Lessons Learned from Leveraging Components

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Dresden Farrand, MPP, MPA, CAE, Director of Membership & Chapters at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

She brilliantly walked us and a curious audience through her strategy and process for leveraging CoSN’s chapters to pull off some amazing results.


The best part? Those statistics are continuing to grow even more! It wasn’t easy, but Dresden and her team pushed through from beginning and learned some great lessons along the way.

Fun Facts:

  • Dresden started the process with ZERO budget and only 2 staff people
  • The overall framework for the initiative focused on:
    • The structure of the organization
    • Aligning the strategy to the desired outcome
    • Developing a strategy and process that were sustainable

The CoSN team broke their overall strategy into the three primary focus areas listed below. Each focus area came with its unique set of lessons that were learned or confirmed by going through the actual process.

  • Acquiring New Chapters
    • In terms of resources, weak chapters require a lot of work. Don’t underestimate.
    • It’s ok to dissolve a chapter if it’s just not working out.
    • The overall process = huge effort and you WILL experience challenges and obstacles along the way.
  • Strengthening Chapters
    • Chapters = retention. Period.
    • Components/chapters = opportunity to leverage, not a structure to manage
    • Leadership development & technical assistance = critical
    • Changes communicated by board, not staff
  • Value Proposition & Engagement
    • Simplify local component/chapter responsibilities
    • Chapter access to expertise = increased value to members
    • Chapters want acknowledgement and want to provide input. Asking isn’t hard and you’ll get a lot in return.

Learn more about the amazing outcomes that Dresden and the team at CoSN experienced.

View full presentation | View webinar recording with Dresden

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