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Mariner Management & Marketing LLC


The volunteer of yesterday is different than the one of today who will be different in the future. To be successful in engaging members as volunteers, we have to match our volunteer programs to our volunteers’ aspirations and interests.

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Leaders are neither born nor made. More precisely the recipe includes a little of the right DNA, a choice made, and effective nurturing. Associations can have an impact on the latter two with great results.

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Chapters appear to have a powerful impact on association membership levels. Developing chapters as partners requires a chapter strategy that focuses on key metrics and provides meaningful support.

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Associations need not cede their place as home for professional community if we place member collaboration and engagement as a priority, seek new models and invest in developing volunteers to lead us.

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We say “manage” but it more closely resembles conducting. We see our role as a conductor to bring the best out of each of the volunteer leaders.


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Engage association volunteers
Build association chapters

Innovative Growth for Associations

  • Main holding globe with inverted imageWhat if we replaced traditional chapters with local networking groups?
  • What if we replaced committees with project teams and morphed full-time volunteer positions into ad-hoc jobs?
  • What if we replaced "volunteering" with "engaging" and "member" with "citizen"?
  • What if we applied just-in-time concepts to volunteer training and support?

These are the types of questions that keep Mariner fired up. We believe that associations have existed since the 1800's because associating is fundamental to humans. We also believe though change is fundamental. Just as society has evolved through the ages - industrial to information to social - associations must too. So, whether it's guiding our management clients or collaborating with our consulting clients, we ask the questions that count and seek unconventional wisdom. And, we follow the compass. This has led us to the Chapter of Future, Chapter Dashboard, Embracing Volunteer Adhocracy and exciting projects like Rebuilding The Volunteer Spirit.

We think of ourselves as association executives, dedicated volunteers and - yes - mariners.


Association Innovation



Association Blog

  • The year is almost done, which means many of us are starting to ponder our New Year’s Resolutions (again!). We’ll spend the coming days in quiet reflection on where we failed in 2014 and how we can better ourselves in 2015. Whether it’s making changes to our physical, mental or spiritual well-being, we’ll forge ahead with a list of resolutions written in the spirit of renewal. And we swear that this time, we’ll do it all!

  • I was sent an old high school picture by a friend, which by itself was horrifying. But what really struck me was the text underneath.

  • Earlier this month, Elizabeth Weaver Engel MA, CAE (Spark Consulting LLC) and I were excited to participate in the first Wild Apricot Expert Webinar to talk about our favorite topic: Mission-Driven Volunteering. The session was well-attended and there were lots of questions - too many to cover in the hour so we created a blog post to continue the conversation.