HollandParlette was hired by the NAIOP San Francisco Chapter in December 2013. At that time the organization was struggling to keep on track and was operating (since June 2013) with an Interim Executive Director and no support staff. Membership hovered at around 350. Only two short years later, NAIOP San Francisco was the recipient of the coveted Outstanding Chapter Executive of the Year Award. At the presentation of the award the following achievements were noted to have transformed the chapter in a short period of time:
28% membership growth due to improved outreach and communications
39% growth in sponsorship revenue through targeted campaign
Record net income due to goal-setting and increased accountability, benchmarks
Redesigned and launched a new website
Established financial audit committee for improved oversight and strategic direction
Revised bylaws to bring them in line with current operations
Developed 3-year vision and strategic plan
Formed Marketing and Communications Committee to improve internal and external messaging
Oversaw creation of a promotional video for chapter’s newly launched “Young Professionals Group” initiative which then became successful and profitable in its third year of operations
Distributed content through media channels to raise awareness
Developed a social media presence to improve chapter visibility and a connected membership
The following year, NAIOP nationally recognized San Francisco Bay Area as 2018 Chapter of the Year. Membership had almost doubled in size, surpassing the 650 member mark. Improved collaboration amongst committees resulted in an all-hands-on-deck approach to membership recruitment and retention, and a growth in new volunteer participation by over 40 individuals in one year. Prudent financial oversight, record-breaking event registrations at all marquee events, as well as annual sponsorship from an all-time high of 54 firms, helped to solidify financial stability for the organization, meeting the strategic goal for reserves one year earlier than projected. The Finance Committee, with support from HollandParlette, was therefore able to make some conservative yet productive investments on the Chapter’s behalf to help continue this growth trend.
Highest Membership Growth Nationally
In 2017, NAIOP San Francisco Chapter was recognized for having achieved the “Highest Membership Growth” out of 51 chapters. Membership had grown to an impressive 600 members – an increase of 250 members since HollandParlette was hired. Additionally, the Chapter attracted many more young professionals into the fold. Since then, the growth has only continued, hitting the 750 member mark in early 2019.
In terms of member recruitment, HollandParlette’s team worked closely with the Membership Committee to develop and execute a focused strategy for better targeting of prospective members. They invested time refining and refreshing the prospect list and set the simple, actionable goal of hosting one quality member-recruiting event during the year. They exceeded their goals and actually produced two events. First, they organized an outstanding Membership Mixer at an exclusive private club in San Francisco. The elegant affair attracted a large crowd of prominent members and prospects and resulted in new members paying their dues on the spot and many signing pledge forms and joining shortly after the event. The Membership Mixer was so successful that it energized the committee and inspired them to host a second event, which consisted of a small dinner for specifically targeted prospective members with the Board. The intimate gathering provided an exceptional networking opportunity for the prospects and produced new members.
To achieve their goal of recruiting young people, they collaborated with the Developing Leader group and the Programs Committee. Three Developing Leader events and five Behind the Scenes programs were held with the intention of capturing young prospective members. Additionally, they worked with the Young Professionals Group (YPG) to promote membership among the new class. The success of the two YPG program information sessions resulted in new members.
Relative to retention, they created an extremely effective New Member Welcome Communique. It provided new members a comprehensive overview of Chapter benefits, an invitation to join a committee, and a website log-in. The initiative resulted in increased social media activity including an uptick in Facebook likes and new LinkedIn connections.
They also began two powerful retention strategies near the end of the year. First, they planned and launched a membership survey. The findings were reported during the Strategic Planning Session and used to inform strategies for the next several years. Second, they planned a New Member Welcome Breakfast, which was such a success that they have continued to be hosted on a quarterly basis ever since. At these breakfasts, Chapter leaders engage with new members to let them know what’s coming up on the calendar and introduce them to the various ways that they can get involved.
All goals stated in the Chapter’s Strategic Plan for 2016 were met including:
Reached goal of 600 members
Secured 52 sponsors, thus achieving goal
Conducted a board-based membership survey
Made a $60,000+ contribution to the Chapter’s reserve fund
Convened the Audit/Finance Committee to review financial operations and make recommendations for ongoing improvement and growth