What happened at the Membership Summit?
The Nebraska Section - AWWA had 373 members at the end of 2019, which I am told is an all-time high! The Membership Committee has done an excellent job in adding new members and retaining current members. The Nebraska Section ranked first among all sections for Member Retention and received a $500 reward from AWWA for this at the 2020 Membership Summit at AWWA headquarters in Denver, Colorado, February 5th thru 7th. Marc Rosso and Larry Schmidt attended on behalf of the section.
The topics discussed at the summit included member engagement, competitive analysis, regional meetings, the 2020 Membership Challenge, and AWWA information security and acceptable use policies.
The member engagement section of the meeting discussed ways to engage members through personal relationships. Successful engagement examples from the Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky-Tennessee, and New York Sections were presented.
The competitive analysis presentation discussed the comparison of AWWA to other similar organizations. These "competitors" included the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), International Water Association (IWA), National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), National Ground Water Association (NCWA), National Rural Water Association (NRWA), US Water Alliance, Watereuse Association, Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the Water Quality Association (WQA). Comparisons were made based on the target audience, membership size, annual revenue, revenue share from membership dues, and whether they offer education and training, a member magazine, manuals of practice, and standards.
Regional meetings were held to allow the sections in each region to discuss common needs and give examples of strategies that are used for membership retainage and growth. The Central Region meeting discussed the need to engage young people to work in the industry while in high school. Ideas included developing/encouraging students for the jobs and salaries available while in high school, including the use of trade schools and credits that can be obtained while still in high school to advance their careers.
The 2020 Membership Challenge has been created to help the AWWA and Nebraska Section grow by focusing on retaining first-year members and reaching year-end membership goals. The goal is to have 65% retention on individual (Grade 02) and Operations/Administrative (Grade 06) members who joined the Nebraska section in 2019 and we will receive a 15% AWWA dues revenue. The positive net hrowth incentive is defined as a 2020 year-end member count greater than the 2019 year-end member count.