Membership Hack: Volunteer Matrix

The American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives uses a volunteer matrix to recruit members to get more involved.

How to hack it? Last summer, Addy Kujawa, CAE, CEO of the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE), realized she had a problem when looking around the room during a volunteer committee meeting. “We were trying to select topics for our annual conference and realized that we were in a room with only veteran volunteers,” she says.

To add greater diversity and inclusion to volunteering, Kujawa revamped AAOE’s committee structure and volunteer recruitment process by creating a matrix that identifies professional and demographic information for each volunteer. It’s a simple spreadsheet that tracks things like age, practice size, practice type, and professional experience.

Why does it work? The volunteer matrix gives Kujawa a clear view into each of her councils, especially when there’s an open seat to fill. “Once we’ve identified an area of need, I can then use our membership database to personally invite or recruit new members,” she says. “It’s proven to be a successful way to attract rising leaders.”

What’s the bonus? So far, the volunteer matrix has helped Kujawa identify a replacement chair for her communications council. She selected a younger member who is a social media manager at a large academic practice. “He brought in new ideas and initiatives, like shooting video at this year’s conference,” Kujawa says. Those videos have turned into membership testimonials that AAOE can use to recruit (which, by the way, is another proven Membership Hack).


Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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