The Membership Committee is pleased to announce that the following chapters have been awarded $250 grants for their proposals to attract new members or retain current ones:
Akron Anchorage Atlanta Big Country Charlotte Charleston Chattachouchee Valley Cornhusker Dallas Greater Wheeling Hampton Roads Illowa Johnstown Kanawha Valley Long Island Mile High New Orleans Northeastern Wisconsin Northwest Northwest Arkansas Omaha Pittsburgh Polk County Richmond Research Triangle Park San Antonio Southwest Missouri Tarheel West Michigan
The program's original intent was to make awards to 20 chapters. However, the Membership Committee decided to expand the list to support all chapters that wanted to participate. Twenty-nine chapters met the award criteria, and checks have been sent to them.
Nearly all proposals dealt with the recruitment side of the membership picture, though a few incorporated action items for both recruitment and retention. Most proposals pursued a traditional approach to membership, with incentives and contests being mentioned most often. Also popular were plans to target specific businesses or executives. Some interesting variants included:
Web marketing ad program (Johnstown PA) and radio/newspaper program(Southwest Missouri) Blog addition to the chapter web site (Northwest) Alliance with a Graduate College alumni association (Greater Kanawha) Networking socials (Dallas) and "mixer" (West Michigan)
The national program has three objectives: 1) put money in the hands of the chapters; 2) assess the program's overall success by seeing what results participating chapters achieve; and 3)provide some success stories that can be published as models that other chapters may want to consider in their own future promotions.
The first phase of the program is complete. Twenty-nine chapters have membership plans they will be implementing over the first quarter of 2008. At the end of the quarter, they will summarize their results. Based on the chapter summaries, the Membership Committee will evaluate the program's overall success. Additionally, it will profile some of the most successful chapter projects in a future Information Executive article to show what top chapters have achieved and to provide ideas that other chapters may wish to consider.