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Ten Easy Ways to Maximize Chapter Revenues

By SHRM Staff    
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Generating revenue certainly is not the only reason why SHRM chapters exist. It is important, however, to be smart when it comes to money management. Chapters need revenue to be able to provide their chapter members with optimal benefits and services. Read on for some tips that will allow your chapter to maximize chapter revenues.

1. Establish a budget and invest. A budget is a plan for the future operations of your chapter and will keep you on track financially. Develop a budget and review it on a monthly basis with the entire chapter board. This will assure that your chapter achieves desired financial results and that there will not be any unexpected surprises. Using a budget will allow your chapter to maximize chapter revenues. Interest income is a way of providing some additional non-dues revenue. The percentage of non-dues revenue you can gain from those investments will depend upon the mix of investments you have and how secure or risky they are.

2. Maximize your CFSP payments. SHRM’s Chapter Financial Support Program (CFSP) is like a “gift.” All chapters who 1) submit a completed Chapter Achievement Plan (CAP) and chapter membership roster by Jan. 31 of each year, 2) meet all chapter affiliation membership requirements, and 3) have a chapter president who is a SHRM member in good standing are eligible for CFSP payments. These payments are made to chapters on a quarterly basis for 100% chapters or semi-annually for non-100% chapters. All qualifying 100% chapters receive $6.25 per quarter per SHRM member, and non-100% chapters receive $5 semi-annually per SHRM member. Additionally, chapters receive a net-gain payment in the first quarter for gains in their SHRM membership for the previous calendar year. The key to maximizing your CFSP payments is to audit your SHRM roster on a regular basis. Make sure that the quarterly roster you receive from SHRM includes all of your chapter’s SHRM members. Your regional team will assist you in keeping your roster up-to-date.

3. Make a profit on chapter meetings. Charge a sufficient amount for chapter meetings to cover all the expenses associated with the meeting. Included in this figure should be the price of the meal, room and equipment rental, speaker fees and the cost of producing and mailing the meeting announcement. It is suggested that you charge the non-members who attend a higher fee. Encourage your guests to join your chapter! Also, don’t forget to bill the no-shows.

4. Use technology. Many chapters have created web sites and are using them to provide their members with information they once provided in hard copy. Your web site is a great place for a calendar of events, monthly meeting announcements, newsletters, your job bank, your membership directory, membership information and online registration for monthly meetings. Technology can help you reduce your postage expenses. Many chapters now e-mail newsletters to their members. SHRM also has a service to provide chapters with websites. To learn more about this program, click here. 

5. Establish partnerships. Partnering with other groups is a great way to leverage chapter funds and provide your members with additional benefits and services. Local law firms, other associations, universities and other local chapters in the area can all be great partners. Having a partner for a workshop or seminar can make the difference in whether it is a financial success.

6. ‘Vendors’ are your friends. It’s true, HR resource partners, or “vendors,” can be a great asset to your chapter. Work with them, not against them. Provide them with opportunities for visibility. A vendor fair can be a great way to make money, and it can be a lot of fun for everyone in attendance. Also, consider asking them to sponsor chapter meetings for a fee. In turn, provide them some podium time to market their organization.

7. Accept advertising. Advertising revenue is a great way to increase chapter income. Consider including paid advertising in your newsletter, on your web site, in your membership directory and in anything else you produce.

8. Maximize membership. Members are the key to your chapter’s existence and, in some cases, to your financial well-being. Continually be in a member-recruitment mode. Consider conducting an annual membership campaign and don’t forget to recruit the at-large SHRM members in your area (SHRM members who do not belong to a local chapter). Your chapter exists for your members. Ask for feedback from your members on a regular basis to evaluate your chapter services and to tailor chapter programming to their needs. Strong chapter programming is a great way to keep and attract members.

9. Participate in your state council. Your state council is your partner. Get involved and reap the benefits of learning from your peers. Attendance at state council meetings can be one of your greatest resources and provide you with lots of ideas on revenue sources for your chapter.

10. Wage and/or benefit surveys. Surveys have a community-wide appeal, particularly in large areas. If your chapter covers multiple cities, this is a way to provide a service to a broader area based on the information received through the survey. If there is diversity in the information that is provided, many times you will have input from your members in terms of what jobs or what types of benefits you are going to survey. You could charge a fee to everyone who orders a survey, or you could charge a fee to only those who don’t participate.

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