Is there any value to measuring our impact?
The short answer to that question is a resounding “YES!” Accurately measuring the impact of our community service activities accomplishes three critical objectives:
As a management tool, it allows executive teams and boards to get a better understanding of the cost/benefit of each community service activity, and to calculate the total amount of your society’s fraternal spending as a percentage of earnings and/or surplus. This will help your society determine the activities that provide the greatest benefit to the community, engage the highest number of members, and allocate resources more effectively to improve the performance of each of those metrics.
As an advocacy tool, it allows you to place a dollars-and-cents value on the impact of your community service activities and demonstrate the value of the fraternal tax exemption to state and federal public policymakers. When combined with data on similar activities from all other Alliance members, these facts and figures help us create a powerful message about the ongoing vitality and irreplaceable contributions of the fraternal system.
As a marketing tool, statistical information on the impact of your society’s community service can be an important component of your overall brand, helping prospective members make the connection between your society and its good works in their neighborhood, and increasing the chances of them becoming engaged in these activities.
That’s why I am so interested in and supportive of the work of a group of fraternal executives who are sharing ideas on “fraternal best practices” in an effort to enhance the quality and quantity of their individual societies’ community service projects. This informal group met most recently last week via teleconference and is planning several in-person meetings in conjunction with American Fraternal Alliance national and regional meetings in 2020.
I’ll report on the group’s work periodically in these posts. Until then, I encourage you to put the issue of measuring the impact of your society’s community service activities on your next board meeting agenda and see where this discussion might lead. As always, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.