At the State and Local Forum on Global Business in San Francisco last month, leaders on the association staff and member side gathered to discuss best practices, new ideas and challenges involved with starting or growing global programs at REALTOR® organizations. Here’s the next hypothetical scenario from the Forum, which deals with finding a new strategic direction for a local or state association’s declining global council:

We are a 4,000 member board that had a very successful global council now for more than 10 years. We started out with a bang and kept going strong for a while, but then started free-falling when the real estate market took a nose dive. To top it off our new AE is recommending to the BOD next month that our funding be cut. What should we do as dedicated volunteers?

Here are some of the ideas the group came up with at the meeting:

  • Bring together CIPS designees at your association to brainstorm new activities and ways to promote your association’s global offerings to other members.
  • Consider charging a small fee for global council membership to create perception of value among members and generate new revenues.
  • Make events more compelling to potential attendees, by adding elements such as a global wine tasting or a speaker who will generate buzz among members.
  • Find money to fund events via sources such as NAR Diversity Grants or sponsorships.
  • Persuade leadership to take CIPS courses and potentially earn the designation.
  • Whatever you do, make sure it’s fun!

And here’s more advice from the staff at NAR:

Use statistics from NAR’s research reports to support the need for a council. Go to economic development agencies to get facts on global business and investment in the local market.

In addition, if someone on the global committee or council is a member of the board of directors, see if they are willing to be an advocate for global at the highest levels of association leadership. And if possible, try to schedule a meeting with the president, the president-elect, the new association executive, the staff liaison to global and any other critical decision-makers and influencers. At that meeting, emphasize the council’s past successes but also discuss a plan to move forward on future initiatives.

Read the post on the previous Global Challenges scenario.