From small to mighty
It's Small Staff Week plus! Or there were a couple of stragglers that I just couldn't fit into last week's schedule -- my fault, certainly not the fault of Mary-Margaret Armstrong from the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, who wrote the following post on planning for expansion.
The Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) began in 1977 with a mission to further the advancement and impact of women in healthcare worldwide. Until 2000, the organization's activities centered in one geographic location, at which point interest in the organization ascended rapidly, transforming the entire association.
People from all across the globe expressed the desire to launch new chapters, and we needed a way to tap into this passion and commitment, and, moreover, to capitalize on the momentum that had swung behind our mission.
Where to begin? At the time we had 3 staff and about 4,000 members - resources were tight, and time was precious.
We needed a process. One that was repeatable, straightforward, measurable, and sustainable.
We embarked on an 8-month journey beginning with a blank sheet of paper. In September 2008, our masterpiece was unveiled and has served as the framework for our organization's geographic expansion.
Our four phases of development outline specific activities, deliverables, and maturation milestones: Interested Party, Pre-affiliate, Affiliate, and Chapter (see the snapshot overview below). We crafted a detailed implementation plan with mapped responsibilities and oversight to individual corporate board and staff roles to ensure the process had pull through and sustainability. In only 10 years, the organization has expanded into 15 chapters, including overseas, with more than 6,000 members, holding nearly 300 programs around the world, and drawing more than 14,000 program participants.
Our next challenge is to embrace new ideas for building communities beyond geographical boundaries including leveraging technology and social media. I invite you to join in this conversation to share ideas on how you are expanding your association's reach, the challenges you face, and solutions you have found to advance your mission.
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