Is it worth it to join your local chamber? How do you know? Calculating the return on investment for chamber membership can be quite simple once you decide how you plan on measuring success. Here’s what you need to think about:
Return on investment is calculated quite simply. According to Investopedia, the calculation is:
ROI = (Gain from Investment - Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment
Not hard to figure out. Your gain from your chamber investment would be any new sales you made due to membership. Subtract what you paid for membership from that and divide it by that same amount.
You can calculate it as a one-off sale and one year of membership, or if you know what your average customer is worth over their lifetime, you can calculate it over several years. That calculation is easy enough if your new customer has identified themselves as someone who found you through the chamber or if you connected with them at an event and you know they’re from the chamber. But it’s not the only way to calculate return. Here are a few other ideas.
Specialized Discount Code
Many businesses circulate the same types of discounts in multiple places like the welcome packet, visitor’s map, phone book, or any number of other local spots. It’s the same 20% off coupon or the same savings code that tells them very little about where it came from. If you’re going to offer member-to-member discounts, provide a special code just for that source. If you’re providing discounts for directory referrals, make sure you are tracking them differently than through a generic coupon or discount code. Creating unique discount codes or coupons is essential to understanding which referral sources are working and which ones aren’t. Plus, you’ll have a more accurate look at your return on investment. ROI should also depend on what your goals are for chamber membership. If you simply want more customers the ROI equation presented earlier works with a couple of additional qualifiers like the discount code. But it’s not the only thing you can calculate return on.
Your goal may not be about new customers but increasing brand recognition first. For people to buy from you, they need to know, like, and trust you. If brand recognition is important to you and a goal for your chamber membership, then you need to track brand awareness to figure out your return. An increase in brand awareness will be evident in Google Analytics by looking at direct hits to your website. This figure tracks people who typed in your URL to get to your site directly. If you see an increase over time, this says more people are thinking about you specifically, not getting to you by searching for keywords. But if you want to know how much of your brand awareness is chamber related, go to Google Analytics, click on the acquisition tab on the left, select all traffic, channels, and look at the center of the page. It should show you a list of other URLs that have referred traffic to you. This is not full-proof because the chamber could conceivably refer clients to you and make people aware of you outside of coming through their site but this gives you a basic idea of the kind of traffic you’re getting from them.
Calculating ROI can be done through direct referrals and web referrals but in addition to being known, you may have a goal for chamber membership that involves building trust. To build trust, you have to get involved. The chamber is a well-established brand and according to the Shapiro Study, people associate chamber membership with organizations that use good business practices. The chamber can make it very easy to be known as a member through plaques or window clings for your business, being listed in the chamber directory, or even being featured in their newsletter, but your ability to extend that reach comes from other benefits of membership like presenting at the chamber, teaching and mentoring other businesses, possibly even guest blogging. When you give freely of your knowledge and expertise, people will have a more favorable opinion of you and want to get be a part of what you are offering. If you’re able to share your expertise with the larger group, don’t be sales-y, but do check with your chamber to see if you can share your contact information at the end. If you have a free electronic download that will provide them with additional information, ask if you can share it. If you can, make sure you ask for an email from the person downloading it. Building your email list by creating a chamber-specific landing page and then tracking referrals from there is a terrific way to calculate your return on investment as well. Speak to your chamber about the opportunities out there to serve other members and the community. The return on that is astronomical.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, Association Tech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.
For your local chamber office contact us at 706.465.9604 or Chamber@WarrenCountyGA.com
Photo courtesy of the Thomson-McDuffie Family Y
About three years after a fundraiser provided $12,000 for the Thomson Family Y to begin developing a 20+ acre parcel behind the facility, phase one of that plan is about to get underway.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the process, it provided an opportunity for the Family Y to partner with the University of Georgia’s Archway program to develop plans for the outdoor area.
According to Family Y Executive Director Jennifer Daniels, it was a process that benefitted both the Y and the UGA students. Archway connected a group of UGA landscape architecture students with the Y to develop potential plans for the parcel.
“The Family Y asked our group to help them develop ideas for designing a nature trail and beautifying their property. The Archway Partnership connected the Family Y with Dr. Georgia Harrison, a professor in the College of Environment and Design at UGA, who brought in a class of 19 undergraduate landscape architecture students to develop landscape design ideas for the Family Y over the course of the Fall 2021 semester,” said Sam Perren, Thomson-McDuffie Archway professional. “The students took a field trip to Thomson in October to get a better feel for the site and each student presented a design concept in December.”
Daniels said the 19 resulting designs represented a wide variety of ideas for the Y’s consideration.
“They really came up with different concepts that included what Thomson is. They put together a vision that could become a reality,” said Daniels. “All the concepts were really nice.”
For the Full Story click here
Written by: Karen Fioretti. Jun 21, 2022. The McDuffie Progress.
TBG RESIDENTIAL TO BUILD 72-UNIT HOME COMMUNITY IN WARREN COUNTY, GEORGIA
$15 Million Facility Will Provide Amenities for Today’s Busy Families
WARRENTON, November 2, 2021 - TBG Residential is pleased to announce their newest affordable housing development, Legion Park, in Warrenton, Georgia. This 72-unit apartment home community will feature amenities that are in demand by today’s busy families.
Legion Park’s success is the result of the collaborative effort of TBG and the City to ensure that the housing needs of Warrenton are being met, in addition to leveraging several of the City of Warrenton’s available resources. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs was a significant partner who awarded the tax credit financing for the project.
“The City of Warrenton worked tirelessly to become a part of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) program and to create an Urban Redevelopment Plan. A cornerstone of Legion Park receiving DCA financing is due to the City of Warrenton’s initiative of implementing both aforementioned community development programs,” commented Mayor Chris McCorkle.
Legion Park will have affordable rents that will meet the housing needs of low to moderate income families and senior citizens whose income is between 40%-80% of the area median income.
“Because the City’s leadership and local economic developers have such a passion for their town and an enthusiastic view of the future, we wanted to locate in Warrenton. The collective energy of their team was contagious and we “jumped in” because of it,” commented TBG Residential Senior Vice President Brad Smith.
The $15 million development will include 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments, a clubhouse, playground, laundry facility and community garden. Legion Park will be located on Parham Street and is anticipated to open in January of 2023.
Brad Smith (678) 324-5551
OB McCorkle (706) 832-1601
Warrenton – Legion Park Fact Sheet
Website is home to the Warren County Chamber of Commerce, Hometown Warrenton, Warren County Development Authority, and Warren County Government.