Following up on our last blog post about the member engagement project we’ve been working on for the better part of the past year, some of the key themes that emerged from Spark’s interviews with CFA Charterholders about your member experiences include:
- Members universally recommend membership: “I would be hard pressed to identify any CFAs who aren’t members. I would be more likely to question anyone who is a CFA and doesn’t belong, particularly if they’re in the Twin Cities. There is so much good to be gained from the programs that not joining is doing your career a disservice.”
- Volunteering of all types is very popular with those who are able. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it’s knocked my socks off.”
- Members highly value the job board, and that popularity is confirmed by the fact that when you Google “CFA Society MN…,” it’s the first auto-complete option that comes up.
- Members recognize what a major investment of resources Intellisight is and, although several noted that it is not appropriate for all members, they generally feel it’s a good investment. “[Our firm] supports the CFAMN annual conference. It’s been a great investment for us, and it has raised the profile of both the Society and the larger Minneapolis investment community.”
- Members are largely aware of CFAMN’s “experimental mindset” and support it.
Looking to the quantitative data, the top benefits members identified include:
- Networking opportunities, and many specifically called out that CFAMN is only responsible to provide the environment, and it’s up to individuals to take advantage
- Job board (as noted above, Google analytics support this)
- Participants like the mentoring program, both the formal one-on-one and the informal group mentoring
- Senior professionals are looking to give back: speak, write, mentor
Volunteering and giving back to the profession are clearly very important to charterholders. As one interview subject said, “I want to be part of the group that takes the Society to the next level, wherever that is.” That is a common sentiment. People who’ve been involved in the CFA Institute Research Challenge are particularly enthusiastic. However, because of schedule concerns, members would like even more one-off or low-commitment options.
Several people also noted that they are aware that CFAMN has a small staff and said they would be okay being asked to volunteer for a specific task, not just come up with ideas. Staff members also know that passionate volunteers are the key to program success, so finding more volunteers – and finding out more about what they’re passionate about – is critical, and “smaller” volunteer opportunities are a good on-ramp for new volunteers.
Several members also noted that community-based volunteering activities should focus on things that use CFA skills, specifically financial literacy training, activities, or programming.
Of course, one doesn’t collect and analyze data as an end unto itself. The next question becomes: What are you going to do about what you learned? Over the next several blog posts, board and committee members will share their thoughts on that question, and the series will conclude with a roadmap post about where the Society and the Institute plan to go from here.