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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

  • Peggy Hoffman

    Don't you love experiments? Don't you really love when someone else is in charge and gives you a front row seat to both participate and learn? It seems that 2017 might be ASAE's year for playing that role.

  • Peggy Hoffman

    A good friend and colleague sent me her latest white paper to read. Do you want to believe in associations' ability to change the world? Do you want to help be part of innovating education for all? Are you just a little curious about how a couple of associations are rewriting their approach to education?

  • Peggy Hoffman

    Twas the night after Christmas and all thro' the office not a creature was stirring, not even a virtual log-in … so brings me to blog? The freedom to not do a single item on my to-do, no calls to members, volunteers, leaders or clients, no frantic deadlines to meet. Rather, a chance once again to pause and consider once again what new ideas I might try in 2017. Here’s my day after list of quick links:



Association Blog

  • The biggest challenge facing associations with chapter networks is "maintaining relevancy in a time where geographic boundaries are made increasingly irrelevant by technology," said one survey respondent in the 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Study [PDF], conducted by our firm, Mariner Management & Marketing, LLC. And this quote was by no means an outlier. The future for associations' geographic chapters is uncertain, and this model will be shaped largely by which of six trends gains the most momentum in 2017.

  • Don't you love experiments? Don't you really love when someone else is in charge and gives you a front row seat to both participate and learn? It seems that 2017 might be ASAE's year for playing that role.

  • It started on a dare. Could we – a married couple with three sons to raise – open a business to create a new option for small, chapter based membership organizations and succeed? Heck why not? In January 2002, Peter and I opened the doors of Mariner Management. While I won’t say the sailing has always been smooth, it has always been an exciting ride.