USQ Update

USQ Update

Member Services Department 2019-20 Season Recap

Recap of strategic planning initiatives accomplished by the member services department for the 2019-20 season.

USQ is doing a multipart recap series for the 2019-20 season, focusing on strategic plan goals, additional highlights, and what’s coming next for the 2020-21 season. We are currently in year two of the latest strategic plan focused on retention, recruitment, and reach. This is part three in the series.


The member services department consists of regional coordinators and a member service coordinator. Staff in this department work together to assist members in understanding and complying with USQ requirements, as well as getting the most out of their membership. Member services staff maintain the membership database, manage benefits, track member requirements and respond to inquiries from members and potential members.

Employees:

  • Eric Schnier, director of gameplay & member services
  • Olivia Caughey, event & member services manager

Volunteers:

  • Alexia Barnes, West regional coordinator
  • Christian Barnes, Northeast regional coordinator
  • Katrina Bynum, Mid-Atlantic regional coordinator
  • Chris Choquette, Southwest regional coordinator
  • Kym Couch, Northwest regional coordinator
  • Matthew Dwyer, Great Lakes regional coordinator
  • Shirley Lu, West regional coordinator
  • Erik Morlock, Mid-Atlantic regional coordinator
  • Damon Penner, Midwest regional coordinator
  • Kelsey Peterson, member services coordinator
  • KT Quasarano, Midwest regional coordinator
  • Grace Weidemann, South regional coordinator

Member Services Department Updates

Outlined below are the specific goals from the strategic plan that the member services department is currently working on and the progress that has been made in the 2019-20 season. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Reach Ensure accessibility of the sport and all information and content shared by the league. Added resources to the get involved page of the USQ website including: information on how to start a team, become a member, volunteer, and more.
Reach Improve quantity and quality of communication and feedback opportunities provided to members and other internal stakeholders. Conducted several focus groups during the season on topics including: collegiate expansion, referee development, and the club division. One result of these focus groups included a new structure for the club division.
Reach Increase interactions of non-players with the league through marketing and public outreach efforts. Evaluated the fan member pricing and perks by conducting a survey in late spring. This feedback was taken into consideration for the 2020-21 fan membership structure. USQ staff is currently in the process of making additional updates.
Recruitment Promote opportunities for experienced teams to mentor new teams. Reached out to unofficial teams and encouraged them to join USQ’s public teams database. The goal was to provide visibility of those unofficial teams so more established member teams could reach out if they wished.
Recruitment Promote opportunities for experienced teams to mentor new teams. Developed plans for a mentorship program for tournament directors and other USQ members. These programs will launch during the 2020-21 season.
Recruitment Implement ongoing adaptive measures to address future barriers to entry Announced a revised member grant program.
Recruitment Implement ongoing adaptive measures to address future barriers to entry Offered opportunities for leaders of unofficial teams to provide feedback on various topics to help the league identify ways to lower barriers to entry. 
Retention Improve member relations and strengthen relationships with current teams. Provided six opportunities throughout the season for members to share thoughts on USQ operation, ask questions, and update the league on their membership experience, including the benchmark program survey
Retention Develop a detailed outreach plan for a team’s first season as an official member. Created a new season checklist for teams outlining deadlines and requirements. 
Retention Develop a detailed outreach plan for a team’s first season as an official member. Offered 1:1 conversations with teams in the summer of 2019. A total of 35 teams participated in those conversations. 
Retention Develop resources and guidance materials for members. Released several resources for general team operation including tips for recruitment and retention, a new team resource guide, and a general team resource guide. Guides include marketing resources that teams can utilize. A full list of resources for members can be found on USQ’s resource page.
Retention Develop resources and guidance materials for members. Released several resources for team leaders including: fundraising and sponsorship resource guide, player travel guide, team leader resource guide, and  coach resource guide. USQ’s equipment and apparel page also was updated.
Retention Develop resources and guidance materials for members. Started a monthly advice series for teams on subjects including planning out your season and team leadership transitions.

Additional Member Services Department Highlights

In a December 2019 press release, USQ announced an organizational restructure to adjust employee roles to better focus on our primary strategic plan objective of membership growth. The member services department, managed by Eric Schnier, director of gameplay & member services, and Olivia Caughey, events & member services manager, have worked collaboratively since December to provide administrative support and create resources for members.

This department also removed the cap on the number of regional coordinators for each region. Up to this season there has only been one regional coordinator assigned to each of USQ’s eight regions. The scope of this role was expanded to include additional focus on expansion efforts, assisting with visibility of teams in USQ news and social media coverage, and more regular check-ins with teams. 

What’s Coming Next

USQ is beginning the process of identifying year 3 strategic plan goals. Some initial goals that have been identified are highlighted below.

  • Additional updates to USQ’s grant programs
  • Option to add preferred gender pronouns during individual member registration
  • Continue offering 1:1 team meetings, focus groups, and survey opportunities
  • Launch a new mentorship program for members and tournament directors
  • Additional resource development for members

Questions?

Any questions about this article can be directed to membership@usquidditch.org.