHIO CHAPTER: New Member Orientation Lunch

SUMMARY: The executive board members recognized that it may be difficult for a new member to feel included into an existing group or organization. The Membership Management team came up with the idea of developing and facilitating a member orientation program.

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

SPRINGFIELD/BRANSON CHAPTER: Business Cards

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

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER: Eastern Pennsylvania Store

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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