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The Mystical World of Chapter ROI

In this slide deck, we cover: - Common obstacles that stand in the way of tracking ROI - How others in the association space are tackling these challenges - What drives ROI - How to start tracking individual component performance You can view the recording here: https://youtu.be/SuKQnBA3wzs

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the
Of Chapter ROI
Unicorns are impossible to find.
Chapter ROI doesn’t have to
be.
Why Are You Here? ?
 You’re not sure chapters are worth the effort
 Chapters require a lot of time, money
and resources to support
 I’m sick of fighting with my chapters!
 Members had a poor chapter experience
 Not sure if membership structure & chapter model is working
 HQ colleagues question if you even need chapters!
05
One of the fundamental
problems that associations
have when it comes to this
value assessment and
performance evaluation
process is that, in the majority
of the cases with associations
with chapters, the data sets
are fragmented. They don’t
have a unified data set.
Peter Houstle, Mariner Management
Are Chapters
Worth The Effort?
CALCULATE ROI
5%
NO PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT
1/3
THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
03
04
What Are We Discussing Today?
01 02 03
Strategy
Component Challenges
ROI
How to drive & track
chapter ROI
Resources
Share resources
Kyle Bazzy
Director of Growth
Proud Detroiter
Billhighway
Technology that solves real
problems exclusively for
component-based
organizations
Founded in 1999
Why Are We Doing This?

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The Mystical World of Chapter ROI

  • 1. the Of Chapter ROI Unicorns are impossible to find. Chapter ROI doesn’t have to be.
  • 2. Why Are You Here? ?  You’re not sure chapters are worth the effort  Chapters require a lot of time, money and resources to support  I’m sick of fighting with my chapters!  Members had a poor chapter experience  Not sure if membership structure & chapter model is working  HQ colleagues question if you even need chapters!
  • 3. 05 One of the fundamental problems that associations have when it comes to this value assessment and performance evaluation process is that, in the majority of the cases with associations with chapters, the data sets are fragmented. They don’t have a unified data set. Peter Houstle, Mariner Management Are Chapters Worth The Effort? CALCULATE ROI 5% NO PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT 1/3
  • 4. THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
  • 5. 03 04 What Are We Discussing Today? 01 02 03 Strategy Component Challenges ROI How to drive & track chapter ROI Resources Share resources
  • 6. Kyle Bazzy Director of Growth Proud Detroiter Billhighway Technology that solves real problems exclusively for component-based organizations Founded in 1999 Why Are We Doing This?
  • 7. 05 The Challenge Is Real… International Association of Administrative Professionals  Surveyed members  Found poor member experience at chapter level resulting in members not renewing Air Conditioning Contractors of America  Membership increasing in states WITHOUT chapters  Declining in states WITH chapters Source: http://associationsnow.com/2016/09/state-association-chapters/
  • 8. Organization: CoSN • CoSN Membership CoSN State Chapters Told to Grow Chapters with no budget and one staff person Education Technology: CTOs Create 501c3 Institutional Membership Umbrellas under existing 501c3 Component Model: 12 Chapters Run by Volunteers or Employers Doubled component model to 26 2 Inactive Chapters
  • 9. What makes a good component? • Provide good member experience • Willingness to build brand awareness • Deliver products and services of national and will they invest in other offerings • Sustainability of the organization • Shared revenue model Bob Harris, CAE – Association Consultant Structure + Strength + Sustainability = Strong Component
  • 10. Stronger Chapters = Stronger Associations • Increased members by 38% • Increased sponsorship revenue by over 300k • Increased products and sale by over 70k • Doubled membership in 4 states • Increased retention by 24%
  • 11. Chapter Challenges Communication Challenges Governance Challenges Staffing Challenges Obstacles to ROI 01 02 03 04
  • 12. Chapter Challenges Leader Suffer from a dysfunctional leader Misalignment Volunteer, Staff & Board Misalignment National Opposition Active opposition to national strategic initiative Burnout Volunteer burnout Recruitment Inability to recruit new members
  • 14. 05 How Does This Stand In The Way Of ROI? Meet Eugene the Unicorn! Component Relations Professional (CRP) @ Federation of Mythical Creatures (FMC) FMC has seen high turnover due to recent demographic changes; it’s been hard to get new volunteers… The Result  Some chapters have become unresponsive and less structured  Inconsistency and lack of transition to new volunteers
  • 15. Communication Challenges Alignment  37% of associations indicated that their chapters are somewhat or rarely aligned. Cadence  Do you have regular communication with chapters?  Do you have portals or knowledge bases, etc. for volunteers to get information?  Are there set expectations for volunteers?  Do you have a process for volunteer transition/training? Quality control  Are chapters just hitting quota (number of events, etc.)?  Or do they consistently deliver the professional experience members need and expect?
  • 16. 05 Meet Eunice the Unicorn! Eugen’s coworker at FMC Eunice is the new Director of Membership Services In the past, members received different messages and had different onboarding experiences, plus they didn’t have a place online to renew their membership The Result  Value props get lost in translation. It’s like a game of telephone from national to the chapters to the members.  Members find it too hard to renew, buy products or register for events – so they stop trying to How Does This Stand In The Way Of ROI?
  • 17. Governance Challenges Chapter Responsibility Risk Management Limited Effectiveness Uniqueness Between Chapters
  • 18. Member retention/renewals Event upselling New memberships Product sales What Drives ROI? aka ROI
  • 19. What Should You Measure? 41% Membership Retention 40% Member Recruitment 27% Event Participation
  • 20. When done right, the chapter experience can be one of the biggest drivers of member retention. ARMA members named their chapter engagement as their top benefit on member- satisfaction surveys, [Trevor] Mitchell said. “If we’re investing in them, it increases our national retention rate and growth rate.” When done right, the chapter experience can be one of the biggest drivers of member retention. ARMA members named their chapter engagement as their top benefit on member- satisfaction surveys, [Trevor] Mitchell said. “If we’re investing in them, it increases our national retention rate and growth rate.” http://associationsnow.com/2015/05/members-win-association-chapters-get-along/
  • 21. Where Do You Start? Measuring and tracking ROI is impossible without data…
  • 22. Member Retention = ROI Member Turnover  Renewal rates? Engagement rates?  What data do you have to support this?  Quality of chapter data?  Is it a manual or automated process? (think of the volunteers and your staff!)  What are your plans for the future to get this data? The ROI  Increase in renewals or maintaining a high percentage = ROI  To measure you need accurate chapter member and financial data 38% Membership Renewals 38% of members cite lack of engagement with an association as the number one reason for not renewing their membership
  • 23. 20% Member Attendance In one sector, associations reported only about 20% of all members attended chapter-hosted events Conference & Events = ROI Consolidate the Process  Technology tools or standards provided by parent  Event turnout?  Incoming dollars?  Member experience?  Chapter spend on tools? The ROI  Costs of tools are easy to measure  Compare against engagement/participation and retention 1. Member Engagement  Member Value  Member retention 2. Member acquisition 3. Registration Fees
  • 24. New Members How many new members do your chapters bring on each month? Year? New Membership = ROI Sharing Data is Key  Chapters and parents need to share data – regardless of level of affiliation  Support chapters need  What is working and share with other chapters The ROI  # of new members per chapter and the costs of membership  Understanding how majority of members are acquired  Categorize and determine an average cost per type of acquisition Dues $$ How much are those members paying to the parent? The chapter?
  • 25. Types What types of products and service are chapters providing? Product & Service Sales = ROI Standardization Can Help  Too much variation makes ROI more complex  Standard fees for specific types of products and services  Consistent process to share volumes and revenues with parent The ROI – What You Need  Categories of products and services and identify cost associated with each  Time, promotion, etc.  Product and service feeds – how much?  Volumes Payment How much are they charging? Promotion How are they promoting the product/service?
  • 26. Strategy 1. Form a working group of locals 2. Identify chapter PAIN 3. Get HQ on board 4. Give a little to get a little
  • 33. Components as Drivers of Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement Date: Tuesday, October 4th Time: 12:00 pm E.S.T Speaker: Dresden Farrand, MPA, MPP, CAE Senior Director of Membership and Chapters, CoSN Stronger Chapters = Stronger Associations. Understand how to strengthen and acquire new chapters. Find out how CoSN increased membership by 38% What’s Up Next?
  • 34. ASAE/Associations Now  Component Relations  Governance Structure  The State of Association Chapters Mariner Management  http://marinermanagement.com/resources  Chapter Performance Dashboards  Tech Tools for Chapters Marketing General Inc.  http://www.marketinggeneral.com/knowledge- bank/ People Power Unlimited  http://www.peoplepowerunlimited.com/  Active Chapter Video Series Association Success  Transform Culture Books  Transformational Governance: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change  Component Relations Handbook: A Guide to Successfully Managing and Motivating Chapters, Affiliates, and other Member Groups  Membership Essentials: Recruitment, Retention, Roles, Responsibilities, and Resources, 2nd Edition  What Makes High-Performing Boards Whitepapers  The Association EXEC's Guide to Improving Organizational Performance Additional Resources

Editor's Notes

  1. We know that chapter success is important. More and more case studies and reports are coming to light emphasizing that chapters produce ROI and are crucial to delivering member value. So…naturally we want to help our chapters be the best that they can so that they can continue to drive the mission forward without worrying about the non-mission critical items. And more often that is starting to involve technology, whether it’s creating consistent CMS templates, unifying databases or standardizing reporting and strategy. It’s becoming more and more critical for parent organizations to set chapters up for success and have a way to monitor or even measure that success
  2. Numbers above from Mariner’s Chapter Benchmark Study Associations lean on chapters for member engagement, leadership development, membership recruitment, marketing/communications and local resources; however few have any way of tracking this Part of the problem is the lack of data due to fragmented, disconnected or non-existent systems which make an objective assessment of chapter performance difficult at best. If you can get your chapters all on the same page, you can start to track & measure ROI
  3. Examples from Joe’s State of Association Chapters article: The International Association of Administrative Professionals, for instance, surveyed members and found that a poor member experience at the chapter level was a primary reason members were lapsing. Air Conditioning Contractors of America, meanwhile, had association chapters in about half of the states, and its membership was growing in states without chapters but declining in states with chapters. In both cases, these associations knew it was TIME FOR A CHANGE. They had evidence. They knew their chapters’ impact (or lack thereof) on their missions.
  4. Does your association measure the ROI of its chapter system? If not, what stands in the way to prevent you from tracking ROI? Your association may have one of these that sticks out, or a combination of 2 or 3 obstacles. Knowing which ones stand in your way help you get to a healthy point where you can start measuring ROI faster. Not sure where to start/what your association’s weakness is? Conduct a SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats to see where you fall
  5. All of these chapter challenges can stand in the way of HQ collecting the data they need. Have you/your chapters experienced one or more of these?
  6. RESOURCE ALLOCATION Does the value that chapters create for your association justify the resources you allocate to their support, or are you just pouring effort and dollars into a pit? Above are numbers from Mariner Management’s 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Study: “You realize how important the staff at the headquarters can be,” Hoffman says. : Many associations are eager to help with the admin work of their chapters - some see it as potential revenue stream to provide admin support, others see it as absolutely none There are many differences in how associations are run  From Cynthia of People Power Unlimited. Some push their associations to get paid staff. Others want their groups to be volunteer run.
  7. Inconsistency – old volunteer never showed new volunteer the process for managing and tracking a budget, how to properly track members and their engagement, etc. (if they even did it before)
  8. Do you notice if communication channels start to break down w/chapters? If you’re tuned in to your chapters, you’ll likely be able to address an issue before the chapter goes full-blown rogue. Association chapters can go rogue for all sorts of reasons, from leadership on a power trip to misunderstandings about a logo.  Signs of Rogue Chapters Leaders might stop responding to requests Stop participating in leadership events Stop taking advantage of association support Cynthia D’Amour keeps an eye out for behavioral changes—for instance, if an always-punctual chapter becomes tardy with its applications and forms. And if you are listening carefully, she says, you’re bound to hear the scuttlebutt. “You’ll hear rumors and complaints,” she says. “Social media puts a new spin on this. I’ve come across a blog post where the chapter goes to a conference and posts on a regional website about how national is trying to do this or that.” But if the chapter has a healthy relationship with the association, chances are it will think twice before airing its dirty laundry in public.
  9. Inconsistency – old volunteer never showed new volunteer the process for managing and tracking a budget, how to properly track members and their engagement, etc. (if they even did it before)
  10. Inconsistency – old volunteer never showed new volunteer the process for managing and tracking a budget, how to properly track members and their engagement, etc. (if they even did it before)
  11. How do you know whether chapters are a lift or a drag on member value and the pursuit of your association’s mission? Peter Houstle, CEO/COO at Mariner, says this type of measurement is too often overlooked. “Lots of people have metrics by which they assess performance of the chapters, but those metrics invariably are around organizational metrics rather than mission metrics,” he says. “They’re focused on things like: Are you legal? Are your bylaws up to date? Do you have a certain number of meetings? Stuff that in the grand scheme of things represents activity but doesn’t necessarily represent value.”
  12. Does your association measure the ROI of its chapter system? If not, what metrics do you track? What are the challenges you face in measuring chapter engagement?  According to the 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Study by Peggy Hoffman and Peter Houstle of Mariner Management and Marketing: 41% of parent organizations measure chapter membership retention 40% of parent organizations measure member recruitment/acquisition 27% of parent organizations measure chapter event participation levels Stagnant or dropping membership numbers can also indicate problems at the chapter level. In addition to that… Megan Backes, director of volunteer leadership for the American Marketing Association, says she monitors the health of AMA’s 75 chapters by looking at meeting minutes financial information, and participation in training events or virtual meetings. Getting the data you need to serve members better. Do you have the data you need? Are you asking members why they joined? Can you analyze members’ characteristics and behavior to predict what they need next? And are you keeping up with it every day?
  13. If you noticed…data has been a key theme today. Measuring and tracking ROI is impossible without data – the key is to figuring out what data you need and how you’re going to obtain it.
  14. Chapters are big drivers for retention either positive or negative based on experience What are the challenges you face in measuring chapter engagement?  Has your association faced the challenge of engaging and retaining members who join for one specific (time-limited) purpose? How have you dealt with this? Did you restructure membership and provide a tiered system? To get to ROI You can make an assumption that if chapters are experiencing increases in renewals or maintaining a high renewals percentage then you are receiving ROI. Members are paying money for value they are receiving from the chapter. But to truly track the ROI, you’ll need your chapters financial data as well as member data.
  15. Observation #3: Chapter involvement is trending down. In a scan of associations for one sector, most reported only about 20% of all members attend chapter-hosted events. Moreover, in this particular sector, four of eleven reported a decline in participation which prompted major re-organization of their geographic components. Events provide ROI primarily in three ways Member retention Member acquisition Registration fees Event Turnout do chapters have a good method to register members and track who is engaging and who isn’t while leveraging that data? Incoming Dollars Are chapters collecting payments for events seamlessly (the way the member wants to pay), making it a good experience and tracking those dollars appropriately? Member Experience How are they providing a good experience? (seamless sign up, event reminders, etc.) Are they asking for feedback on their events to continuously improve them or tailor the event? If they’re using tools, how much are chapters spending on them to accomplish these things? (Eventbrite processing, etc.) If they’re currently using tools, do you know how much chapters are spending on tools and how much time it’s taking the volunteers? The ROI Looks at costs – it’s hard to get costs from each chapter, but it is possible. However this is where consolidating tools and processes at the parent level is helpful. Each chapter uses the same tool or process that the parent has access to so they can view member registrations, revenue tied to those registrations. Additionally, having access to how much a chapter spends to put on an event can lead to being able to calculate ROI when you can compare the costs with the impact the events are having on engagement/participation and retention.
  16. Of course, acquiring new members is a great way to realize revenue. However, it’s hard to know if the tactics that your chapters are using to acquire new members is working if you don’t have visibility to how much those members are paying and how many new members there are. Sharing Data is Key Regardless of affiliation level and autonomy, sharing data back and forth between the parent and chapter is crucial to success and proving out ROI. The parent is able to identify what support chapters need to help bring in new chapters Increases knowledge – everyone starts to learn what has been working well for chapters that are excelling and you can share it among others to E.g. Some chapters might be missing out on raising chapter dues if other chapters have higher dues and are seeing success from their operations. The ROI # of new members per chapter, understand how they’re being acquired and the cost of chapter membership Understand how majority of new members are acquired – therefore you can begin to tie a cost to each member acquisition (are they attending events? Are they registering for training or educational purposes?) Categorize and determine an average cost per type of acquisition
  17. Know the Landscape…. What types of products and services are chapters providing? How much are they charging? How are they promoting? Standardization Can Help Too much variation makes ROI more complex – if chapters are doing their own thing, this can complicate the whole process and even hurt value prop if chapters aren’t providing relevant products and services. This also costs money and doesn’t bring in return. Standard fees – webinars cost X, training materials cost X, etc. or have a range Consistent process – parent and chapter should have a consistent way to track what members are purchasing, the volumes and the revenues associated with those volumes The ROI Developing categories for products and services can help you identify an average cost associated with each This can then determine if prices need to be adjusted while striving for consistency at chapter levels Need to know what chapters are charging, and how many of each product or service is being sold.
  18. Know the Landscape…. What types of products and services are chapters providing? How much are they charging? How are they promoting? Standardization Can Help Too much variation makes ROI more complex – if chapters are doing their own thing, this can complicate the whole process and even hurt value prop if chapters aren’t providing relevant products and services. This also costs money and doesn’t bring in return. Standard fees – webinars cost X, training materials cost X, etc. or have a range Consistent process – parent and chapter should have a consistent way to track what members are purchasing, the volumes and the revenues associated with those volumes The ROI Developing categories for products and services can help you identify an average cost associated with each This can then determine if prices need to be adjusted while striving for consistency at chapter levels Need to know what chapters are charging, and how many of each product or service is being sold.
  19. It is simple…start with a few data points or one revenue stream. Taking on too much at once will be a huge burden and could be distracting towards your ultimate goal.
  20. Not all data is created equal, and something that works for one association may not work for another. Know what information matters in your association. You may need to rope in some additional parties internally to get everyone on the same page as to what you should be measuring and where the biggest data gaps are.
  21. If you have rogue chapters or know that chapters aren’t collecting data in the first place….leverage that information and start at step one. How you eliminate some of those challenges. ROI might not be your first objective. Don’t be surprised if your first objective is finding a way to help chapters track their members and financial information. Know those obstacles and get ahead of them or level set and know that some pieces of the project are going to come later. E.g. adoption – typically not every chapter is going to be onboard right away, although it would be amazing if that was the case. Know that it will be a process and you may start with a few chapters and have it expand.
  22. Figuring out how to collect the data can be the biggest challenge. How to collect the data from chapters in the most painless way for chapter administrators/volunteers and parent staff. Technology is usually the answer and knowing if systems you already use are capable of accomplishing this or if you need to evaluate and select a solution if that is in your associations best interest to do so.
  23. You need to understand what the data is telling you. Are chapters struggling with member retention? Is acquisition a challenge? Are majority of chapters struggling with a particular metric or is there something they’re all doing pretty well at and you had no idea? Does any of the data confirm patterns you suspected? Or do some things completely surprise you Sharing this information throughout your organization can be extremely helpful in helping everyone understand what is happening at a chapter level, where you’re most profitable and can help shape strategic objectives.
  24. Use it! Sounds obviously but too many organizations have data and information at their fingertips and don’t use it to it’s fullest potential. How can the data shape your strategic objectives to drive more revenue, increase member satisfaction and offer greater value? If you have specific chapters that are doing something really well, how can you leverage that and educate your other chapters increase performance? Using your data allows you to set standards – when you know a standard is possible and have the data to back it up, you can take steps to get other chapters to that standard and hopefully prevent push back.
  25. Ask: What topics/resources would you like to see more of? Make sure all resources used are added/sourced