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The biggest challenge facing associations with chapter networks is "maintaining relevancy in a time where geographic boundaries are made increasingly irrelevant by technology," said one survey respondent in the 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Study [PDF], conducted by our firm, Mariner Management & Marketing, LLC. And this quote was by no means an outlier. The future for associations' geographic chapters is uncertain, and this model will be shaped largely by which of six trends gains the most momentum in 2017.
Don't you love experiments? Don't you really love when someone else is in charge and gives you a front row seat to both participate and learn? It seems that 2017 might be ASAE's year for playing that role.
It started on a dare. Could we – a married couple with three sons to raise – open a business to create a new option for small, chapter based membership organizations and succeed? Heck why not? In January 2002, Peter and I opened the doors of Mariner Management. While I won’t say the sailing has always been smooth, it has always been an exciting ride.
A good friend and colleague sent me her latest white paper to read. Do you want to believe in associations' ability to change the world? Do you want to help be part of innovating education for all? Are you just a little curious about how a couple of associations are rewriting their approach to education?
With the new year fast approaching, our social media accounts are full of tips for tackling that oft-dreaded annual ritual – New Year’s resolutions. One topic that keep coming up on my social media thread is how to become a better steward of the environment in the coming year by following the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
This got me thinking and I thought I’d take a crack out seeing how we can apply the 3Rs concept to associations. To get myself started, I reached back into past blog posts (reuse at its finest) and pulled out what I thought fit.
Twas the night after Christmas and all thro' the office not a creature was stirring, not even a virtual log-in … so brings me to blog? The freedom to not do a single item on my to-do, no calls to members, volunteers, leaders or clients, no frantic deadlines to meet. Rather, a chance once again to pause and consider once again what new ideas I might try in 2017. Here’s my day after list of quick links:
Whaaat? Well researchers have confirmed what we all know to be true: we don’t keep resolutions. Shift from statements to questions, and the results are far better. Add a twist: if we adopted the principal of phrasing our association’s problems or challenges as questions, might we improve our success record?
One barrier to implementing new ideas can be a board. Not a piece of wood (although at this point many of us have a similar picture in our mind), but our board of directors. That's why I delighted in reading Mark Athitakis's post on how a shift in conversation can have a domino effect.
I crisscrossed the US this year working with dozens of associations and their volunteer leaders, one encounter really struck me. It was with a young, dynamic professional who is the Financial Planning Association’s NexGen Local Leader Liaison, Ian Harvey, CFP. The idea: mash-up of chapters for young pros.
When the email arrived, I was curious. How did my year size up? Well, if the email had come from ASAE, it would have definitely looked way fuller! So naturally I thought, this would have been cool if my association had done this - an idea!
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