By Jessica Fox, writer at Eventgroove – a one-stop, integrated platform for events, fundraisers, and e-commerce driven to help its customers amplify their brand and reach their goals.

A multi-chapter nonprofit’s events program hinges on strategic coordination. Each chapter, functioning with a degree of autonomy, relies on support from headquarters (HQ) to build and maintain membership and execute fundraisers and community outreach events. Meanwhile, HQ counts on its chapters to act as extensions of the organization, helping to further its mission. This symbiotic relationship is crucial for fostering member engagement, driving fundraising initiatives, and amplifying community outreach.

Your nonprofit membership organization likely has a host of tools and vendors, including a fundraising platform, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and an online printing service. Utilize these tools to their fullest to help mitigate challenges, set your chapters up for success, and build a successful nonprofit membership program!

Below, we’ll break down some of the bigger challenges our chapter-based nonprofit customers face. We’ll also lay out solutions based on what’s worked for those same organizations.

Challenges & Solutions for Nonprofit Chapters

As you know, each chapter is different, and so are their challenges. While some of the solutions below would help save aggravation for everyone, others might struggle in one area more than others. For them, a more tailored problem-solving approach would work best.

A great way to learn where your chapters feel most challenged is to send a survey to determine where they could use some help. If sending an email survey isn’t your style, call your chapter leaders and talk.

In the meantime, the following are challenges we most often hear about from our nonprofit membership organization customers, as well as the solutions they find work.

Challenge #1: Cohesive Branding Across Events

Chapters independently host fundraising and community outreach events to build support and attract fresh faces. Typically, chapter leads build their own event pages as well as order printed marketing materials and custom merch. If chapters cannot access up-to-date brand guidelines and assets, this can lead to inconsistent branding which ultimately dilutes your organization’s identity.


1) If your event platform is an all-in-one solution, you’re able to centralize and automate. This saves both your time and that of your chapter leaders, while guaranteeing that every event page, attendee registration experience, and all printed materials are uniformly branded across all chapters. Here’s how:

Event and Fundraising Templates

  • Create and set standardized event and fundraising templates that local chapters can click to copy and then personalize to their needs.
  • Enable chapters to use these pre-approved templates, ensuring that every event they host is automatically aligned with national branding guidelines.

Private Ecommerce Storefront for Branding Materials

  • Establish a private ecommerce storefront populated with branded print-on-demand templates for things your chapters regularly order, such as event tickets, postcards, and branded merchandise.
  • Set product template customization options to allow chapters to add specific details while maintaining overall brand integrity.
  • Provide access to your chapters so they can order what they need when they need it.

2) If you’re using a few different tools and platforms to manage chapters, try this:

  • Create a detailed branding manual that includes specific instructions on logo usage, color schemes, typography, and messaging tone. Your manual should cover various applications, from digital communications to physical event materials. Make your manual, along with other visual assets (logos, images, and brand typeface), available and accessible to all chapters using a file-sharing service like DropBox. Just be sure to keep it regularly updated!
  • Distribute your manual to all chapters and incorporate it into the onboarding process for new chapter leaders and volunteers. Communicate that all fundraising and event pages and printed items should adhere to your organization’s style guide.
  • Implement a proofing process for building event pages and printed materials, so that the visual brand is consistent any time a chapter hosts a fundraiser.

Challenge #2: Increase Nonprofit Membership and Retain Membership

Chapters struggle to attract and retain members, hindering their impact. Our chapter-based nonprofit customers have found that the following strategies help them to fend off member fatigue and attract prospective members.


  • Implement centralized data analytics. Collect and analyze data on member activities and preferences across your organization. Depending on your events and fundraising platform, you also may be able to access your event and donor data across your events program. Your events platform should enable easy event registration so you’re not adding to chapter workload! Another method is to ask your chapters to gather event registrations, and then send in their attendee data to HQ.
  • Set up metrics for engagement, such as event attendance and participation. For example, if a community event is well attended by one segment of your membership but didn’t resonate with others, make note of that. You can then use that sort of insight to guide chapter communications and events.
  • Share what works. If one chapter’s event strategy is a success, share it with your other chapters. Encourage all your chapters to collaborate so that everyone wins. You could create a private Facebook group or Reddit community, or if your organization has a forum, you could create a space to interact and share information.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. Chapter members, donors, and supporters get tired of repeatedly being asked to support the cause financially. Invite them to be co-fundraisers through peer-to-peer initiatives. This approach, where supporters raise funds for your cause, includes activities like “walk for a cure” events. The benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising are significant. Your organization can simultaneously expand its reach through existing member networks while engaging with potential donors where they are!
  • Sweepstakes + membership drive. Like all nonprofit organizations, our membership-based customers are laser-focused on their mission but short on hands for data entry. To drive membership and cut down on data entry, some of our customers have rolled a fundraising event and membership drive into one event. The prize is something that appeals to those interested in their cause, and the sweepstakes is marketed to everyone in the community. However, thanks to registration data from past events, they’re able to conduct personalized outreach to people who’ve participated in community events. The purchase of a sweepstakes entry comes with a membership, and since participants signed up through the platform, there’s no data entry on the back end.
  • Workshops and educational sessions. Offering free workshops and educational sessions is another way our customers provide value to the community that’s also related to their cause. Whether it’s a bird-watching session or a composting workshop, these events can be both fun and informative. Another benefit of these events for our chapter-based nonprofit customers is that they help attract new members. During workshops, participants are further educated about the organization’s mission. In turn, people join their local chapter as members.

Challenge #3: Relevance and Member Benefits

All great relationships are about give and take. Members need to feel valued and that there’s a reason to continue supporting your organization through their time and membership fees. In addition to expressing gratitude and regularly communicating how their dues and donations help your cause, member benefits are a great way to provide value.


  • Use your fundraising platform and CRM to gather and evaluate donor, volunteer, and participant data across your entire program. Segment it by region, then review it for insights on what sort of members-only events or content you could provide.
  • Offer unique benefits in addition to networking and professional development events. Some ideas include discounts for goods and services, gifts like merch, a member feature on your org’s site, mentorship programs, or valuable members-only content (such as a newsletter).

Challenge #4: Chapter Volunteer Burnout

Most, if not all, of the work done at chapters is accomplished by a group of dedicated volunteers. Over time, day-to-day administrative tasks can take the joy and sense of accomplishment out of the time they give to your organization. Before long, overburdened chapter leaders and chapter volunteers can experience burnout, which can affect their commitment.


  • Take reinventing the wheel out of event creation. Create templates for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events that your distributed team can click to copy. You can review and manage all your current and future events across your distributed teams from one place.
  • Enable chapters to use your event platform to automate attendee registration. This will make information available instantly to HQ, enabling you to help your chapters make informed decisions.
  • Make it as easy as possible to onboard new helpers. Assign roles to regional directors, local event organizers, and volunteers, then designate permissions within your platform. Alternatively, you can make available online a regularly updated manual that will help them fulfill the responsibilities of their The trick to doing it this way is that you must work closely with your chapter leaders to create the manual.
  • Ensure that volunteers are engaged in meaningful activities, balancing routine tasks with opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Roll membership dues into event ticket purchases. Many of our membership-based nonprofit customers host annual banquets or galas. Since they’re heavily attended by membership, chapters, and HQ use their event platform to collect membership dues and fees with ticket purchases.

As the manager of a multi-chapter nonprofit events program, it is crucial to tailor strategies to meet the distinct needs of each chapter effectively. By leveraging centralized resources and adapting your support to address specific local challenges, you empower chapters to operate more independently and successfully. This strategic alignment allows each chapter to maximize its impact while ensuring the overall mission thrives across the organization.

About the Sponsor

Eventgroove is a one-stop platform for events, fundraising, and ecommerce that offers event management, online fundraising, ticketing, and online storefronts for print and digital merchandise.
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