What’s the one thing almost all associations have in common? It’s formal volunteer leadership programs. Volunteer leaders are highly visible, engaged MVPs in the association, lending credibility and encouraging other members to attend events and participate in activities. There are volunteer trainings, guidelines and formal committee structures and procedures, all of which boost the program’s credibility and desirability; members aspire to join the ranks of these MVPs.
The Community Roundtable recently released its 2014 State of Community Management report. You can read the full report here(link), but Joe Rominiecki makes a really good point in this article in today’s Associations Now(link) about how two parts of the study are particularly relevant to associations: leadership involvement and CEO participation.
The Community Roundtable report findings show that, among communities with formal leadership programs, 71 percent can measure the community’s business value. Only 33 percent boast the same among those without formal programs. Interestingly, while hundreds of associations have successfully launched private communities, the governance structure that exists for other parts of the association is still primarily absent from the community.