Posted on Oct 07, 2022

Your local chapters are at the front lines with your organization's membership, so it's critical to have the right tools in place to ensure member data is organized from the start. When the data is solid on the local level, this cascades to so many advantages for the entire organization.

Managing membership for a multi-level association can get tricky if you don't have the right tools. When each chapter uses a different tool to manage their data, this makes it difficult to track down at a national level. This is because members change all the time-the people and their information! Let's face it, no one has time to chase down members who've moved for their latest address or check side-by-side lists to ensure new members have been added to the spreadsheet. So how can you stay organized and make sure the national association level has all of the accurate data from local chapters?

Here are some tips on managing member data in a multi-chapter organization.

Collaborate with Your Chapters

Do your chapters understand the importance of data collection? Communication is key here, and buy-in is vital. Make sure your local chapter leaders understand how gathering data can support their local initiatives and make sure to communicate the vital information that's needed. When your local leaders feel the importance of member data collection, they will naturally want to make it a priority. Better yet, provide the structured template of what an ideal member profile should look like, so data is aligned organization wide.

When your local chapters are consistent with the member data management, it only makes your national database more successful. This makes it a win-win for all.

Train Together

It's important to note the varying levels of technical skills you may face between your local chapter leaders. Also, depending on what data is vital for you, you may want to make sure your chapters are following specific steps in their member data management. Train them on your ultimate goal and the tools at hand to gather the necessary information. Explaining the why behind the specifics helps everyone understand and align on the mission. The more you train and provide resources for success, the better your chapters will be at not only compliance, but consistency.

Training your local chapters is also important for exposing problems. When you know what works, you can support them even more in those efforts and when you find issues, you can problem solve together to find a solution. It's important to ask what they are doing for success and to meet your shared goals so that you can brainstorm ways to tweak what they are doing for even more membership success.

Use a Multi-Chapter Association Management Software (AMS)

Using a flexible membership database that was designed to handle chapter hierarchy is vital to support your organization's specific structures, whether that be organizational or individual membership plans, or even a combination of both!

At MemberNova, we focus on providing organizations with a modern platform that caters to your unique workflows and evolving needs.