The Value of AITP Membership
Friday, December 26, 2003
Posted by: George Koscho
AITP - Region 18 Newsletter Article 5/31/01
President George Koscho offers some thoughts on the value of AITP membership in this article, which originally appeared in the May 31, 2001 edition of the Region 18 Newsletter.
Far too often the question arises, "What do I get for my dues dollar?" There are two broad answers to that question. First there are the tangible benefits and then there are the intangibles.
The money collected as dues revenue is used mainly to provide administrative support to each of the association subunits: chapters, regions and ED-SIG. In addition, individual members are served in a variety of ways. The association employs a full-time staff of six people, supplemented by a part-time staff that is utilized for peak demand activities. Staff responsibilities include: membership application processing; renewal notices; invoicing; payment processing; IRS and other tax reporting; procurement of officer and board insurance; processing of region and chapter rebate and funding checks through the Region Funding and PCS2000 programs; processing and procurement of COPA and IPA Awards; publication of Information Executive and Nanosecond; maintenance of an endless number of bylaws, model bylaws, policies, procedures and how-to manuals; management of national association elections; conference management; and Web site development and administration.
An additional tangible benefit of AITP membership is the certification program offered by ICCP and supported by our association. Your association board is currently focusing on strengthening this program and the improvement of our Web site. Other committees are working on legislative affairs, strategic partnerships, and updating the numerous policies and procedures noted above.
The true value of membership in our association, however, is the intangible benefits we accrue through our years of membership. Have you seen the commercial where the guy takes his son to his first big league ball game? They run through the tangible costs: "Tickets=$50, program=$5, hot dogs and drinks=$12, spending time with your son=priceless."
How can you put a value on a friendship with a professional colleague in a far-away city who can give you insight on a job applicant who has moved from his city to yours? Or a heads up on a new boss who has recently arrived from his city? Or who can help you with a technical problem you both share? Or who can simply provide you the name of a good restaurant in his town?
How can you assess the value of your knowledge by listening to speakers who have updated you on the latest developments at a chapter meeting, a leadership retreat or a conference?
How can you measure the value of the management, leadership, planning and public speaking skills that you acquire by taking a chapter, region, SIG or association leadership role and planning events such as a conference or retreat? How do you put a value on professionalism, life-time learning and personal growth?
The answer is simple: "Association dues=$80, chapter and region dues=$X, monthly dinner meetings=$Y, lifetime learning and professional growth=priceless."
Stated another way, and this is true of many things we encounter on life's journey, "The benefit you earn is directly proportionate to the effort you put forth."
So please, get more out of it! Your efforts are priceless to your association leaders.