Volunteer Management

Volunteer management is not new.  In fact, I've written about it before HERE and HERE.

Some chambers have been around for over one hundred years.  Some close to two hundred years.

We are membership organizations and volunteer management is a key to a successful chamber.

I’d like to focus on three elements of successful organizations from my perspective:

  • Transparency – in today’s age you must be transparent.  Be open.  You have nothing to hide.  Also, get that financial statement in your annual newsletter or report.  Show your numbers.  Your volunteers and members will appreciate you for that.
  • Trust – many of us learned from our parents that if I can’t trust you, you have nothing.  That’s so true!  If you lose the trust of your board your days are probably numbered. So build that trust not only with your board but with all your members.
  • Equal Partner – it has been stated that in the new association module equality is a critical step.  I totally agree.  You are an equal partner, not just a note-taker.  In addition, and I’ve said it before, make sure you are playing a role in the nominating process to build a strong board.

Remember, chambers have been around for a long time.  The one constant thing about our organizations are the volunteers.

While the CEO staff tenure is typically 3-5 years, shorter than the average tenure of a board member, it’s imperative to have a strong board of directors.

That’s what volunteer management is all about at the end of the day!

For a list of resources on volunteer management click HERE.

Most Trusted Marketing: Word of Mouth Marketing

Even with the ease of today's technology to reach prospective members, never forget that word of mouth marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways of getting your message out and heard.

Think about that!

How many times have you gone to a restaurant at the recommendation of a friend that you've never heard of before their recommendation?

In the old days we called those members "blue birds."  They just flew in, paid their dues and became members.

Don't take this concept too lightly.  It could be one of your most effective ways of recruiting new members.

In a previous position, I was responsible for membership at a major professional society, one half of all our new members each year were from member referrals, or what we called our member-get-a-member campaign.

And yes, we had a robust member-get-a-member campaign.  You should think about having one too!

That's right, it's just another name for word of mouth marketing.  Get your members to spread the word!

For more information on word of mouth marketing go HERE.  For two case studies written by Matt Knight go HERE.

And for Wikipedia's take on word of mouth marketing go HERE.