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Chamber of Commerce makes change in membership dues

MIDDLEBURY — With a desire to better serve its members, the Addison County Chamber of Commerce is changing the way its members will invest. The Chamber is converting its membership dues model from one based on number of employees (fair share) to a model that’s based on benefits (tiers).
“Since its inception, members have joined the Addison County Chamber based on the size of the business. Size was delineated by some metric such as employee count, assets on deposit, hotel rooms, restaurant seats, etc.,” said Sue Hoxie, president, Addison County Chamber of Commerce. “This old membership model actually punished a company for growing. The new tiered model will offer our members the opportunity to invest at a level that best suits their needs and pocketbook.”
Several years ago progressive thinking emerged on investing in membership organizations. Business decision makers became focused on direct ROI and the need to know the actual benefits associated with their investment. Measurements such as employee count were no longer an accurate determination of an organization and its business standing or profitability. Members began to demand a more standard contractual relationship whereby they choose certain benefits and know their associated costs. In order to address these concerns and demands, the model of the tiered investment schedule emerged.
“The tiered dues model is a significant change to how the chamber does business. After careful consideration and several months of effort by the staff and board of directors, we feel that this model will offer our members equity and choice when it comes to their decision about the membership level and package that best fits their needs,” said Dave Donahue, board chairman of the Addison County Chamber.
Under the concept of tiered investments, members receive a specific level of services and benefits associated with their chosen level of investment. In this model, the greater the investment, the higher the level of benefits received. There is very well defined list of benefits and value and members can see exactly what they will receive in exchange for investment in the Chamber.
It will take approximately 12 months to convert the chamber’s 400+ members from the old dues model to the new. Chamber staff will be contacting each member at their renewal anniversary and make a recommendation as to the appropriate investment tier.

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