10K Members by 2020

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.

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Here’s how we plan to get to 10K:

Corporate Memberships
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.

Certification

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.

Retention

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.

Chapter Support

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.

Happy New Year…And A Look Back on 2017

SparklerAs we kick-off the New Year, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate everything that we achieved together in 2017. To sum it up, it was a year of astonishing growth. Which is perfect, actually, because it’s why we exist: to promote professional development, to advance the profession, and to help our members win more business. To grow.

In that light, last year was incredible for APMP. Among our many accomplishments, here are some of the “greatest hits” from 2017:

APMP Certification

Certifications continue to grow, with the highest gains coming from our Foundation Level certification. The Foundation Level, which serves folks who are newer to the career field, jumped by 17% over the prior year. Since we started offering it in 2004, more than 8,435 people worldwide have earned this credential. It’s recognized as the global standard for bid and proposal professionals, and has become a “must-have” certification within the industry. In 2017, APMP so far issued a total of 1,201 certifications between Foundation, Practitioner and Professional.

International Expansion

We changed the geographic footprint of APMP this year, which was a major milestone in our efforts to serve a global audience. Guided by APMP’s International Board of Directors and the three-year plan that they set forth, we opened a new, independent company in Europe called the APMP United Kingdom Development CIC. This extension of APMP will help us better serve our UK members. Specifically, it will ensure that money raised in the U.K. – through memberships and other purchases – stays locally to serve our members in the U.K.

We also added a full-time staff member in London, Tony Round, to help increase our corporate memberships and sponsorships throughout Europe. In 2018, we will add a similar position to support our growth in India.

And, we launched the European Reporter, a weekly newsletter to help members stay apprised of industry news for our European members

APMP Bid & Proposal Con

In June 2017, we held our biggest APMP Bid & Proposal Con yet, maintaining our position as the world’s largest event dedicated to proposal, bid, capture and business development professionals. Nearly 950 colleagues from around the globe met us in New Orleans, LA USA to network and sharpen their skillsets, and 90 people took a certification exam during the three-day event. (The Mardi Gras King Cake popcorn was interesting, too.)

If you haven’t done so, save the date for our 2018 event: May 15-18 in San Diego.) We’re piloting a new, more member-focused approach to delivering content that should yield new and interesting educational opportunities.

Corporate Memberships

In 2011, we had 19 corporate members. Today, we have 99. That’s fantastic news for members who want to share the resources and benefits of APMP with a larger team. Because every corporate membership is unique, our Board, members and business development staff have worked very hard to create corporate packages that promote professional advancement and are good investments for their employers. When more people have access to education, tools and best practices, everybody wins.

In keeping with our commitment to openness, additional details about these achievements – figures, financials, and more – will be included in our Annual Report. It will be emailed to members in February and posted on our website.

I must close by saying “Thank you.” These wins are largely attributable to our members, particularly those who serve on the Board. They dedicated their time and talents to create an inspired long-range plan for APMP. It’s been a pleasure to carry out your vision, and we look forward to what’s ahead.

Happy New Year.