Membership

Membership Hack: Chapter Liaisons

By / Oct 27, 2017 (laflor/Getty Images Plus)

As part of a strategic effort, every staff member at the Society of Financial Service Professionals, including the CEO, serves as a chapter liaison.

How to hack it? Recently, the Society of Financial Services Professionals introduced a new accountability measure that ensures volunteer members from local chapters have a friend at national headquarters.

Every staff member, including FSP’s CEO, serves as a chapter liaison, who’s responsible for reaching out to members and answering questions in moments of need. It is part of a strategic effort to treat chapter members like customers or clients, says Jill von Czoernig, managing director of chapter development. “Chapter leaders are busy professionals and don’t have time to go and find the right resource,” she says. “This program makes sure we do proactive outreach to find out what their needs are and to offer help in any way, shape, or form.”

Why does it work? The chapter liaison program is effective because it puts a name and face to component relations. At FSP “everybody in the building is responsible for chapters,” von Czoernig says. That duty does not fall on one or a few designated staff members.

What’s the bonus? Already, the program is paying off by producing some valuable data. Staff liaisons record each chapter communication in what’s effectively a customer management relationship database. “On the back end, we’re gaining valuable information from chapters that can open new doorways for the organization,” von Czoernig says. “Nobody here is operating in a vacuum.”

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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