During the fall of 2019 AOII’s current nine Network Directors and professional staff worked together to look at the needs of the Fraternity, the changing landscape of higher education, the best ways to serve chapters both alumnae and collegiate, and how to maximize the volunteer experience. The feedback from our volunteers has been invaluable in identifying strengths and opportunities. A key opportunity identified is that to be successful a network specialist must develop relationships with the chapters she serves and a smaller number promotes that goal.
Ultimately, our aim is to provide our membership with enhanced stability, while empowering our collegiate chapters to increase growth through fully-supported Alumnae Advisory Committees and strong alumnae chapters working in collaboration within their network to provide an unparalleled membership experience.
To accomplish this requires a support structure that is nimble enough to allow flexibility and the ability to change with our needs; however, still fixed and stable enough to provide stability and continuity to our members at all levels. In such a system, it is critical that information is shared freely and that authority for decision-making, wherever possible, resides at the local level. It is our hope and belief that the next phase of our chapter support structure, to be implemented in June, will accomplish those objectives.
What will it look like?
Our network structure will continue to be volunteer-led and incorporate both the Network Director (ND) and Network Specialist (NS) roles with appropriately updated position descriptions. The new structure provides a well-rounded, holistic approach to total chapter health.
One thing that was consistently communicated was that our volunteer leaders are essential to our collective success; therefore, we desire to capitalize on our volunteer capabilities. Our future network leadership will consist of 10 NDs who will serve in comprehensive roles. These directors will have strategic responsibility for their network and their role will include analysis and careful deployment of volunteer resources as needs and wants are identified. In addition, NDs will collaborate with professional staff and one another.
Today we have 94 Network Specialists (NSs) including our NS-Ds who work directly with our collegiate and alumnae chapters. Our future state will now include three newly refreshed Network Specialist roles for a total of 90 new roles as well as maintaining our nine new chapter development NSs for a total of 99 Network Specialists.
Network Specialists – Membership Experience (NS-ME) with AOII will be vital members in the network structure ensuring the Fraternity is moving forward, largely working the AAC and their efforts to effectively advise the chapters with which they work. The NS-ME role emphasizes new member education, member retention, sisterhood, standards, senior engagement, chapter finances and transition to alumnae membership. The primary focus of the NS-ME is to improve collegiate chapter relationships and membership experience through financial compliance, efficiencies and innovation. This is done through consistent and intentional correspondence with professional staff, assigned officers and advisers as well as other international volunteers.
Network Specialists – Operations & Programming (NS-OP) with AOII will be vital members in the network structure ensuring the Fraternity is moving forward, largely working the AAC and their efforts to effectively advise the chapters with which they work. The NS-OP role emphasizes education, ritual, academics, elections, officer transitions, and developing the chapter leadership through the LC and AAC as well as committee development. The primary focus of the NS-OP is to improve collegiate chapter operations and membership experience through facilitated trainings, efficiency and innovation. This is done through consistent and intentional correspondence with professional staff, assigned officers and advisers as well as other international volunteers.
Network Specialists – Membership Growth (NS-MG) with AOII will be vital members in the network structure ensuring the Fraternity is moving forward supporting primary Recruitment and ongoing recruitment efforts of collegiate chapters. The NS-MG role emphasizes recruitment, branding/PR, and philanthropy/service. The primary focus of the NS-MG is to ensure each collegiate chapter is utilizing best recruitment practices promotes an understanding of the AOII Brand through campus events, social media and philanthropic service. This is done through consistent and intentional correspondence with professional staff, assigned officers and advisers as well as other international volunteers.
The current NS-Alumnae position will now strategically focus on lifetime engagement through five newly refreshed positions. Additionally, we are anxious to hear the recommendations from the alumnae engagement taskforce (Taskforce #2) on what potential next steps could be for the Fraternity. The five Lifetime Engagement specialists will report directly to the professional staff.
Network Specialists – Lifetime Engagement (NS-LE) with AOII will be vital members in the network structure ensuring the Fraternity is moving forward through improving the Fraternity’s lifelong alumnae experience. The primary focus of the NS-LE is to increase alumnae engagement in all alumnae populations. This is done through consistent and intentional correspondence with professional staff, assigned officers and advisers as well as other international volunteers.
Lastly, the current NS-Finance position will become a Collegiate Finance Work Group with the anticipation for the creation of a standing committee in the Governing Documents at Convention 2021. The Collegiate Finance Work Group will report directly to the professional staff.
Collegiate Finance Work Group Members (CF-WGM) with AOII will be vital members supporting the network structure ensuring the Fraternity moves forward by supporting Network Directors and Specialists in chapter financial endeavors. The primary function of the CF-WGM is ensuring compliance and financial health through accurate and timely financial support. This is done through consistent and intentional correspondence with professional staff, network specialists as well as other international volunteers.
While the NS-Membership Experience will help oversee chapter finances, the volunteers serving on the Collegiate Finance Work Group will be our financial experts.
AOII is excited about this new network structure and looks forward to implementing these changes in the summer of 2020. Click here to view the updated network position descriptions.
Updated Network Map (10 Networks)
For this to be a success it requires dedicated volunteers who have the desire for change and also possess the capabilities to operate in a team environment. We are very pleased to have already identified nine of our ten Network Directors as they are extremely capable women who are ready to serve. We are approaching the time for regular Network Specialist appointments and look forward to filling these positions with women who have previously served in a NS capacity and women who have yet to serve in an international volunteer capacity.
Do you know a phenomenal sister who should be considered for one of these new positions? To refer a sister for one of AOII’s international volunteer positions, please complete a Potential Volunteer Contact form!
We appreciate your continued support as we work together though our implementation plan over the next several months to ensure every stakeholder is informed throughout the process.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.