This is the third article of our continuing series of "What Headquarters Can Do for You." As a member of AITP you receive a variety of benefits that can assist you on both a business and personal level. Creating a path to these benefits is a core component of our headquarter responsibility.
At headquarters, we are routinely contacted by prospective affiliates that see tremendous value in partnering with AITP. Our challenge is to determine which of these prospects can deliver a value or service to our membership and which prospects seek a path to our membership for strictly personal gain. For AITP, the ideal affiliate relationship is one that is mutually beneficial for both sides.
The approval process for all affiliates begins by the initial contact between a member of headquarters staff and a representative of the group that seeks information regarding our affiliate program. Following our initial contact we require that each prospect complete an affiliate/vendor questionnaire. The questionnaire assesses the current strength of the prospect and details the specifics of the proposed affiliation between their group and AITP. Once complete, I review the application and provide a written recommendation to Allan Kotmel, AITP Board Member and Chairman of our Partners and Affiliates Committee. The Partners and Affiliates Committee analyzes the details of the proposed affiliation. The committee may return the questionnaire with additional questions for the prospect or forward it, with their recommendation, to the AITP Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee reviews the proposal to determine whether there is the requisite value that AITP demands for its membership. The Executive Committee may return the proposal back to the Partner and Affiliates Committee for further work or forward it, with their recommendation, to the Association Board of Directors for a vote. At the next monthly Board meeting, Allan presents the proposal to the Board with a written and verbal opinion of the prospect's questionnaire and answers any questions that may arise. If the Board approves the affiliation, it is sent to Headquarters to begin implementation.
Immediately following approval, I will reach out to our new affiliate and inform them of the Board's decision to accept their application. We then work with the group to access information they would like to include on the AITP web portal. Some of our affiliates use their space on our portal for strictly information and others that use their space as a way to highlight new and upcoming events.
Following the initial stages of implementation, headquarters staff works with the affiliate's primary contact to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled on both sides. We also make a point to include details regarding our affiliates in each monthly chapter and region leader communication. We encourage all chapter and region leaders to review this information and pass it along at your meetings. We also make all members aware of the affiliation either through direct emails and / or an article in Information Executive, depending on the terms of the agreement.
We continue to see a record number of outside groups that wish to partners with AITP. All prospects are thoroughly researched in the manner described above. If you are aware of any group that would consider partnering with AITP, we ask that you forward their information with a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the vendor affiliate program, please visit the Affiliates page of the AITP web portal - www.aitp.org.