Give Them What They Want

Adding Value Increases Profits


Recognizing prior contributions, the membership of a state-wide Professional Association elected me to their Board of Directors (in the role of Program and Education Board Chair). The mandate was to bring the same level of strategic guidance to the two committees responsible for all continuing professional education programs offered by the association.

My leadership made the annual convention self-sustaining. In my new role, I envisioned creating a more comprehensive, state-wide educational program that would:

  • add value for our members via high-quality, low cost educational offerings,

  • become financially self-sustaining, and

  • contribute to the non-dues revenue stream of the association.

My energies focused on:

  1. developing quality CE programs to reach professionals across the state;

  2. diversifying the format of those programs;

  3. increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of program development and planning; and

  4. increasing the diversity of the revenue streams.


My analysis revealed the continuing education committee suffered from disorganization. For example, the decision to provide free-standing (yet under-attended) workshops across the state resulted in an income-to-expense ratio demonstrating that the association was losing money at each event.


One of my goals was to increase value for our members. This meant finding more efficient and cost-effective means of supplying CE across the state, while increasing non-dues revenue streams.


I developed a process and charged the Committee with…

  • Adopting a "Call for Workshop Proposals" form and a process for the review and selection of proposals that was consistent for both committees and thus increasing efficiency;

  • Initiating a "conference format" to replace free-standing workshops that offered more workshops and decreased cost of overhead;

  • Rotating the locations of the conferences to provide wider access to training opportunities across the state;

  • Increasing home-study hard-copy and electronic CE offerings that could be accessed by professionals from their offices;

  • Resurrecting a co- sponsorship program as an additional revenue source. The committee streamlined the application process, clarifying guidelines, increasing fees for obtaining sponsorship of CE programs offered by non-approved training providers;

  • Broadening the scope of professionals for whom the association could provide "approved" continuing education credits.

Lasting Impact:

More than a decade later,

  • The association is known nationally for its premier statewide continuing education programs for mental health professionals; and

  • the continuing education program remains the largest source of income from non-dues revenue (in excess of 80K annually) for the association.