Membership Hack: Chapter Services Lab

Staff from the American Academy of Pediatrics play a direct role in component relations problem-solving. During its annual chapter summit, volunteers can ask questions and find answers at the chapter services lab.

How to hack it? Many associations host annual chapter summits as a way to hear from dedicated staff and volunteers. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a hands-on approach with its chapter services lab. The room, filled with AAP staff, is a place where chapter executives can ask questions on a range of issues, from membership and marketing to advocacy and social media strategy.

“The goal was for [chapter leaders] to come in, meet the staff they work with, and learn more about what we can do to assist them,” says AAP Senior Manager Annie Storey, CAE. This was the first year giving the lab a try, and 18 chapter leaders, including five first-time executive directors, attended. That was exactly the target audience AAP was aiming for, according to Storey.

Why does it work? The two-hour lab served as some flexible time for chapter leaders to listen, learn, and ask questions of AAP staff, offering more personalized attention and support. “We knew our chapter executive directors wanted more time with our staff,” Storey says. “The EDs felt like it was worth their time, and some shared that they wished it would have been longer.”

What’s the bonus? The lab environment also helped AAP staff save time by problem-solving on the spot. “It allowed our staff to focus on that chapter and not have to set up additional [or] ancillary meetings,” Storey says.

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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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