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Chapter Best Practices


Use this collection of best practices, submitted by your RIMS Chapter Officer peers, to inspire you to try new ways to strengthen your Chapter's success.

"Change your website's home page frequently. People will check back regularly if they know that fresh information is posted regularly. The NJ chapter posts pictures of the speakers promptly after each meeting." - Anita DiGiulio, RIMS New Jersey Chapter

“We run an ‘Eye On’ slot in our Newsletter wherein we spotlight new member companies and their representatives. The articles relate a bit about the company—where located, how old, nature of its business, etc. and then a few comments on its RIMS representatives—including photos, when possible. When there are no new members to feature we may spotlight a smaller, lesser known current member. The idea is to spark interest, give new members a sense of belonging and allow current members to put names with faces." - Gordon Adams, RIMS Orange County Chapter

“Do a profile on the history of your organization and the past presidents. Call the local newspaper and let them know you have a human interest story. This should give your Chapter exposure and create discussion about future support of the organization.” - Lamonte Jackson, RIMS Arizona Central Chapter

“Our chapter presented a donation to the Spencer Educational Foundation on behalf of all the speakers at the 52nd Annual RIMS Western Regional Conference in lieu of providing each one of the speakers with a speaker gift.  A sign with the names of all the speakers was prominently displayed throughout the conference and at the presentation made to Spencer.” Karen Beier, RIMS Western Regional Conference Chair

“Add in some breakfast meetings to your chapter meeting schedule and, if you are in a large metro area, vary the locations of your meetings so that all members will have a meeting or two reasonably close to their office.” - Danny Rose, RIMS Greater Kansas City Chapter

“Use non-conventional mechanisms for meetings, tied to a running theme. For example, field trip to museum to learn about items associated with that facility.” - Keith Conerly, RIMS Potomac Chapter

“Build membership through new innovative ideas such as: allowing a complimentary meeting attendance for prospective members; no-cost meeting attendance for members; and using the PERK program to bring new, dynamic speakers.” - Staci Boone, RIMS Virginia Chapter

“Have a volunteer sign-up table at every event.” - Jane Lamb, RIMS Delaware Valley Chapter

Create business cards with chapter information and meetings dates listed on them.” - Beverly Rich, RIMS Chesapeake Chapter

“If you are on business travel, see if there is a local RIMS chapter meeting taking place in the city where you’ll be visiting. It may be a great opportunity to sit in and see what other chapters are doing and also build a relationship with other chapters.” - Robert Sklar, RIMS Delaware Valley Chapter

“Make sure to advertise your Chapter meetings and events in your local paper.” - Fred Rich, RIMS Chesapeake Chapter

"Recognize contributions made by chapter members during the chapter meetings.  This honors their achievements and encourages others to volunteer.” - Danny Rose, RIMS Greater Kansas City Chapter

“Any events that your organization participates in can be documented by camera or video to heighten the excitement of the event. It can be replayed at the Chapter meetings to create interest about special programs. You will be able to document member participation, its benefits, the speakers utilized, why non-members should become a part of RIMS and why members should attend these special events. (One picture is worth a thousand words.)” - Lamonte Jackson, RIMS Arizona Central Chapter

"Invite first time attendees at Chapter luncheons to stand up and introduce themselves. They feel welcomed by the group's applause and it encourages networking and increases the likelihood that they will become regular attendees." - Karen Beier, RIMS Golden Gate Chapter

“Board members should arrive at every chapter meeting early so they have time to meet and greet Chapter members and non-members.” - Ginny Penzell, RIMS Houston Chapter

Show appreciation by inviting members, family of members and employees of member organizations with their families to an event. Our Chapter went to a Tulsa Drillers baseball game. There was a terrific ‘fireworks show’ after the game.” - Mitch Robinson, RIMS Eastern Oklahoma Chapter

“When new Officers and Directors are appointed, I personally buy the RIMS logo pin and present it to them at the next meeting.” - Robert Cartwright, RIMS Delaware Valley Chapter

“Create a logo for your chapter, so when meetings are held, others in the building know who you are. It sends a positive message that we are an organization with structure.  Our chapter also uses the logo on name badges for members only. Attendees who don’t have a logo on their badge can be approached and recruited, helping build our membership.” - Robert Cartwright, RIMS Delaware Valley Chapter

“Our Board members take turns helping at the registration table so we can all become better acquainted with our members.” - Mitzi Dykes, RIMS Central Florida Chapter

"Reach out to the students in your Chapter’s area.  Consider establishing a Risk Manager/Student mentoring program.  This program will help students and mentors learn and grow together, and can be of great value when the student graduates and begins to look for a job.” - Hal Larson, RIMS Greater Quad Cities Chapter

“Use the Society website as a marketing tool for increasing membership, and to show the many ways that vendors can use the website to increase their exposure and business.  We've demonstrated the website at our meetings during the networking period of our meeting and it's resulted in many follow-up calls for more information.  All you need is someone who's very familiar with the website and is a good PR person.” - Larry Glasser, RIMS Broward County Chapter

“Because of our size and the lack of officers in charge of Programming, we assign one month to each officer and he/she is responsible for the programming and meeting location for that month.  This helps spread the responsibility.” - Debbie Real, RIMS South Texas Chapter

“At our monthly Chapter meetings, we have two $25 drawings for deputy members, who must be present to win. This helps increase attendance and participation by deputy members at our meetings.” - Kyle Rogers, RIMS Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

“Foster the risk managers of tomorrow by encouraging student participation in Chapter events. This goal is achieved by: teaching ARM classes and providing honorariums to members upon completion of certification; waiving local Chapter dues for students; inviting students to attend Chapter meetings and comp their luncheon fees; sponsoring students to attend the RIMS annual conference; fund raising for risk and insurance management student scholarships at our annual fall conference; providing financial support for local corporate members for student summer interns; and partnering with local universities in their insurance and risk management endeavors.” - Judy Rogers, RIMS Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter

“In preparation for the CRP submissions chapters should create an electronic folder in their e-mail box titled ‘CRP Awards’.  Throughout the year, when an e-mail is received that provides some benefit to the award, place an electronic copy in that folder.  Also, have a CRP folder on your desk at work or at home.  Peruse risk related publications for articles submitted by members of your Chapter.  Make a photo copy of the articles and place it in that folder.  When it comes time to begin the submission, you will have most of your supporting documents right at your finger tips.- Debbie Real, RIMS South Texas Chapter

“A number of chapter members made it known to the OCRIMS Board that they thought it a good idea to say the Pledge of Alliance to begin each meeting.  The Board considered the idea and decided it a good one for several reasons – a) patriotism and love of country b) a good way to get everyone quieted down and ready to begin the meeting, and c) a different chapter member is asked to take the podium and lead the pledge each meeting.  The Pledge of Allegiance is now a standard opening to every OCRIMS chapter meeting and the membership response has been very enthusiastic.” - Gordon Adams, RIMS Orange County Chapter

“The RIMS Upstate New York Chapter thanks our speakers for presenting by making a donation in the speaker’s name to a charity of their choice.” - William Millen, RIMS Upstate New York Chapter

"Our Chapter puts a "TableTalk" card on each table at our meetings which the attendees can use as fun conversation starters that engage everyone at the table. Examples of questions include: If you could bring back one toy from your childhood, what would it be and why? If you could talk to any species of animal, which animal would you choose and why?" Mitzi Dykes, RIMS Central Florida Chapter

"Consider applying for CEU credits for your chapter meetings.  Chapter members may see this as a great opportunity to participate in a chapter meeting and stay on top of their professional development credentials.” – RIMS Member and Chapter Services Committee

“It is important to have your entire board participate in the planning process.  Consider having a separate 'planning meeting' with your full board so they may gather and work together to develop the plan for the year. This is also a great opportunity to review your Chapter’s strategic plan in addition to its short and long term goals.”  RIMS Member and Chapter Services Committee

Please remember to go online to update your listing of officers before your terms expires.  Officers not listed on the RIMS website are NOT covered under RIMS D&O insurance and will not have access to those areas on the site that are restricted to chapter officers.  If you are a Chapter President and can no longer access the roster listing please contact Chapter Services at 212-655-6041 to regain access. - RIMS Staff

“Spend Chapter money and time on volunteer training events.  January is a great time to schedule your chapter planning meeting.   Incorporating a bit of fun into the event will help everyone become excited for the year to come.  Remember, chapter officers are volunteers who are taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the chapter.  Making your meeting fun and interactive pays back to your chapter 10 fold and encourages sustainability among the chapter members.”  - Building a Stronger Chapter Workshop tip #28

“Encourage your chapter officers and members to upload their photo in the profile area of the new RIMS Community.  Uploading your picture is a quick and easy - allow members to put a face with a name - and maybe even allows them to spot you at the next chapter meeting.” – RIMS Staff



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