The next competition for our association components is right on WordPress in the form of the WordPress Meetup. It was launched with a grandiose proclamation in January on the WordPress blog: “We hereby declare 2012 as the Year of the WordPress Meetup. You’ll want to get in on this action.” It is breaking the game wide-open
As noted in an earlier post, I recently joined a professional association – International Association of Administrative Professionals. Shortly after I joined, I was contacted by a local chapter president and invited to attend a meeting. This past week I did just that and was warmly welcomed into the fold.
Yesterday, Leap Day 2012, some 30 association professionals gathered in the conference room at Printing and Graphics Association MidAtlantic to explore three topics: membership models, learning models, and social media. Formally titled an ASAE Super Swap, what we had was a social learning event where SMEs on the three topics faciliated conversations.
I have so many blogs rattling in my head and a dozen started in my blogging file. There are so many things to share. But right at this moment, the right one to share is Beth Kanter's latest post from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference where she said she spent a day off-line to give full attention to program and people.
In 2008, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) was ready to create a new model for their chapters. Fast forward to February 2012, when on a volunteer leadership call, three local leaders shared how the new model is working in their states. We heard proof that volunteer leaders will embrace change and in fact make it their own. AADE had successfully thrown out the dirty bath water (old structure) without losing their members and volunteers.
A great conversation happened over on the ASAE Components Section Collaborate group. It began with a simple request for a sample committee charter or work plan; It morphed though into a dialog on the value of committees.
So I call the bank/ phone company/… to ask a question about my latest statement, for example, and I get a voice mail prompt to enter my account number. After several more auto-queries (and often quite a few expletives), I get a human on the other end of the line. The first question they ask is…”What is your account number?”
Volunteer-managed chapters often struggle with the question, “At what point do we need to hire outside help?” The answer depends on several factors including an honest, accurate assessment of what needs to be done. (Note, a full discussion of the latter is another blog post on the propensity of chapters to mis-define themselves simply as mini-versions of the national association and thus burden themselves with far too broad a task list.) The decision to outsource is driven by three questions that get at financial and human resources.
At a recent board meeting with one of our association clients, the board discussed how to reach out to local national members who had not joined the chapter. I can relate to the non-chapter affiliation. I recently joined a professional association as a member-at-large because I knew nothing about the two chapters closest to me, and wasn’t sure which would be a good fit.
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