AP NEWS

Our chamber membership drive

February 27, 2019

With the end of February comes the end of our annual Columbus Area Chamber membership drive. While the Chamber now brings in more than half of its annual income through projects and other non-dues sources, membership is still the life-blood of any Chamber of Commerce.

We fully recognize this impact goes beyond dollars. In terms of volunteers and influence, there’s no question that membership is now, and will always be, the key to a thriving organization. Perhaps that sounds like a no-brainer since the Chamber is a membership organization, but I think members forget that from time to time and don’t fully recognize the value of their membership.

Again this year, the team of Admirals, Commodores, and Board members has been out all month telling businesses about the value of membership. The Chamber staff and leadership are very appreciative of this hard work put forward by more than volunteers.

This team of people is making contact with 200 or more prospective members of the Chamber, which is quite an effort in just a month. Perhaps that number of prospective members surprises you. If so, you will be even more taken aback that there are more than 700 businesses and organization on the prospect list for the Columbus Area Chamber! What that means to me is that we have on-going potential to continue to grow this organization and have even more impact on our businesses and our region.

The Membership Development Committee, headed by Chair-Elect Chad Dyrhkopp at Hy-Vee, secured incentives to encourage memberships. The Chamber is appreciative of the investment made by The Columbus Telegram and Alpha Media to offer these incentives. This always feels like such a natural partnership as local media and the local chamber of commerce are both going to flourish when our members/clients are doing the same. As the old saying goes, “we all do better when we all do better.”

As the team works hard to wrap up the campaign through this week, it’s not too late to join the team doing community development in our region. Business people can reach out to the Chamber office by phone, by stopping in, or sending an email to sandief@megavision.com. Sandie Fischer in the Chamber office will share all the details of the February incentives.

Speaking of Sandie, we have to recognize the contribution she makes to this drive. She not only organizes the volunteer portion of the drive each year, but also makes quite a number of prospect calls herself. Sandie works very hard to strengthen the membership efforts of our Chamber… in fact, she lives that mission every day.

Unfortunately, there are Chambers of Commerce where they must focus much of their attention on meeting their budget and this takes focus away from fulfilling the mission of the organization. Thankfully the Columbus Area Chamber has a solid membership base so we can instead focus on impacting our members and our community.

K.C. Belitz is the outgoing president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.