ACS Relevance to Current and Future Members: Challenges and Opportunities
As elected representatives of ACS members, Councilors are uniquely positioned to strengthen the Council’s role as ”the popular deliberative assembly of the Society” [Art. VII]. Through our regular interaction and dialogue with members, we can better understand what matters most to them and what delivers them the greatest value. Councilors also probably have heard of other services ACS could offer or provide that would further help them advance in their careers or be of value to attract new members to ACS. While ACS certainly conducts a number of surveys to gather input and data, nothing can beat face-to-face dialogue with member experts such as Councilors.
During this special discussion, Councilors will have the opportunity to share their views, ideas and suggestions about the ACS value proposition – what is working well, what could be changed, enhanced or added that would help ACS successfully increase member retention, engagement and recruitment. On average a significant majority, about 83% of our membership (125,000 members), renews with ACS annually. However that means a much smaller but significant 25,000 members choose to not renew. To sustain our membership numbers, annual intensive recruitment efforts are used to largely recruit an equal number of new members. To support and be relevant to chemistry and chemists we also need to understand how to attract future members and leaders of the chemistry enterprise.
There are likely many ways to improve the ACS value proposition. Prior to the Council meeting in Orlando, Councilors are asked to engage with ACS members from their local sections or divisions and to bring that input to the Council discussion.
Councilors are also asked to share their ideas of other ways to develop a better understanding of what members want and need. The input will be very helpful to the Council Standing Committee on Membership Affairs and ACS staff as they seek to build the ACS of the future.
Please send any ideas, comments, or feedback you’d like Councilors to discuss at the Orlando meeting to Chris Avery, CSW President (email@example.com).