During our recent webinar "Increasing the Impact of Your Strategic Planning Efforts", one participant asked "What are some concrete suggestions for involving the membership in the development of a strategic plan?" Here is our response:
• Reserve a few slots on the strategic planning committee for member representatives with a reputation for "big picture thinking"
• Invite selected members to participate in a strategic planning retreat
• Conduct dialogue sessions/focus groups with members to solicit feedback and input on what they view as emerging issues and challenges facing the organization, the field/profession and the members themselves
• Build in opportunities for input of members at already scheduled meetings and events – monthly membership meetings, conferences, training programs
• Conduct an online membership survey. I've taken an online membership survey which we used in some of our strategic planning projects involving membership organizations and associations and removed organization specific references. You can take a look at this survey online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/H3KLMXD. Feel free to use the survey questions and edit as needed.