CTAM Honors its Chapter Volunteers – In a Special Way

CTAM To Honor Local Chapters With Chairman’s Award – this seemingly mild twitter from Shelly Good-Cook, Sr. Dir. Membership Marketing & Chapter Relations for CTAM: Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing is anything but.

With my interest piqued, I clicked through to the article (naturally) and discovered that CTAM Chairman Joe Rooney says “chapter resources are ‘hidden jewel’” and therefore has for the very first time selected not an individual for its Chairman’s Award but rather all the volunteers who run the 12 US chapters and 3 others in Canada, Europe and the Caribbean.

Rooney said “I know it’s a bit unorthodox choosing the Chapters over an individual but the volunteers who lead the CTAM chapters really extend the impact of our organization beyond what we would otherwise reach.”

Aside from the wonderful departure from the traditional recognition of chapters and local volunteers, this story underscores that prevailing feeling that chapters are important. In 2006 ASAE and The Center conducted a survey of members on this subject. Its findings concluded that while associations are almost unanimous in their belief that components contribute to an association and nearly a quarter report revenue contributions, less than 50% specifically track these contributions and a slight 8.5% calculate an ROI. Yet, they attributed value to chapters without hard data.

In a few short months, ASAE & The Center will embark on a much larger survey asking the question a little differently. Instead of asking associations, they will be asking association members. The goal will be to uncover the value from the members’ point of view and then surmise how associations can track, measure and encourage this. If your interest is piqued, you can get more information from ASAE’s Monica Dignam and even join the study as a co-sponsor which will allow you to gain insight from your members.

In the absence of hard data, though, it’s still a delight to see an association recognize its chapters and very importantly its chapter’s volunteers. (As a side note, the Local Leader category of volunteer makes up some 22.9% of association volunteers according to The Decision To Volunteer study. In this group, 17.5% contribute 50 or more hours per year! Since nearly 2/3 are in entry-level or mid-career level, it also includes your up-and-coming volunteers.

How are you recognizing your volunteers?