Chambers of commerce are essential to the growth of our communities, from making introductions and facilitating projects to maintaining data on the areas served and being a trustful source to help boost the credibility of local businesses. While attracting new members to your chamber of commerce is always a great thing, what is crucial is retaining those memberships. Therefore in this article, we have gathered ideas to provide more value to your chamber of commerce members, along with other necessary information on the matter. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
What is a Chamber of Commerce?
A chamber of commerce is an association or network of business people designed to promote and protect the interests of its members. A chamber of commerce is often made up of people who share interests or live in the same area. Chambers of commerce exist all over the world. They are not authorized to directly affect the regulations but they can influence regulators with their lobbying efforts.
Types of Chambers of Commerce
There are several types of Chambers of commerce which are determined by the format of the chamber:
- Regional and community chambers: Regional and community chambers focus on local issues featuring cooperation with the local government, but may also promote broader business initiatives.
- City chambers: City chambers’ goal is to promote a city’s economic interest and development locally.
- State chambers: State chambers mainly focus on statewide and sometimes national advocacy. They can have a great deal of influence on regulations.
- National or international chambers: National or international chambers’ main focus is lobbying on national issues or issues that are broader than a national aspect.
- Compulsory chambers: In some countries, when a business reaches a certain size, they are required to join a chamber of commerce. These are compulsory chambers that are the most popular in Europe.
How a Chamber of Commerce Works
A chamber of commerce is indeed an organization of businesses from various vocations and sectors that may be voluntary or required. They act as spokesmen and business community representatives. They differ from one state to the next.
The “Chambre de Trade,” the first chamber of commerce, was established in Marseille, France, in 1599. In New York in 1768, the first one in the United States began. In the United States, the Chamber of Commerce has a long history of pushing for anti-union legislation at the municipal, state, and federal levels. At the regional, municipal, state, and city levels, chambers concentrate on topics and lobbying important to their specific chamber membership.
Deals and discounts from other chamber members, as well as a number of other initiatives and services aimed at fostering regional commercial activity, are some of the advantages that chamber members enjoy. Local municipalities benefit greatly from the work that chambers of commerce do to support economic activity and represent their members. Members of the local chamber of commerce frequently get together to talk about and try to affect local business and economic policies.
How a Chamber of Commerce Makes Money
Sometimes private donations are made by private individuals or business leaders. It may carry out a number of programs for the benefit of its members thanks to the donations. Sometimes, the givers want everyone to know about their gifts or contributions. Donors occasionally want that their donations remain a personal issue between them and the Chamber, though.
Additionally, there are chamber membership costs for business leaders to join the Chamber of Commerce. This still represents the Chamber’s primary source of funding. Anyone who wants to become a member of the Chamber must pay the required dues.
The Chamber of Commerce frequently coordinates particular fundraising activities. According to the legislation, the chambers are free to plan as many fundraisers as they see fit
5 Ideas to Provide More Value to Your Chamber of Commerce Members
Now that you are familiar with the concept of the chamber of commerce, we can offer you several ideas to provide more value to your chamber of commerce members.
1. Match-Making Members:
You know the members of your chamber and their needs better than anyone. Therefore, meeting those needs will make your members feel more valued by your chamber. One of the best ways to meet their needs is to introduce them to another member that can provide them with what they need. This way, your members will feel heard and see how much you value them and their needs.
The networking events created by your chamber are crucial for both your chamber and its members. These events should fit your members’ needs. It may be a good idea to create both in-person and online networking events. Since online events are easier to attend, they should be on your agenda if they are not already. Moreover, you can survey your members at the end of your events. This will benefit both you and them. You will get a better idea of how well your event went and what can be improved and they will feel more valued and heard.
3. Job Boards:
In today’s world where so many people with different talents are looking for jobs, having a job board on your chambers’ website can be a good idea because it will help your members to display job opportunities for their business. This is another way to show your members that you value them and their needs.
Having a job board by your side will allow your chamber of commerce members to show job opportunities for their businesses.
4. Driving Growth to Your Area:
These days, the number of chambers and economic development organizations that are partnered up is rapidly increasing. If your chamber also partners up with your area’s economic development organization, you will be able to show your members the prosperity of the region. Seeing the growth that is coming to your way, your members will be more inclined to stay by your side.
5. Educational Opportunities:
Another great way to provide more value to your chamber of commerce members is by offering them in-person or virtual learning opportunities. Your chamber can organize weekly or monthly educational opportunities regarding the growth of businesses, economic growth, or the challenges a business can experience. You can even give your members a poll and allow them to choose the topics of these educational opportunities. This will make them feel important and valued even more!
Do you Need Help Making Those Ideas Real? Meet Raklet!
Raklet is an all-in-one membership management software that offers comprehensive solutions. All of the ideas mentioned above can be handled easily with the help of Raklet and its extensive features. For instance, using Raklet, you can easily create, promote and run virtual or in-person events. With our built-in CRM, you can keep track of your attendees easily and they will automatically become contacts on your platform.
Raklet also offers digital membership cards to your members that can be customized, just like almost anything Raklet offers! Having a digital membership card feature increases your members’ belonging to your chamber. Another tool that strengthens your members’ bond with your chamber is our discussion board and private social network. Through the discussion board, you can announce upcoming events. A private social network, on the other hand, allows you to realize the networking and match-making idea mentioned above because it allows members to contact one another privately. Raklet also provides a job board tool that can be customized as you wish as well.
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