Each spring HFMA sends a survey to chapter leaders to ask for feedback on how we support their volunteer experience. In the next three months, we will answer questions and comments that were raised in the last survey.

Two themes that seem to pop up across the various surveys is that volunteers are unable to find specific resources on the Chapter Leaders Website, or that they find that they are unable to take part in training either because they cannot attend the Leadership Training Conference or are unable to participate in one of the training webinars.

As an overall response to these concerns, we wanted to point to the new Chapter Leaders Resources search tool (which went live shortly before the survey was conducted). We put as much information as possible on the Chapter Leaders Resources website so it's accessible 24/7. Organizing it in a way that is intuitive for everyone is subjective, but the search tool should help volunteers find the information they need quickly.

The annual LTC and chapter leaders webinars are great ways to learn about the responsibilities for the various leadership positions. If you are unable to attend LTC or participate in a live webinar, you can still access the presentation slides and handouts, and we also have recordings available for the webinars. Email chapter@hfma.org and we will be happy to send these resources to you. If you still have questions after viewing the presentations, please call. We are happy to walk you through whatever you might need help with.

That brings us to another resource that we can't promote enough-Chapter Relations staff. We are just a phone call or email away. Some volunteers tell us they don't want to be a bother, so we are here to tell you that you are never a bother. We appreciate all the time and effort you put toward serving our members and we recognize that you all have day jobs. You are our day job, so call us, or email if you have a question or you need help with anything. One of our favorite quotes from a volunteer is that Chapter Relations was her "Easy Button." We want to be your "Easy Button," too. Don't wait until you've exhausted hours searching for a resource or solution to a problem. Call us early and often.

On to specific comments from the survey.

This month's portion of the surveys is: Please describe the most important thing that HFMA could do to further support and enhance the volunteer experience.

From the Program Chair survey

Comment: The onsite LTC should include something on the PPT and what is required by June 1. There was a webinar after LTC, but I could not attend and am figuring it out myself.

Chapter Relations' response: You are never on your own-Chapter Relations staff is always here to help. We're available during business hours (generally from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) to assist chapter leaders. We are happy to walk anyone through the PPT or any other process. The PPT Navigation Guide is also available 24/7 from the PPT home page.

From the Newsletter Chair survey

Comment: Create templates with timelines. Send reminders about where you should be with the newsletter.

HFMA's Response: Although chapters are required to publish one newsletter each quarter, many chapters provide more than four. In addition, the timeline would be very different for a chapter who was publishing electronically versus one that was producing a printed newsletter that would be distributed via the postal service.

Even if a chapter produces only four newsletters a year, they still have a three-month window in which to publish. That's potentially 68 different timelines.

To help chapters develop a timeline that will be appropriate for the number of newsletters and the distribution method, we have six sample newsletter timelines available on the Newsletter Chair Toolkit that chapters can choose from to create their own chapter-specific timeline.

We also urge chapters to consider sending their newsletter chair to LTC for training and the opportunity to network with their peers and share successful practices. Slides and handouts including examples of successful practices from LTC are available on the website.

In addition to training at LTC, chapter relations host a series of webinars for the different volunteer positions. If you miss a webinar, you can contact chapter@hfma.org for a copy of the slides, handouts, and a recording of the webinar.

Chapter Relations staff is always happy to help connect you with resources to help you with your job. You can email chapter@hfma.org or call (800) 252-4362 and ask the operator to connect you with a member of the Chapter Relations team.

From the Membership Chair survey

Comment: Provide basic committee operations manual templates that can be tweaked as needed by the individual state chapter and committee.

Chapter Relations response: Both the President and President-elect Toolkit and the Volunteer Recruitment Tools under National Office Resources contain sample job descriptions and responsibilities that chapters can use as a starting point for developing their own committee operations manual.

From the Treasurer survey

Comment: Send out schedules for training two to three months in advance. Calendars often full up quickly and when HFMA hosts a leadership training session it would be helpful if we had more notice so it doesn't conflict with other meetings.

Chapter Relations response: Last year we posted the full schedule of our chapter leaders webinars on the web in the Chapter Leaders Webinar Center. This year we also included all the webinars in the Chapter Planning Calendar and Resource Guide that was distributed at LTC and is available on the website. We also list the next two months webinars in the Looking Ahead section of Notes from National every month (at the end of the month). We understand that sometimes work responsibilities prevent you from attending. We will do everything we can to assist you in fulfilling your responsibilities. Contact us at chapter@hfma.org or call (800) 252-4362 and ask to speak to a member of the Chapter Relations team.

Comment: Tools for registering people for educational events. We are a small chapter and do everything manually.

Chapter Relations response: HFMA has offered online meeting registration for a number of years. You can access information about the Online Chapter Meeting Registration Packages from the Program Chair Toolkit under Assistance with Programs.

From the President and Regional Executive survey

Comment: Add a sponsor and secretary track at LTC

Chapter Relations response: Chapter Relations offers "Effective Sponsorship Programs - Everyone Wins!" a webinar developed in response to previous requests for a Sponsorship track. This popular webinar was also presented at LTC 2012 as a Panorama Session and was one of our top-rated programs. Due to its popularity, this session will be offered again at the 2013 LTC. LTC tracks generally comprise 3 to 4 sessions that each run about 90 minutes. We encourage you to send us your ideas for additional material for a Sponsorship Chair track. In the meantime, chapter Sponsorship Chairs are encouraged to attend sessions in any of the other tracks that will meet the needs of their chapter.

The role of Chapter Secretary wears many different hats across HFMA's 68 chapters, unlike the more uniformly defined duties of Program Chair, Membership Chair, or Newsletter Chair,

Currently, there is a virtual track-a series of webinars targeted at some of the more common responsibilities that chapters assign to the Chapter Secretaries throughout the year including "HFMA Founders Merit Award Program-Recognizing the Volunteer in You,"  "Program Planning Tool-Everything You Need to Know," and "Minutes & Bylaws & Recordkeeping" (which includes training on the most universal task associated with the Chapter Secretary position - meeting minutes). "Minutes & Bylaws & Recordkeeping" was also presented at the 2012 LTC as a Panorama Session and we plan to offer it again the 2013 LTC.

Secretaries and chapter administrators are also included in the promotion of chapter leader webinars with topics such as social networking (two sessions), defining your market with intelligence, and running an effective meeting. Chapter secretaries and administrators can also attend LTC in whichever track most closely addresses the responsibilities assigned by the chapter.


Publication Date: Thursday, September 27, 2012