Food for Thought

by Abigail Solazzo

We are at the beginning of the end of winter; another few weeks and we’ll start to see signs of spring, which allows us enough time to start planning for new chapter initiatives, programs, or plans if we haven’t done so already. One of those initiatives should be to continually engage our members whether it's during our annual chapter meetings, via e-mail, or other means of communication. Below are some alternative methods and tools you may want to consider using, to keep your members engaged all year long.

A game-based, interactive platform to engage members through learning games, trivia, and quizzes. This interactive app allows you to build your own games or use existing games or trivia. It's great for teambuilding, mobile training, as well as meetings and will get your members engaged and hold their attention. Consider it as means to keep members thinking of ANFP in between meetings by sending them quarterly trivia quizzes. (Quiz them on chapter history!) It’s also a great way to make your board trainings and chapter meetings a little more fun, by sending out a quiz following the sessions to affirm what they have learned. There are various plans available and nonprofits receive a 50% discount on the Plus and Pro plans.

An online collaboration hub that allows you to easily exchange ideas, share projects, as well as instant message and connect with others based on topic or groups, as well as interests. This platform would work well for your committees and board as well as your members types or specialties that would like to connect (i.e. pre-professionals/Millennials, groups based on facility settings or region). Slack offers a free plan that lets you test drive the platform as well as plans that offer more features for a small monthly fee.

SignUp Genius
Looking for volunteers to help with stuffing bags or handing out agendas at your next meeting? Look no further than SignUp Genius. This website allows you to create an event or ‘SignUp’ and add jobs, tasks, projects or volunteer activities for members to add their names and commit to the task. Perhaps your chapter plans to hold a potluck dinner. Create a SignUp event and list all the items that are needed, send out the link and allow members to sign up for what they wish. This would also work well for other one-time or micro volunteering opportunities in your chapter that take place throughout the year.

Poll Everywhere
This online participation tool is a great way to get your members feedback and opinions whether its at your next meeting or throughout the year. Maybe you need to determine your space needs for your next meeting; you can quickly send out a poll to members asking who is likely to attend and get a better idea of meeting space needs. Or immediately following a session, poll your attendees and ask for their opinion on the speaker or topic. Plans, pricing and features vary.

Each of these is a unique tech tool that will help you to engage with your members as much as you’d like during the year and keep ANFP at the forefront of our members’ minds.