Goals are more attainable once shared. So we’re going to put this one out there: APMP’s goal is to grow to 10,000 members by 2020.
Today, we have about 7,800 members. The way associations are typically categorized, that puts us in the “small association” range. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a small organization, but recognize, pragmatically, that larger organizations have more doors opened to them. Having 10,000 people (or more) behind our mission will elevate our status among policymakers, employers, and other platforms where we advocate for members.
In other words, our voice becomes stronger as our association gets larger.
When APMP started 29-some years ago, BD and capture roles weren’t widely recognized by employers as standalone or serious roles. By banding together, we’ve shown that they are. We have demonstrated our value and set high standards for professionalism: best practices, ethical standards, and our Body of Knowledge.
It takes people to do that. Dedicated, active members. And, with greater mindshare, we can produce better materials, more networking, and numerous other benefits for our members. There are simply more opportunities – for members and for the association’s future – if we mature into a larger organization.
Here’s how we plan to get to 10K:
It’s more efficient and prudent for APMP staff to focus on membership opportunities that result in dozens of members in one fell swoop vs. chasing hundreds of individual prospective members. That’s why corporate memberships are so important. Our corporate membership packages allow us to tailor APMP’s benefits to the needs of a particular team or company – and create a win-win situation for everyone.
We currently have 99 corporate members, and we will focus on increasing enterprise-wide memberships in the coming years. Christina Lewellen and Tony Round are spearheading corporate membership efforts in the U.S. and in Europe, respectively. If you have ideas about how to increase corporate memberships or you’d like to learn more, reach out to them.
There are 29 APMP chapters throughout the world, and we will encourage every chapter Board to recruit 3 new corporate members over the next year. Their commitment will significantly contribute to the 10K.
For years, certification has been a strong driver of membership. Our three tiers of certification help us connect with professionals as they enter the field and progress throughout their career. Now, we’re looking to certify individual skillsets that are gained along the way.
These new certification opportunities will help members achieve ongoing professional development, which will help advance their careers and the profession.
In addition, some of the specialty certifications we plan to develop over the next 12 to 15 months may attract professionals who work in tertiary fields to ours. Persuasive writing and executive decision-making, as two examples, would benefit folks who aren’t typically exposed to APMP.
Again, these opportunities will bring new members into APMP and contribute to our goal of reaching 10K members.
APMP currently retains about 70 percent of its membership every year. This is on-point with the national average for professional associations of our size, but we think we can do better. Some of the steps to improve retention will be simple – like consistently reminding members of their renewal dates. Other efforts, like helping members maintain their CEU credits to keep certification, will be more difficult. Over the next several years, we will build the infrastructure needed to rigorously track CEU completion, which will help our retention and membership numbers significantly and contribute to the 10K.
Most importantly, we’re going to get there together. Our chapters have excellent ideas for increasing membership in their regions. As we’ve grown in Europe, it’s been exciting to hear fresh ideas from these rising chapters. Julia Duke, our chapter coordinator, can connect chapters – both seasoned and new – to resources and ideas to help chapters recruit new members.
If you read my last post, you know that APMP has been building momentum toward this goal over the last year. With your support, I believe we’ll hit 2020 right on target.