How will we engage members in the COVID era?

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Think those (pesky?) chapters. Really.

More than 50% of associations have reported a disruption in existing member programs or activities. Nearly 40% indicated they don’t see resuming in-person events before 2021. What this foretells for retention is anyone’s guess however associations are bracing according the ASAE Foundation Impact Study. We tremble though because we know the connection between member engagement and retention.

This is where chapters come in. Very likely long before national meetings get back on track, small local events can return to in-person. Then as our members struggle with slashed travel and training budgets, local events offer cost-effective, convenient options. For those members who find themselves now between jobs, the local networking is a powerful draw. And, as we seek ways to take control back over our lives, local volunteering is a critical outlet.  Our geographic components (aka chapters) can offer all this.

Before COVID-19 changed the game, associations were already looking to geographic components (aka chapters) as an increasingly important engagement channel. In the 2019 Chapter Benchmarking Report, 64% viewed member engagement as an “absolutely essential” role for their chapters – with reason.

We’re joining forces with ReviewMyAMS to share the data and, more importantly, association examples, on how this channel can be optimized. Join us for a free webinar “Breaking Open a New Channel for Member Engagement” June 16 at 2pm ET to explore how associations are leveraging chapters as an engagement channel.

Will chapters be a lifesaver? Maybe but only if we take an active role in opening up this channel.

Download the Billhighway – Mariner 2019 Chapter Benchmarking Report.

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.