Chris Mead with the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives recently conducted a webinar on the title of this blog.
The following are his 5 myths and one legend with a follow-up comment or two from me, based on my experience working with chambers over the past 15 years.
Total resource campaigns are trending down - 35% - 40% of budgets are accessed by those chambers who do it. 15% growth in YGM's clients doing campaigns. This method of raising money has proven to be very effective for many chambers around the country. Not sure how I feel concerning the monetary benefits given to members, who participate in these campaigns, based on their performance.
All membership events (drives) have bad renewal rates - one or two-day events to gain new members (think a formal member-get-a-member campaign). Don't forget, the membership dues raised comes in immediately. You have a year to work on retention. What better way to sell a membership than have one of your current members telling their peers that they should belong too!
Affinity programs are dead - they're not for everyone but if managed properly they can be profitable. What's key is that you have a product or service that your members want or need and you have the numbers of members to support the offering of the product.
Think office supplies, printing, shipping, or myth #5 - the travel program. What are those potential programs for your chamber? A challenge for the local chamber is doing an affinity deal with a national company when you may have local members who can supply that same product, albeit, maybe not at the same discount.
Obama killed chamber health care and it's never coming back - legislation passed in 2018 to open up the country geographically to offer plans across state lines. Stay tuned on how that will affect this affinity program. But don't forget many chambers are in the business and making money. Association Health Plans (AHP's). I could make the argument that doing away with the state restriction will allow a national company to provide a plan across the country for the betterment of all. Associations were pushing for this for years. Let’s wait and see how it plays out!
Chamber travel ran out of gas – they are still going strong. There are so many different trips available today by many different travel companies.
The China trip seemed to be the first that chambers started to participate in over 20 years ago. Now there are multiple companies providing these trips to many places around the world.
And One Legend
Capital Campaigns - not to raise money for new staff but for something big in your community. These campaigns are typically multi-year (3 years or more) to raise a large some of money that it designated for something specific. Why specific? That's what you're raising the money for, think a new chamber office building.