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Numbers on Membership for Chambers of Commerce

SOCA is here to help your Chamber thrive. There are several ways we can make that happen. Starting by offering premium benefits that help your members thrive, SOCA also offers your Chamber leaders the information they need to make informed decisions. 

Starting in April 2024, we began producing short videos that contain relevant information that Chamber leaders need to know. These videos address various numbers and metrics that help Chambers gauge their success and set benchmarks for sustainable growth. 

In this post, we will quickly sum up what these videos can offer your team, including how SOCA videos help your Chamber grow, benchmarks for Chamber success, and revenue and membership metrics. Keep reading to learn more! 

SOCA is Here to Help Your Chamber Thrive 

As a Chamber of Commerce, one of the biggest challenges is finding new and innovative ways to promote local businesses and attract potential customers. More than that, it can be hard for Chamber leaders to know what metrics are important and what areas they need to focus on to see steady improvement. 

SOCA has recently implemented a program that can help track chambers membership numbers at a more accurate rate, and Chamber president Matt Appenzeller sat down to offer chamber leaders practical advice they can use to see steady chamber growth. These videos are designed to clear up the numerous 

These videos discuss everything from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) collection of data to understanding market penetration and member retention. We will start this discussion with some benchmarks for a successful Chamber. 

Benchmarks for a Successful Chamber 

There are a few different ways to gauge how successful your Chamber is. It is always best to identify relevant benchmarks and compare your Chamber to other Chambers of similar size. Benchmarks help you measure growth, set goals, and ensure that you are on pace for continuous improvement. However, there are a few misconceptions surrounding common benchmarks that need to be cleared up if you want to make progress. 

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives has put together this database to help Chambers measure their numbers against other Chambers of similar size. For SOCA members, we have put together a custom database that dives into this information in more detail. Just another perk of partnering with SOCA! 

Let's begin by looking at Chamber revenue from membership dues and revenue from non-dues. These two metrics are extremely important for Chambers of Commerce because they are the two keys in which Chambers make money. 

Member dues are very straightforward. Your members pay your Chamber monthly or yearly dues and in exchange, they get access to the benefits that come with their Chamber Membership, such as insurance coverage, retirement savings plans, and other valuable resources. 

Non-due revenue is not as well understood. Non-due revenue is something Chambers need to focus on to drive growth. Whereas member-due revenue is predictable and stays steady year-to-year provided retention rates stay at healthy levels, non-due revenue is money that comes to your Chamber from outside. Non-due revenue often comes from sources like networking events and community events, and optimizing these opportunities can go a long way toward maximizing your budget. 

Another way to measure your Chamber's success is by regularly adjusting staffing numbers and salary ranges. The most successful Chambers are consistently expanding and optimizing their team and compensating their workplace leaders. Compare your number of employees and salary rates to other Chamber of similar sizes to determine if your Chamber is keeping up with the competition. 

Finally, it is important to track key financial metrics and key operations. Successful Chambers grow their financial stores and expand their key operations year after year. That's not to say successful Chambers never stumble, but if they do, they devise a strategy to improve the next year. What's more, the best Chambers use their key operations to improve their finances by targeting an increase in non-due revenue and fortifying member retention rates. 

Revenue and Membership Metrics 

Revenue and membership metrics are key indicators of success and sustainability for any organization, especially for Chambers of Commerce. However, these two areas are often misunderstood. 

When discussing revenue, there are two main areas that you need to understand, member-due revenue, and non-due revenue. Contrary to common understanding, the larger a chamber budget grows the percentage of revenue that comes from member dues decreases.  

Instead, if your Chamber's goal is growth, then non-due revenue is much more important. Non-due revenue mostly comes from Chamber events. This is why it is so important that your Chamber's leadership team understands the importance of these events and makes the most of these opportunities when they arise. 

Membership data is also extremely important in helping your Chamber leadership make informed decisions. Metrics like median canceled members and median net gain of members are important because they help you know when your Chamber can grow and inform your Chamber's market penetration. 

Note that when the size of a chamber increases, the market penetration decreases. Why? Because larger Chambers have larger service areas, either in terms of geography or number of employees.  

The membership retention rate is an important factor to consider. Surveys show that respondents claim to retain 92% of members, but this can be misleading. There is a bias towards Chambers with above-average retention rates. Actual retention rates can range from 94% to as low as 66%. Understanding membership data is crucial for making informed decisions for the future. 

Learn more by watching the full videos linked here! 

Your Chamber Grows with Help from SOCA 

SOCA is here to help your Chamber grow. That starts with premium benefits like health coverage from Anthem 401k plans, and worker's compensation, and continues with relevant information like that offered via the SOCA video series. 

In this series, Matt breaks down all the relevant information your Chamber needs to grow and thrive. Subscribe to SOCA's video series to get more information that your Chamber can use to grow. Or click here to reach out to SOCA today! 

For more tips and information on chamber of commerce benefits, follow SOCA on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Happy with the difference SOCA has made for your small business? Leave us a five-star review here! 

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