How often can an organization report great success within one year of beginning a new management partnership? This success can be measured by membership growth, new technology on-boarding, creating non-dues revenue streams, streamlined board roles, and other key performance indicators.
At Association Headquarters (AH), we pride ourselves on hitting the ground running when a new client comes on board. We dig into what’s working, what’s not, what the future looks like, and where
the organization is headed. Listening to the current board and understanding their challenges and opportunities sets the standard for a successful first year.
The following examples come from clients that joined AH during the last two years and outlines the specific successes they have seen during that time.
The American Needlepoint Guild (ANG)
The American Needlepoint Guild, a 46-year-old 501(c)3 educational organization made many changes in their first year with AH. One of the most exciting was a move to a much needed new database and website that modernized and improved functionality for their 6,000+ members.
Working with AH’s Technology Solutions team, ANG launched their new website using the YourMembership.com association management software. This allowed them to move registration for Seminar, their annual meeting, online for the first time ever. The old sign up process for highly coveted classes was migrated from a manual, labor intensive lottery, which meant members waited four to six weeks to learn whether they had gotten into the classes they wanted. The new registration is a streamlined, on-demand “first come, first served” action that shows members what classes they got into immediately.
Members were very happy with the improved process and ANG experienced an astounding, record breaking, 306 attendees registered online for their 2018 Seminar on the first day of registration.
Following this success, ANG rolled out an online membership community to replace a poorly functioning and outdated Yahoo! Group discussion list. The new community brings added tools for ANG’s volunteer leaders, chapters, and individual members. Members love having ANG in the palm of their hands with the mobile phone app component.
In the last 12 months, ANG has experienced the following online engagement with their new technology:
• 593 new members
• 4,500 renewals
• 45,100 site logins
• 85 class registrations
• $70,000 online donations to their endowment campaign
• $27,000 raised during an online auction for the operational fund
The ANG board of directors is currently exploring additional technology to provide new, on-demand video learning as well as improving Cyberpointers, their online chapter which services those members who do not live near or are otherwise unable to participate in a traditional chapter. The ANG Board has exceeded their goals of better engaging current members and increasing membership with future facing technology.
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA)
NOVA is a nationwide, nonprofit, professional organization of nurses who are employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and Clinics. NOVA is dedicated to ensuring quality health care for U.S. Veterans, enhancing nursing educational opportunities, standards of excellence for VA nurses, increasing research opportunities and academic excellence in the VA, increasing communications among VA nurses, effective recruitment and retention programs, and to providing a strong voice for VA nurses and Veterans.
One of NOVA’s biggest challenges is reaching current and prospective members through traditional communication channels. As federal employees working for the VA, NOVA members are restricted from soliciting and promoting NOVA membership in the workplace using VA email and during work hours. They are not allowed to forward NOVA information to fellow VA nurses unless using personal email and doing so on their own personal time.
To overcome this challenge, and continue to expand the reach of NOVA’s membership promotion to existing and prospective members, NOVA developed and executed a comprehensive social media campaign focused on promoting member benefits, legislative updates, NOVA’s Annual Meeting, and chapter/member highlights and features.
This new strategy comprises several different components including:
• Social Media Volunteer Committee posting of relevant industry related topics that highlight the great work done by VA nurses
• National Nurses Week social media campaign featuring NOVA members doing exceptional work on behalf of Veterans and their community
• Weekly “Heard on the Hill” posts containing legislative updates and highlights from NOVA’s advocacy efforts to promote the 2018 Legislative Priority Goals
• Membership prospecting through promotion of gated educational webinar content via social media on relevant VA professional development topics
• Paid social media advertising utilizing Facebook Core Audiences technology to target membership and the NOVA Annual Meeting to individuals who fit the prospective member profile screenshot of some of the social posts
Since the launch, the new social media strategy has been successful in several ways:
• All social media channels have seen significant increases:
» Facebook: +8.3%
» Twitter: +14.7%
» Instagram: +5.4%
» LinkedIn: +40.6%
• Facebook engagement has increased significantly with 1,600 engagements (Iikes, comments, shares)
• Paid Facebook ad spend of $100 over 15 days reached more than 16,000 individuals and drove 140 clicks to the NOVA website (cost per click of $0.71 – much lower than industry averages)
• Paid Facebook ad attributed to 25% of total conference registrations (ROI of $5,600 in conference revenue for $100 spend)
• Social media marketing and gated lead generation page ads promoting NOVA webinars have helped increase NOVA’s nonmember prospect list by 46%
On top of the social media enhancements and member reach, the NOVA Board has developed a three-year strategic plan focused on membership engagement & growth, revenue growth, strategic alliances and operational efficiency. The association has engaged in its first ever financial audit and has established monthly reporting of financial statements to ensure NOVA’s finances are being adequately monitored.
Lastly, NOVA has developed new sources for non-dues revenue including vendor-led webinars and chapter events. These new opportunities will allow NOVA supporters more opportunities to engage with members and provide year-round sponsorship revenue to support the mission, a strategic plan focused on membership engagement and growth, revenue growth, strategic alliances, and operational efficiency. The association has engaged in its first ever financial audit and has established monthly reporting of financial statements to ensure NOVA’s finances are being adequately monitored.
NOVA’s Legislative Roundtable saw increased attendance and participation of representatives from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), national nursing organizations, Congressional legislative staff members, and staff from the Office of Nursing Services (ONS) in the Department of Veterans Affairs. The event was a tremendous success in promoting NOVA’s Legislative Priority Goals.
The Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC)
ABSNC is the only accrediting body specifically for nursing certification. ABSNC accreditation is a peer-review mechanism that allows nursing certification organizations to obtain accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the most rigorous industry standards.
Within the first few months of on-boarding with AH, the ABSNC board quickly began to utilize the partnership to make long-desired changes. A strategic planning session was conducted and the board committed to achieving both long and short term goals. Various task forces comprising board members were initiated. A bylaws task force set about reviewing and revising the bylaws and within months, following review by legal counsel, the Bylaws Task Force completed the revisions of the bylaws. The draft of the revised bylaws was circulated to ABSNC accredited bodies for comment and was subsequently approved at the American Board of Nursing Specialties Spring Assembly.
A second task force was established to review accreditation standards. The first set of standards, exam-based standards, were comprehensively reviewed and revised under the direction of the board psychometrician. After several meetings, the task force had completed extensive changes and the standards were posted for public comment. In the interim, the Standards Revision Task Force had met to revise policies to address how the accredited organizations will meet the requirements resulting from the changes in standards. The board voted to adopt the new standards at the fall board meeting. Upon board approval of the exam-based standards, the AH team finalized the standards document for language and formatting consistency.
Finally, a task force was formed to review the policy and procedures manual. The manual was presented to the board for review and approval at the fall meeting and was very well received.
It has been a busy year for the ABSNC board members. Without their commitment and time on the various task forces, the changes made to bylaws, accreditation standards, and the policy and procedures manual would not have been possible.
Controlled Release Society (CRS)
CRS is the home for experts dedicated to the delivery of drugs, cosmetics, flavors, fragrances, pesticides, and other actives. CRS members are creating the future of delivery science and technology through fundamental delivery research, development, regulatory science, and clinical translation.
CRS was faced with a unique challenge on the last day of its Annual Meeting, when its Association Management Company resigned. Confronted with that challenge, the CRS volunteer board stepped up to keep the Society functioning. The Annual Scientific Meeting was the first transition to AH Management. The planning for the meeting was behind schedule and the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) gave a great deal of their time, beyond the norm, providing programming insights specific to the targeted scientific audience. The AMPC worked regularly and frequently with the AH Meetings team resulting in well attended workshops, plenaries, and sessions. The help provided by CRS Leadership collaborating with the AH Meetings team was instrumental in achieving goals close to target.
As a whole, the Society and the CRS Leadership were pleased with the meeting; attendance was good and the takeaways from the meeting were all positive.
Each board member took an active role in one area of focus, becoming its champion:
1. Maintain the Worldwide Chapters for Young Scientists. Helping with Chapter records of leaders and students for all of their initiatives, including travel awards to support Annual Meeting attendance.
2. Guiding AH through the Young Scientist Committee (YSC) with clear, descriptive documents to support the YSC with Annual Meeting travel grants.
3. A CRS Leader hosted a 45th anniversary celebration at the Annual Meeting which was well attended and a favorite session of attendees.
4. CRS board members guided the AH staff to the appropriate person for insights, documents, or contacts resulting in a most encouraging transition for both the board and the AH Staff.
Following the annual meeting, Association Headquarters began providing full service management to CRS and the transition provided minimal to no documentation for the programs and services available. These programs included; an annual scientific meeting, with abstracts, multiple educational tracks for 1200 attendees, committees, international chapters, and membership records of over 900 individuals.
Supplemental to making certain the workings of CRS continued, the board took on new initiatives: meetings website, newsletters, new strategic plan, and five science specific focus groups.
As a result of the dedication of the CRS board, during AH’s Leadership Forum, the Red Chair Award in the Engaged and Disciplined Leadership category was presented to CRS.
Leadership Forum is an annual, two-day educational meeting specifically designed for AH’s client partners. During the meeting, the Red Chair Awards Ceremony is held and AH client partners are recognized for their dedication to AH’s four pillars of success: Engaged and Disciplined Leadership, An Intelligent Use of Technology, an Unwavering Commitment to Mission and Multi-dimensional Growth.
Insurance Society of Philadelphia (ISOP)
The Insurance Society of Philadelphia (ISOP), established in 1901, has long been an educational organization for Philadelphia Insurance and Risk Management professionals. The leadership recognized the changing environment and the need for change in mission before the association’s viability and sustainability became an issue.
The rise of for-profit web based competition in the Insurance and Risk Management educational front threatened the very source of the Association’s funding. The Management took a hard look at the landscape and the financial situation that was approaching and decided to make some drastic changes.
Leadership made the bold decision to move away from what they had been doing for years, continuing education, and are in the process of reinventing the organization. Part of this decision led ISOP to the Association Management Company model.
Leadership soon realized the firm they chose to manage their assets was not the correct firm to meet their needs and they made yet another hard decision: to again change management firms. The move to AH was the continuation of the evolution of ISOP and if it was not for the engagement, commitment, and discipline of leadership, the change would have stalled.
Rethinking the organization and the value it brings to its membership and the Insurance and Risk Management Industry have been on the mind and in the actions of ISOP Leadership. In the first six months, the board has worked with AH and created a new strategic plan to lead the organization into the next three years, migrated their membership database, launched a new website, and began the process of providing members with quarterly newsletters to heighten engagement.
With all of these significant and fast-moving changes to the association, member engagement has been high and conference attendance has grown, proving that ISOP leadership made the right decision.
The National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)
The National Center for Homeopathy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health through homeopathy by advancing the use and practice of homeopathy. Supporting the goals set forth in the strategic initiatives developed during a strategic planning meeting, NCH found creative ways to reach out to lapsed and prospective members. These ongoing efforts have resulted in an increase of over 350 new members.
NCH Staff did some research into other AH client membership models and prepared information to provide to the membership committee with materials necessary to evaluate the current dues structure. They also recommended new dues types and a long overdue dues increase to help NCH increase revenue and cover costs.
An organizational member type was introduced to provide these members with greater visibility within the homeopathic community. A student membership was added to attract those just starting out as practitioners.
As a result, NCH has experienced tremendous growth over the past year:
• 283% increase in new individual members
• 90% increase in organizational membership
• 900% increase in lifetime members
• A new Student Member Type
NCH also experienced growth in their social media channels, especially related to advocacy efforts by NCH to create awareness around the draft guidance proposed by the FDA: Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic Guidance for FDA Staff and Industry.
For the period of October 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018 (compared with previous 10 months):
• Social Media Growth Impressions: 986,612 (101% increase)
• Engagements: 16,428 (108.9% increase)
• Link Clicks: 4,395 (3.4% increase)
• Total New Followers: 2,116 (17.9% increase)
• Facebook: 1,392 (3.1% increase)
• Twitter: 725 (100% increase)
NCH also engaged the AH Industry Relations team (IR) to help sell sponsorship at their annual meeting, on the website, and in the newsletter. Upon transition, NCH had 24 organizational members with a revenue of $3600. Since partnering with IR, in one year, NCH achieved 19 organizational members with a revenue of $9,913.00
The revenue goal for the year was $5,000 in membership revenue. They achieved 198% of that goal, representing a 175% increase in organizational membership revenue in just one year. This was achieved by raising organizational membership dues from $150/yr to $550/yr and building out a successful membership benefits package that was attractive to NCH members. Nine of the 19 organizational members are new to NCH, and account for an 111% increase.
In terms of the Joint American Homeopathic Conference (JAHC), the transition data shows NCH brought in $36,821.00. In their first year partnering with IR, they brought in $38,325.00 (a 5% increase in revenue).
For all sales related activities, NCH generated $53,321 in revenue. To date, IR has generated $75,095 in revenue, or a 41% increase. In addition to the impressive numbers, NCH also won an AssociationTRENDS All Media Award for the creation of their Media Kit. This was in collaboration with the AH Creative team.
NCH membership also saw a spike in individual membership numbers as well. In 2016, there were 51 new individual members. This grew in 2017 to 93 and in 2018, to 356. That results in a 283% increase. Professional memberships in 2016 stood at 14, 22 in 2017, and in 2018, 26. This equals an 18% increase. Lastly, lifetime membership went from 0-10 in 2018.
As a result of all of this growth, NCH was presented with the AH Red Chair Award for Multi-dimensional growth. With impressive numbers coming from revenue, membership, and social media, NCH fully encompasses what multi-dimensional growth means.