Membership and Marketing Committee 2014 Report

By Cindy Banyai

Executive Summary

This report discusses the composition of the 2014 Community Development Society (CDS) obtained from the membership roster and the most recent Membership Survey.

This information is being analyzed to better inform the CDS marketing strategy, as well as to tailor conference components (mobile workshops).

Here are the top findings:

  • Members report being a part of CDS for an average of 11.3 years. They are largely from the Midwest, but there is a sizeable international component of the membership.
  • Aside from community development specifically, members are most involved with planning and evaluation, education and training, and dealing with projects and programs.
  • Networking, knowledge sharing and learning, and the journal and publications are the most valued components of being a member of CDS.

Membership data from 2011-2014 has also been analyzed to better understand the year to year membership retention rates and to set targets for future growth in this area. The major findings are that we have a major issue with membership retention, with only 40% of members renewing consistently. The issues stem from a lack of continued value for conference-local memberships and problems with the membership renewal system.

The Membership Committee requests $6,000 in 2015 to help address some of these recommendations.


Membership Composition

Average member reports being involved with organization for 11.3 years

Where are CDS members from?

Only a few members in each state, but membership is Midwest-heavy

Top Origins of CDS Members 2012-2013

  1. Minnesota (12.5%)
  2. Kentucky (7%)
  3. Wisconsin (6.2%)
  4. Ohio (5.4%)
  5. Missouri (5.4%)
  6. Illinois (4.7%)
  7. Canada (4.7%)
  8. New York (3.1%)
  9. International (3.1%)

 What areas do CDS members work in?

 cds areas of work

  1. Community Development
  2. Planning and evaluation
  3. Education/teaching/training
  4. With programs/projects
  5. Research
  6. Economics
  7. Rural
  8. Leadership
  9. Extension
  10. Government
  11. Youth
  12. Business
  13. Urban
  14. Volunteers
  15. Health
  16. Tourism
  17. Sustainability

 

What career difference does CDS make?

what i like about cds word cloud

  1. Networking
  2. Knowledge sharing and learning
  3. Journal/Publishing

 what members like

This is consistent with what members like about CDS. In the member survey, people most often identified the connections they make through CDS as what they like the most, followed by the publications, and knowledge sharing.

Membership Retention

retenion graph

The findings from analyzing year to year membership lists, as well discussing with other Directors and Julie While from the management office, is that there is a core membership of 135 or so members the sign up every year (2011-2014 puts number at 106). This number is low because of some of the peculiarities of the CDS membership process being associated with the conference. The main issues with this include: a large single-year membership contingent from the conference host area dedicated members who can get the discounted membership rate for 2 conferences, but skip paying years.

Data Analysis highlights:

  • Consistent membership 2011-2014: 106 members, 40% of total memberships between 2011-2014. This demonstrates a tremendous issue with overall membership retention.
  • 38% of memberships (295 out of 800) between 2011-2014 were only members for 1 year. This data relates to the issue with regional membership in conference areas, but indicates a lack of apparent continued value and outreach to colloquial members.
  • 2013-2014 to 2014-2015 retention rate (through July 2014) = 47% according to CDS management office, but analysis of 2011-2013 shows a much lower number of 40%
  • 35 people were only members from 2011-2013, 37 people were only members from 2012-2014, and 15 people had gap years in their membership. All of this information points to issues with the membership renewal process.

Potential rationale for retention issues

  • Lack of consistent membership outreach – Some members only stay a short time because they cannot find a home in the organization and have difficulty connecting to value of membership (especially if not publishing), this could potentially isolate practitioners
  • Lack of consistent membership renewal reminders and ease of renewal process - even long time members have gap years because of lapses in the membership process
  • Conferences are too colloquial – the locals who attend the conferences cannot find benefit to continued membership beyond the conference year

Membership Committee 2015 Budget Proposal

 

Item

Description

Cost

Online advertising

Design and run ads on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook) to entice non-members connections and new contacts to join CDS

$1,000

CDS Brochure refresh

Content and graphics re-design

$2,500

Print 2000

$2,000

Postage to send brochures to CDS representatives

$500

Brochure Total

$5,000

     
 

Committee Total

$6,000

2014 -2015 Committee Members

Cindy Banyai - Co-Chair

Dan Kahl - Co-Chair

Sharon Gulick

Chris Marko

John Gulick

Rani Bhattcharyya

Kathy Macomber

Johanna Reed Adams

Tracy Marlo-Daugherty

Dennis Deerey

Christopher Cotton

Paul LaChapelle

James Wilcox

Kurt Mantonya

John McNutt

Beth Nagy

 

President's Update - CDS working for you now and for the future

Dave Lamie-crop
By Dave Lamie
 
It's been nearly two months now since many of us had the chance to rendezvous in Dubuque for our annual conference.  Thanks to all the hard work of excellent local hosts, program committees, presenters, speakers, reviewers, and the support of our sponsors, we were able to put on a great conference. Giselle Hamm, our current Vice President of Programs, is now deep into working with another great local host committee to help set the stage for the 2015 conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Chris Marko, the current Vice President of Operations, is also beginning to work with local hosts from Minnesota, who will organize the 2016 conference. And, there are multiple other conference location proposals being developed for consideration at the CDS Fall Board meeting to be held in early November.  Measured in financial terms, no one is getting rich from all of the time and energy put forward to create these wonderful opportunities for CDS members to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for what CDS represents in the world --- but, we are all enriched through participation in this effort, no matter our role.
 
Though our annual conference is, perhaps, the most visible feature of our organization, there are multiple other ways that our organization helps to foster enlightened community development around the world.  The Journal serves as a means for our members to engage in community development scholarship and for this scholarship to inform our practice.  John Green, who serves as our current editor, will be turning over the reigns to a new editor later this year.  We are in the process of finding just the right person(s) to serve in this important capacity.  Our CD Practice publication is a great companion to the Journal, allowing practitioners to share their experiences and to hone their skills as they help to make the world a better place.  The Vanguard, that you are now reading, helps to keep us all informed of what the organization and our members are doing.  And, our website serves as a portal where all of this information can be easily accessed, a place where dialogue on community development issues can be fostered, and a vehicle to deliver this content globally --- into virtually every nook and cranny the Internet occupies.   All of these tools and more are at our disposal and we invite our members to consider not only being consumers of what they provide, but to take a more active role by becoming co-creators.  
 
And, there are multiple committees and task forces working on many different issues, all with the focus of making CDS an even better organization for future generations.  As we go into the Autumn months there will be plenty of opportunities for you to consider how you want to be involved in making CDS be the very best professional organization dedicated to the mission of community development.   Many hands make light work and when a good team of folks is working well together, it doesn't really seem like work.  It seems like the right thing to do.  
 
Here's to a great beginning to a new season!

Membership Upgrade

Membership Upgrade Includes New Services,

New Dues Options

Dear CDS Members:

The CDS is your professional organization, and we are dedicated to finding the most effective ways we can support you in CD practice, teaching, and research activities. In our membership survey last spring you suggested ways to improve CDS services and during the past six months, we have been implementing positive changes to expand services for CDS members.

  • Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, published quarterly since 2006, will offer five issues per year beginning in 2012. The Journal continues to enrich its content, with more articles in each issue, and it is now archived on-line, making it easier to search.  A book series on innovative practices in community development has been launched this year to help CD practitioners remain current with the literature.
  • A regular Webinar series offered by CDS, and often in partnership with other organizations, is drawing ever-increasing participation from members (who receive special membership savings) and non-members alike.
  • The expanded monthly Vanguard e-newsletter informs members of current happenings, and provides a direct link to related activities and valuable information sources.
  • The CD Practice Series is active again and will provide information about promising practices for use in the day-to-day activities of community development professionals.
  • The CDS Endowment, thanks to the efforts of the Roots and Wings Campaign, will provide three scholarships in 2011 for members and students to participate in our annual international conference. Continued growth in the Endowment will provide more scholarships and other benefits to our members in the coming years.
  • The 2010 and 2011 annual international conferences have been co-sponsored with sister organizations opening new professional opportunities and networks – both domestic and international – to CDS members. Our conference is in Boise, Idaho in 2011 and Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012.
  • Social networking by CDS is expanding, with access to Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other emerging venues, making it easier for our members to access and share information needed in their daily practices.

The value of your membership has increased and we recognize how important it is to justify costs in these difficult budget times. While expanding and updating services, the CDS Board also reduced organizational costs where possible. Cost-saving steps include finding lower-cost conference venues, renegotiating the administrative management and Journal publishing contracts, and taking fuller advantage of electronic rather than print communications for members and the public. The Board of Directors has assumed more personal responsibility for costs of attending meetings, conference calls, and related board activities.

CDS has not raised dues for the past four years but we have to adjust them for 2011 to cover the costs of expanded services. Discounts are offered to students, retirees, households, and now any member who chooses to receive electronic-only versions of the CDS Journal. The dues schedule for 2011 is shown below, and is also posted on the CDS web site (www.comm-dev.org). The revised schedule provides members with a money-saving option to subscribe to the Journal on an on-line basis only or to continue to receive print copies. CDS dues are competitive with other professional associations and we provide more member benefits.

Maintaining CDS as a high quality and useful professional organization requires adapting to changing circumstances. As first and second generation members retire, CDS must be an organization that offers services relevant to the next generations of community developers, and one that offers up-to-date resources and support to the field of community development. We would like to hear your ideas about ways to enhance the Society and encourage your active involvement  – as a member, presenter, author, reviewer, committee member, or board officer – while we move forward into the next decade.

 

Best wishes,

Norman Walzer

President

CDS 2011 Dues, by Membership Category

 

Category

Dues Effective July 2011

Category

Dues Effective July 2011

Regular - E

$130

Regular - P

$150

Student - E

$  65

Student - P

$  75

Household - E

$165

Household - P

$185

Retiree - E

$  95

Retiree - P

$115

E-Members can read and/or download the CDS Journal copies from the CDS web site, but will not receive printed copies of theJournal.

P-Members can read and/or download the CDS Journal copies from the CDS web site, plus they receive printed copies of the Journal

 

 

Membership Spotlight

Welcome to the Membership Spotlight!

CDS is highlighting the work of its members to share information and get to know more about our members and their area of expertise. As survey responses become available from CDS Members, these will be 'spotlighted' in this section of the website and will become a part of the ongoing list to date.  

If you would like to complete the membership survey, click here:
https://cdsabstractsubmission.wufoo.com/forms/cds-members-spotlight-survey/   

Click here for all 2009 Member Spotlight Profiles!

Connie Loden
Wisconsin Rapids, WI, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a member of CDS since 1994, I think.   I am president/CEO of the Heart of Wisconsin Business Alliance, which is a chamber of commerce and community economic development organization.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          My work in community development involves engaging the public to be involved in creating the future of their community - taking a systemic approach to involvement and understanding the community systems and culture at play and fostering innovation.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I belong for the professional development benefit I gain through my membership. The benefits that I receive are many -connection to practitioners and researchers, particularly international, allowing the exchange of ideas and best practices.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1 International members & friendships 2 Conferences –sharing with other practitioners and professionals in the field 3 Networks& professional exchanges of ideas -ability to be published in a professional development publication
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         It opened up international opportunities to share my expertise w/others. Allowed a professional platform for my work to be evaluated by my peers, and improved by suggestions and expertise. It has recognized my work w/Innovative Project Award
List your special interest and expertise.
·          I have passion for international community development work, fostering innovation & community leadership. Favorite book Synchronicity-The Inner Path to Leadership- Joseph Jaworski  Quote "You must be the change you want to see in the world" Gandhi  

Mark Brennan
State College , PA, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been an active member of CDS for 5 years, but indirectly involved with the Society for the last 15.  Since 2009 I have been a professor of leadership and community development at Penn State University.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          My work involves a mix of teaching and research in topics related to community capacity building, community theory, community power, small group/grassroots development, and community action.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I believe that CDS is the premier organization that brings together community development academics, policy makers, and practitioners.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1.  The diversity of our membership.    2.  The creative environment of our membership.  This contributes to a wonderfully creative and ego free environment.    3.  The clear integration of research, teaching, and outreach.  Activities
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         Being involved with CDS has allowed me to collaborate in a variety of areas including extensive interaction with our members, participation in our annual meetings, the honor of being part of our board of directors and editorial board.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Areas of Specialization: Community and Leadership Development, Research Methods, Social Change, International Comparative Studies, Natural Resource Sociology, and Rural Sociology.  Favorite Book:  Ken Wilkinson's The Community in Rural America

John Kuester
Elk River , MN, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a member since 1989.  I am a retired rural community developer.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          The favorite part of my work was going into small communities and assessing how they operate so that I would be better grounded in making appropriate suggestions as to how they could achieve their vision.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I joined initially at the suggestion of my boss who felt that CDS was a good fit with our rural development work.  I quickly found a strong network of folks who understood community development and who felt free to share their feedback and expertise.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         1. The personal and professional network developed through CDS 2. The Endowment and the future sustainability it will provide the organization 3. The opportunity to explore Annual Conference venues
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         Up to the point I joined CDS and strange as it may seem, I did not know that the work I was doing was community development.  In the following years it helped a great deal to have a professional reference point to both describe and evaluate my work.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          I sincerely feel that the movie Babe has a great deal to say about effective ways to bridge between diverse agendas within a community.  

Chris Marko
Portland , Oregon, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         I have been a CDS member for five years.  I work for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation a non profit organization which helps rural communities acheive their visions and goals through training, technical assistance, and financial resources.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          I enjoy making a difference for communities regarding basic needs including drinking water and wastewater, affecting rural program and policy decisions through advocacy, and networking with a wide range of people in community development through CDS.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         I belong to CDS because it is the most broad based organization involving a wide range of community development practitioners and education throughout the world.  CDS helps keep me engaged in cross section between education and community development.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         Diveresity of people Conference is fun! Connection to education
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         CDS has helped make networking regarding community development and rural policy valuable.  CDS contributes to my professional development, helps me work more effectively with communities, and enhances partnerships involved with community development.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Special interests include music, one of my favorite books is The End of Science  

Kristin Kauth
Kaukauna , Wisconsin, United States
How long have you been a member of CDS?
·         A member for 32 years. Joined when I began working as a Continuing Education Specialist in the Center for Urban Community Development, University of Wisconsin - Extension.      Retired. Involved in volunteer work with area non-profits.
Describe your work in Community Development
·          I was a community development/outreach educator/practioner in Milwaukee, WI for over 24 years with experience in academic, corporate, and non-profit settings. Hold a Masters Degree in Urban Education.
Why do you belong to CDS and what does it mean to you?
·         The inclusiveness within CDS cannot be duplicated in any other organization. It is the place to be if you are serious about community development. Members have been my mentors, educators, colleagues and friends over the years.
List 3 things you like about CDS.
·         The Annual International Conference, enthusiasm of members, lasting friendships.  The mix of professional backgrounds, academics and practioners - what a learning experience!  The international and multi-discipline viewpoints.
What difference has CDS made in your life?
·         I found a professional home that was there forme through 3 career changes. It brought me in contact with a group of people that provided encouragement, support and leadership opportunities that proved valuabe in my work and personal growth.
List your special interest and expertise.
·          Book recommendation: Practicing Community Development by Donald W. Littrell and Doris P. Littrell; published by University of Missouri Extension; 2006.  Special Interest: Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes (national non-profit org.)

 

Join CDS

Click here to join! 

Click here or on the image on the right to see the membership benefits presentation (PDF)

The membership year is July to June. If you join CDS by May 1, you will be eligible to vote in the current year. Membership benefits include:

  • Networking and professional development opportunities
  • Voting rights (for all categories except Libraries)
  • Quarterly issues of the COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Journal of the Community Development Society
  • Quarterly issues of the Vanguard newsletter posted to the website
  • Access to view the CD Practice Publication
  • Access to an online list of members
  • Access to online issues of past CDS Journals
  • Eligibility for CDS Awards (except Friend of CDS Award)
  • Reduced rate to the CDS Annual Conference
  • Opportunities to join the CDS listserv and issue or special interest groups, such as sections and clusters
  • * Opportunities to participate in CDS through the Board of Directors and numerous committees

 


Membership Upgrade Includes New Services, New Dues Options

Dear CDS Members:

The CDS is your professional organization, and we are dedicated to finding the most effective ways we can support you in CD practice, teaching, and research activities. In our membership survey last spring you suggested ways to improve CDS services and during the past six months, we have been implementing positive changes to expand services for CDS members.

  • Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, published quarterly since 2006, will offer five issues per year beginning in 2012. The Journal continues to enrich its content, with more articles in each issue, and it is now archived on-line, making it easier to search.  A book series on innovative practices in community development has been launched this year to help CD practitioners remain current with the literature.
  • A regular Webinar series offered by CDS, and often in partnership with other organizations, is drawing ever-increasing participation from members (who receive special membership savings) and non-members alike.
  • The expanded monthly Vanguard e-newsletter informs members of current happenings, and provides a direct link to related activities and valuable information sources.
  • The CD Practice Series is active again and will provide information about promising practices for use in the day-to-day activities of community development professionals.
  • The CDS Endowment, thanks to the efforts of the Roots and Wings Campaign, will provide three scholarships in 2011 for members and students to participate in our annual international conference. Continued growth in the Endowment will provide more scholarships and other benefits to our members in the coming years.
  • The 2010 and 2011 annual international conferences have been co-sponsored with sister organizations opening new professional opportunities and networks – both domestic and international – to CDS members. Our conference is in Boise, Idaho in 2011 and Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012.
  • Social networking by CDS is expanding, with access to Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other emerging venues, making it easier for our members to access and share information needed in their daily practices.

The value of your membership has increased and we recognize how important it is to justify costs in these difficult budget times. While expanding and updating services, the CDS Board also reduced organizational costs where possible. Cost-saving steps include finding lower-cost conference venues, renegotiating the administrative management and Journal publishing contracts, and taking fuller advantage of electronic rather than print communications for members and the public. The Board of Directors has assumed more personal responsibility for costs of attending meetings, conference calls, and related board activities.

CDS has not raised dues for the past four years but we have to adjust them for 2011 to cover the costs of expanded services. Discounts are offered to students, retirees, households, and now any member who chooses to receive electronic-only versions of the CDS Journal. The dues schedule for 2011 is shown below, and is also posted on the CDS web site (www.comm-dev.org). The revised schedule provides members with a money-saving option to subscribe to the Journal on an on-line basis only or to continue to receive print copies. CDS dues are competitive with other professional associations and we provide more member benefits.

Maintaining CDS as a high quality and useful professional organization requires adapting to changing circumstances. As first and second generation members retire, CDS must be an organization that offers services relevant to the next generations of community developers, and one that offers up-to-date resources and support to the field of community development. We would like to hear your ideas about ways to enhance the Society and encourage your active involvement  – as a member, presenter, author, reviewer, committee member, or board officer – while we move forward into the next decade.

Best wishes,

Norman Walzer
President

Libraries may also join CDS and receive copies of the CDS journal. Interested?

Click here to join!