Sustaining and engaging membership at the chapter, regional, and national/international levels during the 2022–2023 year has been both challenging and refreshing. Despite limitations related to retirements, budget reductions, and professional development (PD) travel, the APPA Member and Community Engagement Committee managed to maintain good spirits and, through collective efforts, positively affected the professional APPA and regional membership renewals.
Professional Development: A Foundation for Growth
Data provided by APPA revealed that reconnecting with educational institution representatives to renew annual dues was a huge challenge. Without a doubt, nearly all colleges reevaluated their monetary investment in PD commitments while emerging from the financial hardships related to the pandemic and inflation. Many institutions suffered lower student enrollment that endangered operating budgets.
The APPA selling point? Professional Development. PD is the foundation that keeps institutions strong with growth. At the root of APPA’s PD is membership. Stressing membership as the key to attending the non-travel related programs was another key to gaining new members while maintaining current member institutions.
In the end, membership has its roots in the chapters and the regions. During Member and Community Engagement Committee meetings, new faces provided new thoughts. Regional representatives provided perspective on how their chapters were “shaking off the cobwebs” and spinning into new adventures. Many regionals have even taken the extra step to reach out to their business and institutional partners to remind them to renew their membership.
What is refreshing? Many chapters’ Member and Community Engagement committees needed to rethink their vision, reshape their objectives, and recruit new people to help provide a different perspective and, hopefully, retain many of our first-time attendees to help us in the coming years.
Glen Mathieu is the regional campus and asset manager at UConn Facilities in Storrs, CT. He can be reached at email@example.com. This is his first article for Facilities Manager.