This message has been cross posted to the following eGroups: EFAM General Discussion and Recruitment & Retention .
Fact: We are losing members - whether economics, interests, geography, they go. Intervention: We try to recruit using traditional methods, make special dues deals, hunt down MAL and prior members, and hold membership drives where maybe 1 in 10 may join - an incentive is being part of MOE. We may lower our chapter dues or waive them for a time period; same at division level.
Fact: Members are a lot less interested in holding office or even attending in-person meetings.
Intervention: We have fewer officers and sometimes fewer meetings; that means no BOD but business at the program meetings or business telephonically, through e-mail or other means. Again, an incentive is being part of MOE. My chapter has 2 officers: President and Treasurer; my Division has 3: President, Secretary and Treasurer. At least one chapter in our Division has no officers going forward.
Fact: As members dwindle or do not participate, we lose chapters. Sometimes we lose chapters because we build new ones and strip out the existing chapters for members or 'use up' their territory.
Intervention: Division and District officers and members of other chapters try to come in and help out at the chapter level, and we still make a special 'prize' for new chapter building in the DOE.
Fact: As members leave, the funds necessary to run the chapter/division dwindle. We need to come up with new fund raising techniques but many have been tapped out or ruled inappropriate for non-profit, volunteer organizations.
Intervention: We do more will less; change venues for lower priced meals, parking, facility fees; we get program speakers who will work for a meal or a very small fee; we do more of our own programs using CYC, Avery, Office Team (when available). We try to partner with close chapters to do auctions, seminars, and do ways & means projects at the annual division meetings. We raise our dues.
Fact: As the members, chapters and divisions struggle, so does the entire organization of IAAP. We cannot support needed benefits and services or attract new members in new ways.
Intervention: We push the burden down to the member, chapter and division level. We raise the dues if we can get the proposal passed. We ask for contributions to The Foundation in cash and, this year at EFAM, 3 silent auctions from each Division - this puts more financial burden on the chapters and divisions to do more with less, get needed donations from existing resources sometimes at the risk of over-use when we could use their products and services for either our own fund raising or benefit.
Many more facts and interventions have, are and will need to occur. But, what if we changed tactics altogether and just changed the structure? Since Futures came up with such great initiatives, why can't we go forward with them? $690,000 shortfall. . .
Many, many organizations are not member-driven like IAAP. They may not even have an elected board of directors. Several to which I have belonged for professional purposes don't have individual units (chapters, clubs, divisions, areas, districts) - just a central HQ either National or International). I still have a say in the voting of a BOD (proxy vote or on-line voting these days) who take care of the governance of my associations/organizations but I can use all my $$ the way I see fit - attend events (some free, some not) or do on-line training, webinars, etc.
Think about that. If we have higher dues at the International level. . .but no other dues. . .what could we do? Huge things! We could update our technology. We could have more cutting/leading edge services, benefits, branding, recruitment techniques - have a huge presence in social media. We could capture all types of individuals out there who are not joiners but want the training and on-line connections we can provide to assist them in their careers. Interesting concept - that's how ASAP and ASEAP came to be - filling that need and that niche.
Now, that would be a huge transformation for IAAP. We would derive funds to put certification exams on line and make the 'discount' for membership in the fee more of a benefit to IAAP. Maybe we would lose the leadership track but we experience huge amounts of burnout there as officers continue to recycle.
On the other hand, we could also end the debate about categories of membership and their 'ability' or 'authority' to hold office; about whether current employment is a requirement to hold office; whether we needed any Standing Committees when nobody would 'step up' or we recycled prior chairs.
Wouldn't that be an interesting future?
Ann M. Piraino, CAP, CRC
Retired - Professional-Merited Member
Mount Rainier Chapter R&B Chair
Mount Rainier Chapter Parliamentary Advisor