Overcoming Challenges & Finding Consensus: AWSCPA
“We now understand the issues and challenges we need to address before we can increase membership and the activities that will promote our organization and maximize our marketing efforts.”
It’s not a topic that is often discussed, but non-profit organizations face marketing challenges just like for-profit businesses. Recognizing that this was the situation for their group, the Georgia chapter of the American Woman’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA) reached out to bbr marketing in the fall of 2012. AWSCPA provides networking and learning opportunities for women in the accounting profession. While they had grown consistently over the years, the board felt they weren’t reaching potential members or engaging current members as much as they’d like.
After hearing Bonnie speak, the board decided it was time to put together a formal marketing plan to help them reach their objectives. First step: getting input from as many members as possible in order to include all opinions. We created a detailed questionnaire so that members could share as much pertinent information as they wished. Once the answers were returned, we scheduled a half-day planning session with the board to discuss the results of the surveys. Together in this session, we defined the services they wanted to promote and expand, the types of members they wanted to pursue, their competing organizations and what set AWSCPA apart from them. We also defined measurable objectives for the organization. With all this information in hand, we then wrote a detailed plan which included tactics to help them reach their objectives, grow the organization and more thoroughly engage their membership.
“Everyone loved the plan,” said Janet Young, board chair, “and we have assigned various tactics to members to implement.” In fact, the national office of AWSCPA was so impressed with what the Georgia chapter had done on this front that they have started their own marketing planning process. Additionally, three Georgia chapter members have been asked to join the national committee to help gather information for that plan. On top of that, the organization has decided to join forces with a competing group to pool their resources and better serve the growing community of women CPAs. “You helped us get off the ground and into the show!” said Young. We are excited to see their growth and thrilled to have been part of the process.