One thing that's always on the mind of component relations professionals (CRPs) is how to boost chapter performance. After all, improving chapter performance or helping a struggling component benefits the association as a whole, including the membership experience.
In my video, which is just two minutes and 30 seconds, I offer two helpful pro tips and go into some detail on how you can accomplish these:
Pro Tip 1: Stay in Touch with Struggling Chapter Reps
Pro Tip 2: Empower Your Chapters with the Tools They Need
Take a look at the full video below and let me know what you think!
It’s a point of pride to be recognized within your own community for three consecutive years! memberplanet earned second place in the Tech Tribune’s 2020 top five ranking of the best tech startups in Torrance, CA. We’re proud to be recognized for our dedication to our clients’ growth and rewarded for our focus on simplifying membership management.
We strive to continuously improve our platform by utilizing input from our clients and the challenges their administrative users face. That enables us to deliver solutions based on real-world situations. We’re incredibly proud of the fact that our platform is customizable to your workflow processes, which allows us to serve a wide range of organizations and associations across multiple industries – it’s what makes us different. We’re always excited about the local recognition and look at it as a confirmation that we’re doing something right.
Ready to take your organization to the next level? Schedule a demo with our team to learn more about our powerful platform.
Updated since original publication on 04/24/18.
Great trainers are naturally great leaders. And by definition, great leaders are those who inspire confidence, strength, and optimism. They are the folks who can motivate – not force – their administrators to reach their fullest potential as they ascend to a new role or take on greater responsibilities. And we all know how important a good trainer is during officer or staff transitions.
The term admin can be applied broadly – it can mean your committee heads, officers, or anyone you’ve put in charge of tasks that keep your organization running smoothly, whether it’s an association, chapter, or other type of membership-based group. As far as training the best admins goes, a great trainer/leader uses methods that can be boiled down to a few guiding principles. I call them 5 Keys to Training Your Staff Admins; master these, and your team will be set for success.
For every specific skill or task to be instructed to your team admins, explain first what it is you’re about to share. More importantly, explain why it is important for your organization. How does it work in its specific scope? How does it affect the overall team? It’s important to give a sense of the overall flowchart of the group and the admin’s role within it.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
You’ve provided the instructions to light the path. Now have your team show you how to do it. You’ll be able to see if how much they’ve retained from their training, and how well they apply their knowledge and adapt to different situations. Of course, knowing what you know, don’t keep them in the dark. Adjust the course when necessary. Encourage and empathize.
We are all individuals (maybe some are more like rebels) in the world, and personality will eventually be revealed, especially in the course of training. Make time to discover your admins’ own skills and experience. Do they enjoy a steady pace? Or do they work best at light speed? But be sure to recognize their different ways of learning, and be open to adapt to give each of them the answers they’ll need ongoing.
Grow your staff admins. As they navigate their new role, give them space to make mistakes – that’s how we really learn. Assign a project or task as a test (e.g. an upcoming social event, or a fundraising campaign, or a yearly calendar of projects) and see how they rise to the challenge. Let them own it. If they can construct it, it’s like a rite of passage.
Provide support and feedback. Work with each admin to set up short- and long-term goals for themselves and the organization and make sure they know how to use the tools available to them. On the feedback loop, too, show them what’s been done previously by their predecessors. Encourage them to find ways to innovate and improve efficiency while building on past successes and the great work that’s already been done.
Even after they’ve completed their training, seek out your staff admins’ feedback and listen to their perspectives. Learning is a two-way street, and hearing from them will bolster your own knowledge and help you further educate them.
When your admins are confident that you as their trainer/leader have their back and their interests at heart, they’ll operate at peak productivity, and they will lead the rest of the organization in the way they’ve been instructed. This is the way to build a lasting team and community.
“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
Updated since original publication on 02/12/18.
Successful associations have more than occasional high-performing components or chapters; they’re built upon a base of overall achievement and solid quality control. However, if quality control is an issue, that could hinder chapter success. According to Mariner Marketing’s 2019 Chapter Benchmarking Report, 71 percent of survey respondents indicated that quality control is considered an issue by headquarters (HQ). Not surprisingly, 40 percent, which was the majority of survey respondents, described it as their top concern – namely, that chapter products and services, such as events, membership meetings, and the like, can be uneven or frequently low quality at worst. Let’s put those worries to rest and look at ways to engage all of your chapters and bring the overall quality and performance of them closer to that of your best. These 6 tips will show you how.
1. Foster friendly competition
Analyze the metrics you use to measure your chapters and identify your most consistent performers, then use that data to create a single yet realistic goal for chapters that are struggling. It can be tied to an annual membership drive or philanthropic event where participation within a chapter can boost its overall success. This allows for even your under-performing components a fair chance to succeed, while potentially inspiring them to see their potential going forward. You can also opt to reward creativity and offer the component with the freshest idea or concept for membership recruitment (for example) the chance to lead that event for an inter-chapter competition.
2. Utilize the buddy system
Take advantage of the metrics you use to measure quality control and take note of which components do well and those that have considerable work to do. Break it down by area to distinguish between member services, fundraising, and events. Pair top performers with struggling chapter reps. This will not only help build camaraderie and rapport between your chapters, but it will allow metric leaders to use their own words and approaches to be a resource to those who are underperforming. Sometimes help from peers can work wonders – it’s simply the way chapter leaders hear certain tips or approaches from someone in their shoes that can turn their own metrics around. Buddy up and let chapter-to-chapter leadership flourish.
3. Empower your chapters with the tools they need
Another way to boost chapter performance is to arm chapter reps with the necessary tools to effectively manage their chapters. Since many chapter reps are volunteers with full-time jobs – making the most of their limited time and resources is paramount. Make sure you cover the basics; every chapter should have a toolkit that includes a chapter website, communication, and marketing tools to promote the association’s brand while maintaining consistency. If you can, include event management tools and best practices for promoting activities and events. Make your toolkit even more robust by providing an online community for members to interact with each other that include online database management. A comprehensive association management system (AMS) maximizes the time of your chapter leaders while providing them the most useful tools to recruit and retain members.
4. Recognize stellar chapter performances
Provide your most successful chapters with the recognition their hard work deserves, and also recognize those who made an outstanding effort. You can host a short award ceremony at your annual/quarterly conferences to really highlight standout performances. Include a variety of categories and awards such as a Rising Star Award, Most Creative Event, etc. so that people can vote for the winner online prior to the ceremony. A comprehensive AMS will have secure, online polling functionality, so you can leave the voting up to national-level staff, or you can open it up to everyone, which will only further enhance the bond among your components. Everyone loves a moment in the spotlight, and it gives those who aren’t receiving awards reason to strive in the following year. You can also offer prizes in terms of discounted dues membership or a special section on your association’s homepage to more frequently highlight chapters that are striving to go above and beyond.
5. Create a system for officer transitions
Consistency is a key marker of ongoing success. One way to ensure chapters maintain their best elements year over year is starting with a standardized toolkit and support resources to onboard new leadership. A standardized toolkit will help officers keep all relevant documents and reports in an easily accessible place like an online portal, which would be a great start for an incoming officer. It goes without saying that outgoing officers should help train incoming officers. It’s also crucial to have an ongoing FAQ, ideally one passed down from officer to officer. It essentially becomes a success guidebook for each new officer to learn from mistakes or common questions previous leadership experienced and solved. Making sure your chapters have these support resources in place sets up incoming officers for success. You can also take time to speak with successful chapters about the strategies they employ during officer transitions and take advantage of what works for them by passing it along to all your other components.
6. Build strong chapter rep relationships
Your chapter reps are people who’ve volunteered to lead, who were willing to take on the responsibility of that role because they truly support and believe in the mission of your association. Strengthen your bond with them by reaching out; engage them by getting to know their interests and personal goals. Help them feel seen not only as a chapter rep but as a person you respect. Emails and text messages are fine, but phone calls and in-person meetings are better. Another suggestion before hopping on the phone is to send a simple chapter leadership poll to understand their needs and expectations. Review their responses on your call and use this connection to also clearly establish your expectations from them and the chapter; illuminate them by defining what success looks like to you. Share the metrics you’ll be using to measure their chapter success while also clearly stating your goals.
Following these tips will help you better support struggling chapters by maintaining quality control and offering a little more TLC when it’s needed. Consider implementing a solution that will empower you and your components to accomplish more, maintain visibility, and manage membership with ease.
We at memberplanet take security seriously. Protecting your data – both personal and payment information – is our top priority. We continually update our security measures to ensure that your information is kept safe against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure, manipulation, or destruction. In addition to trusting us with your data, you should feel that you have complete control over the information you provide online, and so should the people in your group. The GDPR – a term you’ve probably heard before – is meant to empower European Union citizens, but we see this as being relevant to all our customers, regardless of where they reside. Here’s what you need to know, the choices your members have, and what to expect.
What is the GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new set of data procedures designed to protect and empower all European Union (EU) citizens’ data privacy. UK residents are also included. The GDPR replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive and is arguably the most significant change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. It’s meant to boost consumer confidence and data transparency in our digital economy and in turn business.
When did the GDPR go into effect?
On May 25, 2018. Organizations found in non-compliance risk significant fines.
Whom does the GDPR affect?
The GDPR applies to organizations that collect, share, and/or store the data of EU citizens. For example, if there’s a chance your U.S.-based organization collects personal data of EU citizens, you may need to adjust and demonstrate that your methods of collecting, sharing, and/or storing that data is compliant to the GDPR starting May 25, 2018.
These terms define whom the GDPR affects in relation to the data collected:
Personal data: any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person
Controllers: people or organizations that determine the purposes and essential means of the processing of personal data
Processors: people or organizations that process personal data on behalf of a controller
Processing: any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction
In relation to the GDPR’s definitions, memberplanet is considered a processor – we process personal data on behalf of controllers, which are our customers, groups, clients, and organizations that use memberplanet even on a free subscription plan.
What is the penalty for non-compliance?
The maximum penalty for organizations in breach of GDPR is up to 4% of annual global revenue or €20 million (whichever is greater). There is also a tiered approach. For example, a company can be fined 2% for not having their records in order, not notifying the supervising authority and data subject about a breach, or not conducting impact assessment. At the EU level, Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) are empowered to monitor compliance. Fines apply to controllers and processors, so this is something you don’t want to ignore.
How does the GDPR affect memberplanet customers?
The GDPR details the following key procedures and rights of EU citizens, and if you collect their data, you are obligated to comply with these:
Get clear consent to process data. Terms and conditions must be easily accessible with the purpose for data processing attached to that consent. Use clear and plain language. Also, permit withdrawal of consent. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.
Right to Be Forgotten (Data Erasure)
Erase personal data if the data subject asks. Data subjects are entitled to have the controller erase his or her personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of data. Exemptions include if the data is needed to exercise freedom of expression, a legal obligation to keep that data, and reasons of public interest, such as public health research purposes.
Right to Access
Let people access their data and receive confirmation as to whether or not their personal data is being processed, where and for what purpose. You’re obligated to provide an electronic copy of their data to them - free of charge.
Data subjects have the right to receive their personal data in a common machine-readable format that allows them to give it to another company.
Inform people of data breaches if there is serious risk to them. You must do this within 72 hours of first having become aware of the breach.
For more details on exemptions and key changes to the previous directive, you can visit the European Commission’s website.
What choices do my members have regarding their personal data?
Members may request to view, update, or delete their information by submitting a request for info or deletion or emailing us at email@example.com. Please note that some information may remain in our records, for example in our archives, after a request for deletion of such information. We may use any aggregated data derived from or incorporating members’ personal information after they update or delete it, but not in a manner that would identify them personally. Please also note that comments posted publicly on our website properties, such as comments on our blog posts, will remain visible to the public.
Important to note:
The information in this article is not meant to be a substitute for legal advice. Only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice appropriate for your organization’s particular situation.
Updated since original date of publication on 05/24/2018.
The networks created within higher education last longer than the standard four years it takes to earn a degree. People can recognize a fellow alum anywhere in the world through Greek life apparel. A perfect stranger becomes an instant colleague because of the shared experience at a university.
Alumni chapter leaders should develop events that elevate and deepen this network, concurrently inspiring alumni to donate and support the mission of their fraternal organizations. If you’re struggling to come up with fresh ideas to fill your calendar, we’ve got your back. Here are 10 popular and easily customizable event ideas for alumni chapter leaders to better engage their alumni community.
1. Sporting events
It’s a crisp fall day, and thousands of people in matching jerseys and sweaters enter a stadium. They all know the same songs and cheers for their team. Alumni chapter leaders can easily tap into sports fandom. Find events that your members would already attend and promote your own event or get-together while they’re there. For example, a lot of organizations have events at Wrigley Field, and the Chicago Cubs hosted HBCU Day there in Sept. 2019. It would be easy to find out what events the university is hosting there and piggyback on it to have your own alumni event included.
2. Golf scrambles
Break out those plaid sweaters and trusty clubs! If golf is a shared interest among alumni chapter members, you can host a golf scramble to 1. get friends together, and 2. raise money for a cause. In a traditional scramble, attendees group together in teams of four. Each team member has a chance to tee off, but everyone plays from the spot of the best shot. This format takes the pressure off the individual score and allows forgiveness for frustrating shots into the sand trap. It all ends up being a lot of fun and enables your members to give back at the same time.
3. Happy hours
What could be easier than organizing an alumni happy hour? This low-maintenance activity is perfect if you’re looking to get your first event set up for your alumni chapter. If your members live in different cities around the world, pick a location that’s in proximity for the majority. To boost attendance, identify people from different eras or generations to act as event sponsors and encourage more people to come. Maybe ask the bartender to provide a signature drink in honor of your alma mater and promote the gathering on social networks to broaden your reach.
Homecoming weekend can be much more than one event. With current and former students returning to campus, alumni leaders can capitalize on a large membership base all in the same place at the same time. Work with the university ahead of time and coordinate your alumni chapter event with theirs — you’ll get a lot of freebies in terms of promotion, such as inclusion in the university’s alumni magazine, event calendar, email newsletter, and any other items they send out.
Another idea is to find out what’s happening at the chapter house (if you have one) and piggyback on that event. Make sure that, among the football games and parades, alumni chapters have their own smaller events for members to relive memories with friends from their era.
5. Chapter events
Most Greek communities and honor societies have longstanding events and ceremonies in which current and former members can share. Whether they’re initiations, galas, or graduations, it’s important to remind and invite alumni to return and participate in the customs and rituals of their communities. In the busy day-to-day of post-collegiate life, alumni chapter leaders can help increase member attendance by providing early notice and an annual calendar of major events.
6. Founders Day and anniversary celebrations
Founders Day is always a big deal whether it’s the 150th or 25th anniversary. Plan a special gathering to honor founders’ ideals and celebrate the continued commitment of membership. You can also tie in a fundraising campaign to benefit the undergrad chapter. Whatever you plan to do, make sure to invite headquarters and have someone attend and do a short presentation as a representative of the international organization. Kick event promotion up a notch by getting a steering committee together to get the word out through social media, emails, and calls. Anniversary celebrations for special dates should be hosted on location; reunion weekends can incite older members to return to campus and see how their legacy thrives. Small events can really decorate an anniversary celebration — i.e., a silent auction with campus memorabilia or a meet and greet with undergrad members.
7. Social media contests and holiday events
Holidays are great opportunities for alumni chapter leaders. The theme and décor allow for eye-catching festivities! If holiday decorating is popular among members, plan a photo submission contest – members can submit entries through the chapter’s social network. Featured finalists can be posted on your alumni website and everyone can vote on a winner. This also gives you the opportunity to boost social engagement and followers. Make sure you have an awesome incentive, and if you do decide to host an elaborate contest, post official rules beforehand.
Planning for colder weather? In-person events can include ski weekends, religious services, or maybe a polar plunge.
8. Super Bowl/March Madness
Beyond campus sporting events, national teams garner strong ties and enthusiasm. Would a friendly March Madness pool or Super Bowl bet be of high interest among your members? These are typically free to organize and need little effort to manage. Alumni chapter leaders can easily promote engagement among members without needing to host an event. A pool could act as an online fundraiser as well. If your members would like to meet up, coordinating watch parties for the big games is also fun and highly engaging.
9. Fantasy leagues
Continuing along the vein of sports-related activities, alumni chapters can participate in their own fantasy leagues. These are simple to set up and have built-in leaderboards and discussion boards for some friendly squabbling. Moreover, members can participate no matter where they live. Even those with busy schedules can usually take advantage of auto-draft functionality and mobile apps.
10. Feature alumni speakers and artists
It’s essential to celebrate the successes of alumni chapter members. Inviting them to speak or present can be a great way to honor them, inspire current members, and get more of their communities involved. Whether this is part of a larger event like Homecoming weekend or a standalone event, alumni have a chance to gather to celebrate and learn from one of their own. Encourage speakers to highlight how their experiences on campus and as alumni have augmented their achievements. Artists can showcase at a gallery-like event with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. After the event, consider posting a recording or pictures of highlights from the get-together on your website and social networks – leverage past events to garner buzz for the next ones.
Planning engaging events for your members helps keep them active and entices others to join your alumni group. All of the aforementioned events can be tied to your organization’s mission, fundraising goals, networking initiatives, or celebration of member accomplishments. Try out these events or use them as a springboard for more ideas for your alumni chapter.
About Matt Arnold
As our Vice President of Business Development, Matt is dedicated to serving member-based organizations and small to mid-sized associations. With over 10 years of experience wearing various leadership hats as an Alpha Tau Omega alumnus, Matt specializes in all fraternal organization matters. Whether a group is challenged with growing membership or struggling to engage members, he's got a solution.
memberplanet to Exhibit the Holiday Showcase Produced by the Association Forum in Chicago - Learn What Top 5 Things to Do in Chicago if You’re Attending
On December 17 - we will be at booth # 319 exhibiting the wonderful Holiday Showcase conference produced by the Association Forum at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. This conference is a one-day trade show for Chicago’s huge association market that holds more than 1,400 attendees. These professional attendees come from all areas of association management.
Our memberplanet team is looking forward to present our powerful AMS that lets admins track activity, view reporting, and gain high-level organizational visibility - all in one place!
If you’re headed to Chicago - here are the top 5 things to check out while you’re there this holiday season:
Christkindlemarket - Daley Plaza, Loop
This charming little outdoor Christmas market features international and local vendors with unique holiday gifts and delicious food and beverages. Don’t forget to check out their imported wine!
Lincoln Park Zoo
A 35-acre zoo founded in 1868 is the oldest zoo in North America and one of a few free admission zoos in the U.S. Enjoy a holiday experience at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Visit the City of Chicago Christmas Tree - Millennium Park
Head over to gaze at this famous tree adorned with twinkling lights - and not too far from the Christkindlemarket.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
It’s Chicago - must have pizza! Enjoy a slice of this famous deep-dish pizza that has locals naming it one of the best in town.
Another delicious and famous deep-dish pizza that everyone must try is Giordano’s. A creation that began in Italy - this slice of heaven has been making news headlines for years.
We are very proud to exhibit at the 2019 ASAE Technology Exploration Conference (TEC) in Washington, D.C. December 3-4. This two-day event will be tailored to reach the critical needs of a growing technology-driven community. ASAE TEC seeks to help technology professionals, and other professionals with roles or interest in digital and mobile solutions find the education, solutions, and connections they’re looking for.
As a pioneer in cloud-based membership management software, the memberplanet team is looking forward to demonstrate our robust AMS, reporting capabilities, and comprehensive solutions. Our flexible platform allows associations to connect to their existing database, technology partners, and custom workflows via powerful API integrations - resulting in a seamless and engaging user experience.
If you are attending #ASAETEC, please stop by booth #227 to learn more about our innovative solutions!
It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is quickly approaching, isn’t it? The first sighting of snow-covered décor or lit up trees means that giving season is upon us! There is one major event that kicks off holiday giving – Giving Tuesday. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday 2019 takes place on December 3. In 2018, people from more than 110 community coalitions and 150 countries participated in the charitable event.
According to the Giving Tuesday organization, in 2016 Giving Tuesday raised more than $177 million online. 2017 was even more successful, it raised over $300 million online. Last year’s results tallied to more than $400 million - proof that donors are extremely generous during both Giving Tuesday and end-of-year giving in general. As awareness of the day continues to grow each year, so do its benefits for charitable organizations. Giving Tuesday has become a global event, but you don’t need to be a national or multi-tiered organization to participate. Here are three steps even a local nonprofit can take to prepare for the main event.
Step 1: Set your Giving Tuesday fundraising goals
An important part of preparing for Giving Tuesday is setting your fundraising goals. When setting your goals, you can consider the following:
Remember, the more prepared you are in determining your goals, the easier it will be for you to nail down your message when you’re ready to share your goals and grow community involvement!
Step 2: Fire up your fundraising campaign
You have a million ways these days to approach promoting your donation campaign. You can go the chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire approach, which is kind of a slow burn at first, and then switch to fireworks finale mode, an all-at-once effort, toward the end.
Whatever approach you decide on, take advantage of email and social media – two powerful marketing platforms.
Mobilizing volunteer efforts is another strategy that spreads awareness throughout your local community and celebrate giving. The holiday giving season can mean giving one’s time or donating goods – not just funds. By inviting donors, employees, and members of the local community to your event, you can attract attention to your cause.
Step 3: Make donating easy
In business, a best practice is to make it easy for customers to give you their money. The same applies to your donors. Always give them the options to donate when they want and how they want. By offering the option to donate electronically, your supporters can make secured donations conveniently from a website or mobile device, whenever they want, even if they’re thousands of miles away. You can still accept cash or check, but you’re not limiting your fundraising by only accepting those forms of donations.
Nonprofits that offer online giving also widen the donor net and grow overall fundraising revenue. By setting up a way to process funds electronically, you can also offer donors the option to pay by recurring or installment payments. Recurring payment options are a great fit for those who want to contribute weekly, monthly, or quarterly throughout the year. Installment payments give donors the convenience of breaking up a large sum of money (which they may not have considered giving all at once) into multiple payments of their choosing.
By using these key steps to prep for Giving Tuesday, your organization will not only be a part of a growing movement, it will also give you the chance to celebrate the success that your charitable efforts deliver to your local community.
Ready to get started? Log in, create a donation campaign, and choose from multiple templates, including Giving Tuesday and other seasonal occasions.
Updated since original publication on 10/23/17.
memberplanet is thrilled to be attending the 2019 Associations Component Exchange (CEX) forum organized by Billhighway on Friday, October 18th, in Washington, D.C. CEX is the only conference designed for component relations professionals. This event is a one-day forum for association professionals who manage, nurture, and work with components or chapters to share successes, struggles, and strategies.
Cassie Braun and Chris O’ Meara from our team will be there to participate in educational sessions and collaborate around chapters. #LeverageChapters!
memberplanet helps components stay connected with association leaders - The platform is designed for a multi-level association with components. The AMS provides visibility over all chapters with consolidated, customizable reporting. Everything – from public-facing features to chapter website templates – adopts a nation level’s look and feel to maintain brand consistency.
Build your online presence - Provide streamlined chapter websites with a member login and personalized member dashboard. Chapter-based associations can maintain branding consistency and control messaging with content management system (CMS) features for all their chapter sites, while empowering chapters to produce their own engaging content.