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Title: Member relations plan for Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars
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 Material Information
Title: Member relations plan for Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars
Physical Description: Project in lieu of thesis
Language: English
Creator: Ying, Jinghui
Publisher: College of Journalism & Communications, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Notes
Summary: Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars (FACSS) is a nonpolitical and not-for-profit student organization registered at the University of Florida (UF). It is run and led by UF Chinese students, and allows students, scholars, and the larger Chinese community to be members of this association. The organization not only helps Chinese newcomers with transportation, housing, and other basic needs at their arrival in the United States and during their tenure at UF, but also carries out a variety of events for the local community. Moreover, FACSS has a website, a mailing list, a BBS, and a Facebook group page as communication outlets. With the growing of Chinese community in Gainesville, the organization now is facing a member relations challenge. First, the organization does not have a clear mission, which is an integral part of organizational development. Second, FACSS has a loose membership that does not make a registration compulsory. Instead, the organization simply recognizes every Chinese resident in Gainesville as its member. By operating this membership system, FACSS actually know little about its membership. The third problem of FACSS is ineffective membership communication. Many of the subscribers to the out-of-date electronic mailing list are no more active users and a large number of people who have interest in FACSS do not join in the electronic mailing list. Moreover, the awareness level of FACSS new website is quite low, according to a survey recently conducted. FACSS began to embrace social media since 2006, but those online communities did not create much interaction between the organization and its members. The proposed project aims to help the organization to overcome the challenges mentioned above and eventually achieve favorable and effective member relations.
Acquisition: Public Relations terminal project
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Bibliographic ID: UF00100470
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Permissions granted to the University of Florida Institutional Repository and University of Florida Digital Collections to allow use by the submitter. All rights reserved by the author.

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Full Text







University


of Florida


College of Journalism and Communications

Department of Public Relations



Project in Lieu of Thesis

Jinghui Ying









A Member Relations Plan

For

Friendship Association of Chinese


Students and Scholars








Jinghui Ying


Spring 2010









Table of Contents

Executive Summary 4

Research

Historical Background 8

Organizational Research 10

Secondary Research 16

Primary Research 19

Planning

Key Publics 26

Goals 28

Objectives 29

Messages 30

Execution

Strategy& Tactics 31

Evaluation 34

Stewardship Plan 36

Timetable 37

Budget and Resources 39

References 41

Appendix 44









EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars (FACSS) is a non-
political and not-for-profit student organization registered at the University of Florida
(UF). It is run and led by UF Chinese students, and allows students, scholars, and the
larger Chinese community to be members of this association.
The organization not only helps Chinese newcomers with transportation, housing,
and other basic needs at their arrival in the United States and during their tenure at UF,
but also carries out a variety of events for the local community. Moreover, FACSS has a
website, a mailing list, a BBS, and a Facebook group page as communication outlets.
With the growing of Chinese community in Gainesville, the organization now is
facing a member relations challenge. First, the organization does not have a clear mission,
which is an integral part of organizational development. Second, FACSS has a loose
membership that does not make a registration compulsory. Instead, the organization
simply recognizes every Chinese resident in Gainesville as its member. By operating this
membership system, FACSS actually know little about its membership. The third
problem of FACSS is ineffective membership communication. Many of the subscribers to
the out-of-date electronic mailing list are no more active users and a large number of
people who have interest in FACSS do not join in the electronic mailing list. Moreover,
the awareness level of FACSS new website is quite low, according to a survey recently
conducted. FACSS began to embrace social media since 2006, but those online
communities did not create much interaction between the organization and its members.
The proposed project aims to help the organization to overcome the challenges
mentioned above and eventually achieve favorable and effective member relations.
Formative Research
Before the project is implemented, some formative research has been conducted.
Secondary and primary research provides useful knowledge and guidance for developing
a mission statement, maintaining member relations, and adopting social media. One
survey and two sets of interview were conducted as primary research methods to gather
data from FACSS leadership, members, and other U.S.-based Chinese student
organizations. The interviews with the presidents of other U.S.-based Chinese student
organizations indicated an overall picture of Chinese student organizations in the United









States, as well as their specific experience on mission identification, member relations,
and membership communication. The interviewed officers of FACSS actively express
their thoughts on mission statement and member relations improvement. The membership
survey was distributed through a Listserv and received 200 responses. The findings
would allow the organization to have some specific data about its membership for the
first time since its foundation.
A Proposed Member Relations Plan
For project execution, six objectives are set as follows: (1) To register 800 people
(300 newcomers of 2010 fall,300 of 2009 fall and 200 from the rest of the community)
for the FACSS membership by April 2011; (2) to manage the information of 800
members in a databank with different categories by April 2011; (3) to have a new mission
statement known by 50% of members and 90% of officers by April 2011; (4) to stimulate
200 persons to join Renren group page, expand Facebook network by 60% bigger, and
encourage 50 member comments on both pages respectively by April 2011; (5) to
increase the visits of FACSS website by 100 % by April 2011; and (6) to organize 10
events and stimulate at least 2,000 attendances in total by April 2011. A set of strategies
and tactics are proposed correspondingly.

Strategy: To set up and promote a membership registration system.
Policy tactics:
1) Design an online system for membership registration (please see the registration
form in appendix).
Communication tactics:
2) Present the system on the home page ofFACSS website.
3) Demonstrate the link on social network pages.
4) Send the registration system link to 2009 fall comers e-mail list.
5) Build the connection with 2010 fall new comers and direct them to the registration
system.
6) Attract event attendees to fill out the registration forms.
Strategy 2: To establish and maintain the membership databank.
Policy tactics:
1) Set up a membership information databank.









2) Assign a database manager.
3) Build a new member mail list derived from the data bank.
Communication tactics:
4) Input the personal profiles and contact information of the registered members into
the databank.
5) Identify the data and fit the members into different categories based on gender, age,
occupation, membership length, and interest
Strategy 3: To develop and publicize a new mission statement.
Policy tactics:
1) Discuss the identity and mission of the organization in the committee board
meetings.
2) Vote and pass a new mission statement.
Communication tactics:
3) Educate the staff and keep them aware of the official statement of the
organizational identity and mission.
4) Present the new statement in all of the organization-own media including the
homepage, Facebook, Renren.com, etc.
5) Promote the links and changes via email to FACSS membership.
6) Print out the statement along with event information on the flyers distributed for
advertising upcoming events.
Strategy 4: To make online social networks more usable and interactive.
Policy tactics:
1) Assign a social media specialist to manage the online networks.
2) Register a group page on Renren.com.
Communication tactics:
3) Update the pages of Renren and Facebook on a timely basis.
4) Invite members who have an account of Facebook or Renren to join in the
networks.
5) Make the network pages truly online communities by stimulating discussions,
uploading visual materials, adopting more applications, etc.
6) Respond to members' inquiries and comments in a timely manner.









7) Promote the group pages on FACSS website, via emails and through other printed
media.
Strategy 5: To improve the FACSS website in terms of content, features, and
management.
Tactics:
1) Have technicians to incorporate new features including newsroom, online album,
blog, and BBS.
2) Assign a communicator to manage and update newsroom, BBS, and online albums.
3) Encourage officers to elaborate the organizational blog by awarding active
bloggers.
4) Update the website periodically.
5) Respond to members' inquiries and comments in a timely manner.
Strategy 6: To design and execute more customized and satisfactory events
Tactics:
1) Propose a list of potential events and activities for next FACSS year.
2) Invite the members to vote on the list and choose the favorite events by using the
"vote" application on Renren network.
3) Encourage the members, especially non-students to show their own ideas on
activities via emails, website, and online community pages.
4) Conduct sufficient formative research and make a comprehensive plan for each
event.
5) Use all of the channels to effectively communicate the event information to the
membership.
6) Involve more experts, volunteers, members, and non-members into the events and
activities.
7) Operate an evaluation for each event.
8) Make relevant news, photo, video, or other recording forms available for members
to review.
The evaluation methods and stewardship plan are proposed as two important parts
of the project. Both of these components of the plan could offer evidence for further
developing the member relations efforts and techniques.









RESEARCH

Historical Background

The history of Chinese student encountering the United States of America has
been an intermittent set of events because of changes in the country's policies (Ning,
2002). Since the first Chinese student Yung Wing, left for the American continent on
January 4, 1847, the door to study in the United States was shut and reopened repeatedly
during this treacherous time. The number of students studying abroad increased steadily
from 1932 to 1936, but dropped sharply when the breakout of revolution in the People's
Republic. After the foundation of the People's Republic of China, the door to the West
was shut until its reopen in 1978. The number of Chinese students studying in the United
States increased every year during the first decade and reached 29,040 in 1989. The latest
number, for the 2008/09 academic year, was 98,510 with an increase of 21% from the
previous year ("International Students in the US," 2009).
There are a couple of reasons for the significant increase in the number of Chinese
students in the last decades. "Lots of universities are becoming more and more aggressive
to attract Chinese students. Every day I receive contacts from universities in the US
expressing the desire to come to China to recruit students," said Frank Joseph (cited in
Wang, 2009), a commercial officer from the U.S. Embassy in China.
Chinese students have three advantages for U.S. higher education institutions:
behaving themselves, working hard at their studies, and paying big amounts for tuition.
And this last aspect seems to be the greatest attraction ("Chinese Students Are College
Prize," 2009).
According to Wu (cited in Wang, 2009), deputy secretary general of China
Education Association for International Exchange, a total of 200,000 family-funded
Chinese students will be studying overseas in 2009, 20% more than the number of last
year. Chinese students, especially in the United States paying high-tuition fees and living
expenses, could relieve the tough financial situation of those international institutes to
some extent. Thus, another key reason for that more Chinese students study abroad is the
booming economy and growing middle class.
As other international students, Chinese students studying in the United States
also are confronted with various difficulties. According to the study of Sun and Chen









(1997), three dimensions of difficulties Mainland Chinese students encountered in the
process of intercultural adjustment: language ability, cultural awareness, and academic
achievements. They explained each of the dimensions respectively. For the language
barrier, although most Chinese students came to U.S. universities with high scores in
language tests, they lack good speaking and writing skills. It deters their effective
communications with Americans and people from other cultures academically and
socially. The second problem, cultural differences, is another factor which negatively
affects the interactions between Chinese students and U.S. students. Finally, academic
achievements are the major concern as well as the main difficulty of Chinese students. It
is uneasy for them to get accustomed to a different teaching and learning style on U.S.
campuses (Sun & Chen, 1997).
Chinese student organizations are established to assist their accommodation to the
new lifestyle in the United States. There is little academic data and research on Chinese
student organizations and we could only find organizational information. Following is a
brief introduction about U.S.-based Chinese student organizations on a web page (2010):
Chinese students at many universities in the United States have long maintained
their own organizations. They are often named Chinese Students and Scholars
Association (CSSA), or v,,wwhiug of that nature. Some CSSA's are very active,
and organize various events throughout the year for Chinese students and their
families. Most of them also have a mailing list, BBS, or discussion forum for
members to exchange information, such as moving sales, apartments, tickets,
soccer games, etc. For this reason many non-students also become members,
making their CSSA effectively a social network for the entire local Chinese
community. Another important function of CSSA is to provide assistance to new
students coming from China. Many CSSA's will answer questions from
prospective students and scholars, and may offer airport pickup and temporary
housing through volunteer program. ("List of Chinese Students, and Scholars
Associations in the U.S.," n.d., I1)
The web page also provides a list of 118 Chinese student organizations' websites
in U.S. universities.









Organizational Research

Overview
FACSS introduces itself as a non-political and not-for-profit student organization
officially registered at the University of Florida. The organization is led by a committee
elected in April or May each year. All committee members are volunteers from a variety
of UF colleges. FACSS has a loose membership that does not make a registration
compulsory and allows Chinese students, scholars, and the larger community to be a
member of this association ("FACSS of UF," n.d.).
The organization was founded in the early 1985. At that time, the main purpose
was to help new Chinese students with transportation, housing, and other basic needs.
With the rapid growing of UF Chinese community, FACSS has become one of the largest
Chinese organizations in the state of Florida, and the largest Chinese student body in the
Southeastern region of the United States (Zhang, personal communication, August 29,
2008).At the same time, FACSS gradually improves its organizational performances. In
particular, FACSS not only offers airport pickup to the newcomers, but also carries out
many kinds of events for the Chinese community in Gainesville and those interested in
the Chinese culture. Moreover, FACSS has a website, a mailing list, a BBS, and a
Facebook group page for their members to communicate online.
Status
FACSS has the features of a student organization as well as a nonprofit
organization. There are various definitions for the term "student organization."Most of
them are made by different universities and colleges. After reviewing a number of the
definitions, the student organization in my understanding refers to an organization led
and run by students at a university, whose membership consists of students or sometimes
non-university students. It usually aims to pursue and fulfill specific goals and missions
aligned with the spirit of the university.
FACSS is run and led by students at UF as a student organization, but recognizes
the whole Chinese community as its membership which makes it more than a student
organization. For that reason, we would like to treat FACSS as a non-for-profit









organization in the proposed plan and draw on the experience of the development of a
nonprofit, although it is not a registered 501CC (3) organization.1
Defined by the ratio of benefits provided to members to the benefits provided to
others, not-for-profit organization can be divided to four categories:
Member Driven: those focused on providing benefits to members.
Mission Driven: those providing benefits to society through members.
Mission/Member Mix: those with a mission to benefit both members and society.
No Members: those that do not utilize members. (Futter, 2002, p. 338)
According to the self-definition ofFACSS, the organization well fits into the first
category. Although FACSS also tries to positively influence the larger Gainesville
community, the Chinese membership is its primary concern.
Brainard and Siplon (2004) proposed a more comprehensive way to classify
nonprofit organizations. They stated that there are two models of nonprofit organization
roles in today's world: the economic model and the voluntary spirit model, based on the
fundamental assumptions they embody about the nature of organizations and individual
motivations and how those assumptions manifest in their internal organization; their
missions, priorities, and activities; and their acquisition and use of resources.
In terms of organizational missions, priorities, and activities, the nonprofits
oriented to the economic model are more likely to have them set by the boards and
implemented by the staff. In this case, members do not participate in decision making
about priorities and goals, but rather are informed these initial choices and decisions. By
contrast, the goals and activities of voluntary spirit nonprofits emerge from the
membership.
Turning to the acquisition and use of resources, the nonprofits oriented to the
economic model consider experts' information and money as their primary resources and,
therefore, to some extent, make members and volunteers a secondary resource. On the
other hand, the organizations oriented to the voluntary spirit model see their primary




1 In the United States, nonprofit organizations are usually defined based on their eligibility for tax-
deductible or tax-exemption according to Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Treating FACSS as a nonprofit
organization in the plan is because FACSS has the same status with some nonprofits whose experience
might help the proposed member relations project.









resource as their membership, as well as the interactions within it (Brainard & Siplon,
2004).
Based on the classifications above, FACSS is more accurately seen as a voluntary
spirit nonprofit with primary emphasis on membership.


Situation Analysis
Mission
FACSS does not have a clear mission statement. According to its self-introduction on the
website, the organization aims to "promote unity, communication and mutual help for
students, scholars and their families" (About FACSS, n.d., TI). FACSS also tries to
benefit the extended Chinese community in the city of Gainesville. Promoting cultural
awareness on and off campus is another purpose of the organization (Zhang, personal
communication, Nov. 18, 2009).
Vision
As the Chinese community grows every year, FACSS of UF is expected to
provide quality services for a broader membership as well as achieve further self-
development. The organization would like to raise the awareness and enhance the
influences among the Chinese community and even the whole UF community.
Value
FACSS of the University of Florida states that it has the obligation to defend the
rights of every member within the organization. It upholds each member's equality and
encourages fairness and mutual support among its members. The organization, including
all its members, will not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, creed, color,
sex, age, national origin, disability, and sexual orientation (Li, personal communication,
Oct. 2, 2009).
Brief Organizational History
The organization was founded in 1985 by a group of 10 students (Li, personal
communication, Oct.2, 2009). At that time, the main purpose of the organization was to
help new Chinese students with transportation, housing, and other basic needs at their
arrival in the United States and during their tenure at UF. It has grown into one of the









largest UF student organizations because of the significant increase in enrollment of
Chinese students at the University of Florida.
Key Publics
The primary targets of FACSS consist of Chinese students, scholars, and their
families. By fall 2009, UF has enrolled 812 Chinese students and 50 dependants
(Anderson, personal communication, Oct.21st, 2009). The vice president of FACSS
Students and Scholars Service reported at the end of the New Comers Welcome Program
that his association has provided pick-ups for at least 210 Chinese students, scholars, and
their families this year (Zhang, personal communication, Oct 22, 2009).
FACSS's secondary target publics are Gainesville Chinese community and UF
community. According to Gainesville Florida Census and demographic information, the
2000 U.S. Census Report indicated that there were 1,372 Chinese residents in the city of
Gainesville by 2000, which made up 1.4% of the total population. The latest total
enrollment of the University of Florida is 52,112 which consist of 35,898 undergraduate
students, 11,756 graduate students, and 4,458 professional students by fall 2008. The
number of female students is slightly over than that of male students. In term of ethnicity,
the Caucasian population is significantly overwhelming other races with a population of
31,802("Gainesville Florida Census," 2004).


SWOTAnalysis


Currently, the staff of FACSS consists of five undergraduate students, 20 graduate
students, and three scholars from different majors and class standing. The diversity of the
officers can contribute diverse thoughts and achieve extensive representation of the broad
membership.
Ten years ago, the majority of Chinese students who came to the United States
were pursuing graduate degrees in the fields of science or engineering. They left for the
United States "with an enthusiasm for scholarship and a dedication to academic studies"
(Ning, 2002, p. 114). Some of them held a position in FACSS, but they could hardly
spend much time on it due to the overload academic work, that caused a few problems
within the organizations such as an inactive staff, loose structures, and weak leadership,









which significantly undermined the relationship between the organization and its
members (Li, Personal Communication, Oct.20, 2009).
The picture notably changed today. Because more and more officers who had
backgrounds in management, event planning, communication, media, or public relations
work for FACSS, the organizational operation has been accomplishing at a more
professional level in many aspects (Zhang, Personal Communication, Nov. 18, 2009).
Also, the increase of the officers studying at their own expenses is regarded as another
positive change since these people are willing to dedicate more time to organizational
projects. The staff diversity of FACSS is actually a constructive basis for the member
relations project.
Another strength is the communication mechanism FACSS already using for
regular information assimilation. The most important tool is the Listserv. Almost 20 years
ago, FACSS built the first email group via Listserv (the first electronic mailing list
software application) for Chinese students and scholars to exchange information such as
carpools, moving sales, second-hand deals, etc. It became the most popular online
platform for Chinese residents in Gainesville. By March 2010, the number of the
subscribers has reached more than 1,500. FACSS often employs the mailing list to reach
out the larger Chinese community.
FACSS has an information databank of about 300 new comers last year. In
September 2009, a survey regarding FACSS's newcomer service sent to the mail group
of new comers and got more than 100 participants. Bases on that, we probably can
assume that FACSS has built an initial connection with a majority of its new members.
Additionally, in June 2009, the technical team started the construction of FACSS new
website which takes on a more professional look than the old one. Also, a few new
features are incorporated to make it easier for the visitors to find the specific information
they are looking for.
Weaknesses
First, FACSS does not have a clear mission statement which is yet the vital basis
for conducting a member relations program. Unless the organization has a consistent and
distinctive purpose, it could know how important membership is to its operation and what
benefits it can bring to the members.









Second, FACSS recognizes the whole Chinese community in the city of
Gainesville as its membership. All of the events and services are open to them for free. It
is a good policy to show the tolerance and open-mindedness of the organization.
However, the consequence of this membership system is that FACSS actually does not
have any formally registered member. In this case, it would be unrealistic for the
organization to build relationship with formal "members".
The third weakness turns out to be ineffective communication. Many of the
subscribers to the out-of-date mailing list are no more active users and a large number of
people who have interest in FACSS do not join in the electronic mailing list. Moreover,
the awareness level of FACSS new website is quite low, according to recent survey data.
The lack of content could be one reason and the website needs more promotion. FACSS
began to embrace social media since 2006, but it did not make good use of them. For
example, FACSS registered on Facebook.com as a group four years ago, but has been put
in use in 2009. Now it serves as a typical one-way communication tool. The publicity
team only uses the Facebook page to spread event news. There are only four comments
posted since the group page was built and we could not find any interactivity features
between the organization and the members on it.
Opportunities
In the academic year 2009-2010, FACSS organized over 10 events attracting
more than 1,500 attendances in total. In the Chinese New Year Show, the attendees
include government officials, university professors, media specialists, and business
managers. The growing awareness and influence will help the organization attract more
potential members.
During the latest decade, the enrollment of Chinese students and scholars in the
United States has experienced a rapid increase. Alongside this trend, the number and size
of Chinese student organizations in the United States is growing as well. Those
organizations may have valuable experience associated with member relations who
FACSS could learn from.
Threats
As a consequence of the economy recession, the organization is likely to face a
financial challenge next year. UF president Bernie Machen warned that more budget cuts









would come in the following three years (Harringer, 2010). That would definitely affect
the budget of the UF Student Government that allocates fund to the student bodies. The
competition for funding becomes even fiercely among various groups on campus. FACSS
with other international student organizations are led by Volunteers for International
Student Associations (VISA) and striving for additional financial support with individual
efforts. Furthermore, there is still little chance to attract donations from potential sponsors
outside the university due to the current economy. Therefore, it would be difficult for
FACSS to carry out member relations program with limited money.
Secondary Research
Organizational Identity and Mission Statement
Nonprofit organizations must know who they are before setting successful
strategic and structural choices. The clarity and consensus of organizational identity
should become an integral part of organizational development for nonprofit organizations
(Young, 2001). It is also a principle applying to FACSS's case. Before starting a member
relations project, the leadership of FACSS should make sure that they have a clear idea
about the organizational identity.
Usually, a mission is seen as a vital component of organizational identity or
organizational self-definition. It is not easy to define the mission of a nonprofit
organization. Unlike a for-profit organization, the mission of which is clear: to make
money, articulating a clear public service mission is a big challenge for nonprofit
organizations since it would also be a hard task to set criteria to measure how
successfully the mission is achieved (Wolf, 1999).
Develop a good mission statement is to create a text that is sufficiently broad to
encompass the many possible activities that the organization may wish to engage in.
Professionals have provided a bunch of guidelines for developing a mission statement.
First, a mission statement has to be simple and clear. Although it is required to be
sufficiently broad to cover the many potential activities that the organization may want to
engage in (Wolf, 1999), the organization must avoid making the statement into "a kind of
hero sandwich of good intentions" (Drucker, 1990, p. 5). Second, a valuable mission
statement should be operational, in other words, it could be converted into specific
guidance on the direction the organization needs to take. Lastly, mission statements









should be reviewed and updated periodically. The surrounding environment or inner
situation would change. The individuals or groups who are involved in the organization
may change as well. Thus, a regular review process of mission statement is a necessary to
keep the organization clarified with its priority.
Member Relations
Member relations is communication between the officers and members of a
membership organization in which the members are a vital constituency, often supporting
and using the organization's services (Hendrix & Hayes, 2007).
In a formal membership, the organization has an obligation to execute regular
meetings for the membership and make sure that members receive timely notice of such
gatherings. Also, the management of the organization is required to guarantee members'
voting rights (Futter, 2002). In addition, the organization needs to organize various
special events including conventions, seminars, conferences, and similar meetings for its
members (Hendrix & Hayes, 2007).
With regard to communication efforts, the organization should conduct ongoing
dialogue with its members and timely respond the complaints, comments, suggestions,
and recommendations from membership. Most of member communications are
accomplished by controlled media that usually consist of e-mails, websites, newsletters,
reports, pamphlets, and other printed materials (Hendrix & Hayes, 2007).
Evaluation of member relations programs concentrates on their impacts on
members' attitude and behaviors. For instance, members' increasing awareness of
organizational information is an indicator of success. Membership supportiveness and
favorable reaction are often seen desired outcomes of member relations (Hendrix &
Hayes, 2007).
Nonprofit Usage of Websites and Social media
The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities for the nonprofit sector and
also has brought fundamental changes to the communication structure of nonprofit
organizations (Boeder & Hohn, 2003). Nonprofit usage of Internet can be briefly divided
into two phases: the website development in the early period and the adoption of social
media in the Web 2.0 age.









The three basic functions of nonprofit websites are information dissemination,
communication, and fundraising (Hooper & Stobart, 2003). Beyond the simple "contact
us" button and unidirectional news letter found on most nonprofit websites, nonprofit
organizations also use Listservs, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and forums to foster two-
way interactions (Brainard & Siplon, 2004).
In fact, nonprofits demonstrate a growing adoption of these Web 2.0 strategies.
As indicated in the first statistically significant, longitudinal studies on the usage of social
media by U.S. charities, 89% of charitable organizations are using some form of social
media including blogs, podcasts, message boards, social networking, video blogging, and
wikis. A majority (57%) of the organizations are blogging. Forty-five percent of those
studied report social media is important to their fundraising strategy. This study revealed
that social media has become an incredibly important part of the communication strategy
for U.S. charities to meet their objectives (Barnes & Mattson, 2008).
Between February 20 and April 15, 2009, 980 nonprofit professionals responded
to a survey about their organization's use of online social networks. Survey respondents
represented small, medium, and large nonprofits and all segments including human
services, public & societal benefit, health & healthcare, environment & animals, arts &
culture, education (K-12 & Higher Ed), international, religious & spiritual, media, labor
union, associations, and mutual benefit. When answering the question "Does your
organization have a community of this type?" among respondents, 86% of nonprofits
have a presence on at least one commercial social network. Facebook is the most popular
of the commercial social networks with 74% of respondents indicating that their
organization has a presence there. YouTube and Twitter are distant second and third with
47% and 43%, respectively, of nonprofit survey respondents indicating they maintain a
presence in these channels. Linked In was fourth with 33%, and MySpace fifth with 26%
of respondents (Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report, 2009).









Primary Research
The survey and interview were conducted in this proposed project as two main
methods to gather data from FACSS leadership, members, and other U.S.-based Chinese
student organizations. The aim of this formative research was to identify specific aspects
that will become the foundation of a potential member relations plan.
Interviews n i/h Presidents of CSSAs
I randomly selected 30 interview participants from the list of 118 U.S.-based
Chinese student organizations and sent the interview requests to the sample via email,
resulting in eight responses. The aim of the qualitative interviews was to obtain an overall
picture of Chinese student organizations in the United States as well as to learn their
experience on mission identification, member relations, and membership communication
(please refer to the appendix to see the interview questionnaire).
Phone interviews were conducted with Ke Huang, the former president of Chinese
Student and Scholar Association of the University of Central Florida (CSSA at UCF);
Baolei Li, the president of Chinese Student and Scholar Association of the Duke
University(CSSA at Duke); Lu Jiang, the president of Chinese Student and Scholar
Association of the University of Central Michigan (CSSA at UCM); Shuai Li, the
president of Chinese Student and Scholar Association of the University of Southern
California (CSSA at USC); and Chunhui Gu, the former president of Chinese Student and
Scholar Association of the University of California, Berkeley (CSSA at UC, Berkeley).
E-mail interviews were conducted with Dezhi Kang, the president from Chinese Student
and Scholar Association of the University of California at Los Angeles (CSSA at UCLA);
Siming Yang, the president from Chinese Student and Scholar Association of the
University of Texas at Austin (CSSA at UT); and Hailong Ren, the president of Chinese
Student and Scholar Association of Indiana University (CSSA at IU).
Mission Statement
Basically, most responded presidents believe that the key publics of their
organizations are Chinese students, scholars, and the local Chinese communities. The
primary organizational mission is to serve this group of people in different ways.
First, as stated, most Chinese student organizations are established to help their members
to integrate to their new lifestyle in the host country. The most important function is that









they provide a sense of belongingness for their members. Siming pointed out that Chinese
is a race who can easily adapt to the new environment, but they have significant emphasis
on cultural roots. Therefore, CSSA at UT aims to make the members feel the association
as "home" (Yang, personal communication, Oct 25, 2009). Hailong also mentioned that
Chinese student organizations should play a role of "big family" to get people together to
come over "home sick and loneness" (Ren, personal communication, Oct 28, 2009).
Beside from the mental aspect, the organizations try to physically help members
with their cultural accommodation process. Many organizations offer pick-up and
temporary housing services to the newly arrived students and scholars. For regular
members, the organizations also are willing to help as needed, for example, "to backup
the members when their legal rights are challenged" (Kang, personal communication, Jan
16, 2010).
Second, some organizations focus on setting up social networks as their mission.
Shuai, the president of CSSA at USC, referred to the primary mission of his organization
as "to advocate the communication and interaction among the Chinese students, scholars
and local Chinese communities at USC" (Li, personal communication, March 4, 2010).
From Baolei's perspective, CSSA at Duke always takes this mission seriously and
strategically. He believes that the Chinese student organizations should build and manage
different kinds of networks to meet members' various needs such as friendship, academy,
alumni, career, etc. As the slogan says "Connect People, Serve Better", CSSA at UT
recognize the networking construction among the membership as their main goal as well.
They also make efforts on expanding the connection to an even larger Chinese
community and other cultural groups and institutions in the city of Austin, Texas (Yang,
personal communication, Jan 18, 2010).
Entertainment is the third aspect of the mission statement of these participated
organizations. "Sometimes, research and school work can be very stressful; people need
to find a recreational outlet," said Huang, the former president of CSSA at UCF. He
believed his organization made great efforts on entertaining its community. Other CSSAs
also carry out a variety events, activities or celebrations to enrich members' life,
especially on Chinese holidays like Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year.









Lastly, a couple of the interviewed presidents think that Chinese student
organizations should function as a cultural ambassador of Chinese community and the
country of China. One part of the mission of CSSA at UT is to "represent the Chinese
students and scholars at the university to communicate with other social groups" (Yang,
personal communication, Jan 18, 2010). Dezhi, the president of CSSA at UCLA thinks it
important as well by stating that "CSSA (at UCLA) devotes itself to promoting the
interaction between Chinese and American cultures" (Kang, personal communication,
Jan 16, 2010). However, some other organizations did not see many achievements of this
kind of effort. Hailong argued that CSSAs should first put their focuses on self-
development and therefore grow their awareness and influence, after that they will be
able to succeed in "real" cultural communication" (Ren, personal communication, Oct 28,
2010).
Member Relations
Similar to FACSS, most interviewed organizations do not have a compulsory
membership registration system. For some of them, anyone subscribing to their Listserv
automatically becomes their members while other organizations recognize the whole
local Chinese community as their membership.
When asked the relationship between the organization and its members, most
respondents believe it is somewhat positive but do not have much data to support this
claim. Except that the CSSA at UCLA once did an overall membership survey, other
organizations understand members' thoughts mainly through their officers who are
supposed to represent different groups of local Chinese residents. A majority of the
interviewed organizations judge the membership satisfaction based on event attendance.
"We organize a variety of activities every year and most of them are very
welcomed... Sometimes, there are just no empty seats", Shuai cheerfully described the
member relations of CSSA at USC when asked to (Li, personal communication, March 5,
2010).
On the contrary, some other interviewees concerned the organizational
relationship with members. Hailong revealed a recent change in their committee board
which resulted that the majority of the staff was mainly undergraduate students.
Unfortunately, graduate and undergraduate students have many differences or even









conflicts from each other. Therefore, there is a decline in the number of the graduate
student participants of the organizational events and activities (Ren, personal
communication, October 28, 2009). Chunhui also mentioned a similar situation in his
organization (Gu, personal communication, March 21, 2010). Baolei reiterated that the
organization should pay much attention to the growing diversity of the members and try to meet
different expectations (Li, personal communication, January 17, 2010).
Addressing the issue how to maintain beneficial member relations, most
frequently mentioned strategies are to provide help and organize events as consistent with
their mission statements. The interviewed CSSAs do not have many promotion tactics
but only communicate with their members via email, website, and limited social media.
Following are the comments from interviewed presidents:
I believe that our homepage is the most effective communication channel i/hi our
members. We put a lot of time and efforts into its construction... the organization
doesn't have a plan to increase the adoption of social media. (Kang, personal
communication, Jan 16, 2010)
Our website is effective in term of broadcasting messages. There are some
interactive functions such as comments and message board, but not too much
interest has been paid on these functions...we try to make it little bit nicer and
enrich its function such that we can show more multi-media information. We are
also considering making it more integrated in both English and Chinese
languages... We have pages on Renren. com2, Facebook, Picasa online albums.
But we have not yet worked out a good way to use them. (Li, personal
communication, Nov 20, 2009)
I do not think that (our) website is very effective now... (it) is just a way for new
comers to know there is an organization here and is able to help them out. Most
of our questions are asked through e-mails... I think renren.com has the great
potential to become the best social media for communication. And most of our
advising is done through '.\/h, ing Status' on that website. (Yang, personal
communication, Dec 2, 2010)

2 The Renren Network, formerly known as Xiaonei Network is a Chinese social networking site with an
interface similar to that of Facebook. It is extremely popular among college students in China.









Basically, most organizations are using emails and organizational websites as main
communication tools. They attempt to adopt some forms of emergent media like BBS,
social networking sites, and online albums but do not use them effectively.
Interview i i/th FACSS Officers
The goal of this set of interviews was to explore how FACSS staff understands
the organization with regard to mission, member relations, and communication. I
interviewed seven officers of FACSS including the president, two vice presidents, two
department chairs, and two consultants.
Regarding the organizational mission, basically, most officers understand that
FASCC is an organization providing services and entertainment to Chinese community.
The responses are quite similar such as "serve students and scholars of UF and have fun"
(Dan, personal communication, March 15, 2010). "It provides student service for Chinese
scholars and students in UF, organize activities to enrich member's study and leisure life"
(Tang, personal communication, March 17, 2010).
The majority of the interviewed officers have a favorable attitude towards the
existing member relations. But they admitted that the organization did not have enough
knowledge of their members. The idea of starting a registration system was embraced by
a number of officers while others concerned about the privacy issue. Many officers
believe that there is much room for FACSS to improve its member relations. Dan
mentioned that FACSS needs to carry out more customized events for the members. She
also thinks that it would be quite beneficial to build network with other Chinese student
organizations and learn experiences from them. Yang suggested the organization should
(1) host periodical events to maintain a stronger connection with its members and (2)
offer more education and guidance to the members with regard to academic assistance
and career (Yang, personal communication, March 29, 2010). Glen, the vice president of
FACSS, stated that "(Besides the current efforts), we should put more attention on
helping our members with their career planning and culture accommodation" (Wu,
personal communication, March 27, 2010)
Membership Survey
A survey was developed and conducted to understand the members' perceptions
of FACSS. The survey also allowed us to understand FACSS members' attitudes towards









each event launched in the academic year 2009/10, and the current communication
between the organization and its membership.
After conducting a pilot study of the survey with 15 student members, the survey
was finalized and the link was distributed to an estimated sample of 700 active
subscribers through Listserv. By March 23, 2010, a total of 200 members attended the
survey and 172 out of them completed all of the compulsory questions. The survey
consists of 11 questions falling to the categories of member profile, membership
motivation, organization evaluation, communication effectiveness, and member
expectations. The charts of the survey findings are enclosed in appendix.
Member Profile
Forty-seven percent of the respondents were female while 53% of them were male.
Most of the respondents (86%) were in the age range from 18 to 35. In terms of
occupation, a majority (75%) of the respondents consisted of UF students; 13% of the
respondents were UF staff or faculty; visiting scholars make up of 5% of the participants;
and there were seven dependants, seven other employed members, and one unemployed
filling out the survey. Regarding the membership length, the finding indicates
comparable percentages of the members joining the association less than six months
(22%), six months to 1 year (24%), and 1-2 years (26%). The members holding
membership of 3-5 years made up of 17% of the survey participants, the percentage of
five years longer members were 10%.
Membership Motivation
Participants were asked to indicate the primary reason for having joined FACSS,
41% of the respondents chiefly were interested in the various events and activities as
being a member of FACSS. "Obtaining community information" was the main reason
mentioned by 36% of the participated members to take parts in the association. Other
motivations of joining the organization include member services (5%), networking (17%),
career information (1%), and other.
Organization Evaluation
In the 2009-2010 academic year, FACSS has organized over 10 events. It shows
that 76% of responded subjects attended the Chinese New Year Show, which is the
annually biggest event of FACSS. The New Comer Orientation comes as the activity with









second highest attendance rate with 35% participants. There are 21% and 20% of the
respondents reporting that they went to the New Comer BBQ Party and Karaoke Contest.
Around 9% of the answerers did not attend any of the events. Turning to the evaluation of
each activities, all of the events are rated better than "good" (the lowest score is 2.14 on a
five-point Likert scale), but only one out often events is qualified to be described as
"very good". Regarding the overall satisfaction, 50% of the respondents indicate that they
are "somewhat satisfied" with the organization while 12% are not satisfied.
Communication Effectiveness
According to the survey findings, E-mail stands out the most important
information resource of FACSS members. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents get
FACSS's messages via emails. It is quite interesting to notice that as high as 21%
responded members have learned FACSS initiatives from their families or friends.
Only 8% people use FACSS website to obtain the information. Consistently,
when asked the preferred form of communication about FACSS, a majority (76%) lists
email as their first choice. Twelve percent of respondents like to be informed through
FACSS website while 10% prefers Facebook.
Member Expectations
The data demonstrates that "Entertainment" is members' mostly expected
benefit from the organization, which is mentioned by 85 respondents (49%), followed by
career information (28%), belongingness (13%), and academic assistance (3%). Apart
from that, 10 participants picked up the answer "other" without specifying.
One open-ended question is designed to ask for the suggestions from the
members and have got 41 text responses. More than ten out of 41 respondents who
provided specific suggestions for FACSS expecting more activities or events, even
though the organization hosted at least 10 events this phase and some of the surveyed
members looked forward to more customized events. Others express their willingness to
see more interactions between FACSS and other social institutions especially other
cultural groups while others suggest FACSS work with other Chinese organizations like
CASA to make an even better job.








PLANNING
Key Publics
Because FACSS regards every Chinese student, faculty, and, as well as resident in
Gainesville as its member, the target public for the project should be the entire Chinese
community in the city of Gainesville.
FACSS was originally built as a student group serving UF Chinese community,
its primary public remains UF Chinese students, scholars, and their families. Also, since
most of the organizational initiatives are conducted on campus, this public is the most
easily reached one. Therefore, for the member relations project, our primary targets are
current Chinese students, scholars and dependents of UF, while other Chinese residents
including Chinese staff, faculty of UF, other employed and unemployed residents are
secondary targets.
By fall 2009, UF has enrolled 812 Chinese students and 50 dependants (Anderson,
personal communication, Oct.21st, 2009). Zhang (2009), the vice president of FACSS
Students and Scholars Services, reported at the end of the New Comers Welcome
Program that his association has provided airport pickup for at least 210 Chinese students,
scholars, and their families in 2009 summer. According to Gainesville Florida Census
and demographic information indicated in 2000 U.S. Census Report, there were 1,372
Chinese residents in the city of Gainesville by 2000, which made up 1.4% of the total
population ("Gainesville Florida Census," 2004).


P rim a, r T arg i ts i econdary



IITreus







After identifying key publics of this project, it is also important to identify
stakeholder groups. A stakeholder is any person, group, organization, or system who
affects or can be affected by the public relations project. Stakeholders in this case include
UF community and Gainesville Chinese Christian Church, Huagen Chinese School and
Chinese American Student Association.
The latest total enrollment of the University of Florida is 52,112 which consist of
35,898 undergraduate students, 11,756 graduate students, and 4,458 professional students
by fall 2008 (see Table-5). The number of female students is slightly over than that of
male students. In term of ethnicity, the Caucasian population is significantly
overwhelming other races with a population of 31,802.
The Gainesville Chinese Christian Church was officially established in February
1989. The number of adults attending the worship service grew from about 40 initially to
more than 100 at present ("History of GCCC," n.d.) ("Gainesville Florida Census and
demographic information," 2004)
The Chinese American Student Association (CASA) is an organization striving to
promote the Chinese and Chinese American heritage at the University of Florida campus
and in the Gainesville community through social and community events. Members of
CASA are comprised of Chinese and American undergraduate students on campus united
to show the appreciation of the Chinese culture--both of the old traditions and
contemporary ideas, and of the Chinese American influence ("CASA I About," 2005).
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Goals


The proposed project is an initial step for FACSS to build relationship with its
members. In particular, the project has several goals to fulfill. First, before starting a
member relations improvement program, the organization should make sure that they
have a clear idea about its identity and purpose. Second, FACSS does not have a clear
definition of membership, the project attempts to solve this problem. Third, though this
project, the organization wants to know more information of its members including their
profiles, contacts, and expectations. The fourth goal is to operate more effective
communication with its members and eventually achieve more positive and beneficial
member relations. The overall project goals are set as follows:


















. . . . . . . . . . . . . .









Objectives

Usually, mission is seen as a vital component of organizational identity or
organizational self-definition. A clear and consistent mission statement is important to the
success of any organizational development. Since the organization plans to operate a
member system, the organization will not have any formally registered members from
that starting point. The whole Chinese community should be stimulated to register
official membership identities. The membership information is most valuable resource to
a membership organization like FACSS which functions as the basis for building
relationship and connection with members. In addition, both communication
effectiveness and event satisfaction are useful indicators of positive member relations.
Thus, the specific objectives of the project are outlined below:

Objective l:To register 800 people (300 newcomers of 2010 fall,300 of 2009 fall and 200
from the rest of the community) for the FACSS membership by April 2011.

As mentioned, currently, FACSS doesn't have any registered member. Through the
project, at least 800 Chinese residents in Gainesville are expected to register themselves
as FACSS official members. FACSS started a newcomer check-in system last year in
order to offer airport pick-up and housing services, and therefore had an e-mailing list of
300 Chinese students, scholars and dependents came to Gainesville in 2009 fall. The high
response rate of 2009 newcomer survey indicates the organization has initial connection
with most of them. Thus, we anticipate this group of people (300) to register. In 2010 fall,
another 300 Chinese will come to UF and are expected to become FACSS members by
registration. We also attempt to recruit 200 people from the rest of Chinese community to
formally join in the organization.

Objective 2: To manage the information of 800 members in a databank with different
categories during the project.

The information of registered members needs to be systematically itemized and managed
in a databank.
Objective 3: To have new mission statement known by 50% of members and 90% of
officers by April 2011.









Objective 4: To stimulate 200 persons to join Renren group page, expand Facebook
network by 60% bigger and encourage 50 member comments on both pages
respectively by April 2011

Objective 5: To increase the visits of FACSS website by 100 % by April 2011

Currently, FACSS website does not have visits counter. Before operating the project, the
technical team will incorporate some software to examine the clicks.

Objective 6: To organize 10 quality events and stimulate 3,000 attendances in total by
April 2011

FACSS has organized 10 events in the academic year 2009/2010, attracting approximated
2,000 attendances. In the next FACSS year, we will continue to do 10 events but
enhance the qualities in order to stimulate more membership participation.










Key and Supporting Messages

With the aim to recruit members, the organization at first should publicize its

functions to the potential membership. Based on the interviews with the officers, FACSS

mainly provides help, support and entertainment to the community. The messages about

organizational efforts on this member relation improvement should be spread as well. In

addition, more directly related to goals of the objective, the benefits of the new

membership system needs to communicate to the potential members.




[Supporting Message 1: FACSS provides help for Gainesville Chinese residents
with new Chinese students with transportation, housing, and other basic needs.

Supporting Message 2: FACSS serves as a social outlet for producing networks,
belongingness and unity.

[Supporting Message 3: FACS S organizes a variety of events and activities to
entertain Chinese community, such as the Chinese New Year Celebration.






Supporting Message 1: FACSS is operating a professional system for membership
registration.

_Supporting Message 2: FACSS is developing its communication tools in aim of
achieving more interaction with its members.


Supporting Message 3: FACSS is doing best to better understand its members.







Supporting Message 1: It is easy to register as a member of FACSS through the
system.

Supporting Message 2: This system can help FACSS to know more about its
members and therefore fulfill more achievement.

Supporting Message 3: The personal information of the members are kept
confidential according to the law.









EXECUTION
Strategies & Tactics





Strategy: To set up and promote a membership registration system.
Policy tactics:
1) Design an online system for membership registration (please see the
registration form in appendix).
Communication tactics:
2) Present the system on the home page of FACSS website.
3) Demonstrate the link on social network pages.
4) Send the registration system link to 2009 fall comers e-mail list.
5) Build the connection with 2010 fall new comers and direct them to the
registration system.
6) Attract event attendees to fill out the registration forms.




Strategy: To establish and maintain the membership databank.
Policy tactics:
1) Set up a membership information databank.
2) Assign a database manager.
3) Build a new member mail list derived from the data bank.
Communication tactics:
4) Input the personal profiles and contact information of the registered
members into the databank.
5) Identify the data and fit the members into different categories based on
gender, age, occupation, membership length, and interest.




Strategy: To develop and publicize a new mission statement.









Policy tactics:
1) Discuss the identity and mission of the organization in the committee board
meetings.
2) Vote and pass a new mission statement (two versions of preliminary mission
statement are proposed in the Appendix).
Communication tactics:
3) Educate the staff and keep them aware of the official statement of the
organizational identity and mission.
4) Present the new statement in all of the organization-own media including the
homepage, Facebook, Renren.com and etc.
5) Promote the links and changes via email to FACSS membership.
6) Print out the statement along with event information on the flyers distributed
for advertising upcoming events.





Strategy: To make online social networks more usable and interactive.
Policy tactics:
1) Assign a social media specialist to manage the online networks.
2) Register a group page on Renren.com.
Communication tactics:
3) Update the pages of Renren and Facebook on a timely basis.
4) Invite members who have an account of Facebook or Renren to join in the
networks.
5) Make the network pages more like online communities by stimulating
discussions, uploading visual materials, adopting more applications and etc.
6) Respond to members' inquiries and comments immediately.
7) Promote the group pages on FACSS website, via emails and through other
printed media.

Obeciv 5: [To1 U in crease t~the visit'AIIs of ACSSw ebsite by 100 % byi~U~
Aprl21









Strategy: To improve the FACSS website in several ways.
Tactics:
1) Have technicians to incorporate new features including newsroom, online
album, blog and BBS.
2) Assign a communicator to manage and update newsroom, BBS and online
albums.
3) Encourage officers to elaborate the organizational blog by awarding active
bloggers.
4) Update the website periodically.
5) Respond to members' inquiries and comments immediately.





Strategy: To design and execute more customized and satisfactory events.
Tactics:
1) Propose a list of potential events and activities for next FACSS year.
2) Invite the members to vote on the list and choose the favorite events by
using the "vote" application on Renren network.3
3) Encourage the members, especially non-students to show their own ideas
on activities via emails, website and online community pages.
4) Conduct sufficient formative research and make a comprehensive plan for
each event.
5) Use all of the channels to effectively communicate the event information
to the membership.
6) Involve more experts, volunteers, members and non-members into the
events and activities.
7) Operate an evaluation for each event.
8) Make relevant news, photo, video or other recording forms available for
members to review.


3 The vote application on Renren.com is one of the most popular applications. The user can launch a voting
activity by clicking the button and invite his/her "friends" to participate.











EVALUATION
Evaluation represents an important part of the project. It will allow the
organization to understand the degree to which the strategies and tactics of the project has
fulfilled its goals and objectives. Member relations improvement is a long-term process
in that we do not expect a significant change during a year. Actually, this project is more
like an initial step for relationship building. Through the project, FACSS will hopefully
know better about its membership and begin to establish, maintain and improve the
member relations consciously and strategically. The specific evaluation methods are
listed below.





Evaluation method: To examine the registration system to see:
a) how many members register in the system by April 2011;
b) what kind of information they reveal to the organization;
c) And how much of the revealed information is reliable.





Evaluation method: To examine the databank to find out:
a) how many the categories are set up,
b) membership distributions,
c) And if the new mail list is built based on the databank or not.




Evaluation method 1: To conduct a survey among the newly registered members to
determine how many out of them are aware of the new mission statement
Evaluation method 2: To conduct a survey among the officers to determine how many out
of them are familiar with the new mission statement.
Evaluation method 3: To observe FACSS website and other social media to see:









a) if the new mission statement is put on the website,
b) if the new mission statement is presented on Facebook and Renren pages,
c) how many hits on mission statement page on FACSS website,
d) And how many comments on mission statement on those two social network sites.





Evaluation method 1: to count how many people join Renren group page.
Evaluation method 2: to count how many new members join Facebook group.
Evaluation method 3: to observe how many comments posted in the two online
communities.
Evaluation method 4: to find out if the social media specialist responds the comments and
inquiries timely.




Evaluation method 1: To count how many hits on the website during the project.
Evaluation method 2: To observe what kind of new functions added in the website.
Evaluation method 3: To conduct a membership survey to determine:
a) the members' attitude towards the website,
b) what features are most popular,
c) And which part needs to be improved.




Evaluation method 1: To count how many events are hosted.
Evaluation method 2: To observe how many events are customized to the members.
Evaluation method 3: To count how many attendances in each event and in total during
the project.
Evaluation method 4: To conduct a membership survey to see:
a) the attendance of each event
b) And member attitude towards each event.









STEWARDSHIP PLAN


Upon its conclusion, the member relations project for FACSS will have
accomplished six objectives previously stated.
However, as discussed above, this project is an initial step of FACSS's member
relations improvement process. In order to achieve ongoing success in the relationship
maintenance, many efforts in the project need to be sustained in the future.
1) To recruit more members, the organization should maintain and promote the
registration system in the long run.
2) Membership databank including the mail list is the most valuable resource of
the organization. The data manager must update the information on a timely
basis.
3) A regular review and revision process of mission statement could keep the
organization clarified with its priority.
4) With the growing popularity of social media, FACSS's online communities on
Renren and Facebook will become more important in terms of membership
communication and interaction. The social media team is expected to make
better use of these two social networks.
5) The maintenance and promotion of FACSS website requires ongoing efforts
to increase the awareness and influence.
6) After the project evaluation, the organization can determine which events
should be reserved, improved, or abandoned. Also, it is always beneficial to
obtain more thoughts of members.









Timetable
The proposed member relations project will last for one year from May 2010 to
April 2011.


Mission Satleienti

1lembership Regisratlioni
System


Effecli\ e ('onuiiiniiicalioni


E\ eni I ii j)o\ enieni


Nlission Statemient






Nlembership Registrtllion
System




Effecli\ e C'olmmunication









E\ enl Impro\ emenl


a) De\ elop a ne\\ mission statement

a) Incolporate a membeislilp registration s} stem
on FACSS website
b) Build a membership information databank


Register a group page on Renren coIn
Set up a new e-mailing list of members
Continue to construct FACSS Website

Plopose a list of potential e\ ents


a) Present the lne\\ statement on F.ACSS's \\ebsite
Facebook page, Renren.com
b) Promote the links of mission change to FACSS
new members via emails

a) Put the link of registration s5 stern on Facebook
and Renren.com
b) Send emails to promote the link of the
registration system among FACSS membership

a) Attract members tojoin in FACSS's online
groups
b) Start to enrich the content on FACSS's social
network web pages
c) Incorporate new features on the FACSS website
like news room, blog, and online album

a) Stalt the member \ otlng of most expected
events















Nlission Statlenentl


Nlemlbership Registirlioni
System


Effecli e ('oiiimunicalion









E\ enl Ilmpro' eenl


a) Print out the ne\\ mission statement on publicity)
materials and distribute them during actual events

a) SoFt out the membership information into
different categories
b) Update the data bank on a timely basis

a) Update FACSS \\ebsite timelI
b) Update online networking pages timely
c) Maintain the interpersonal communication with
members via emails
d) Have officers regularly respond to membership
inquires

a) Conduct sufficient research and make a
comprehensive plan for each event
b) Use all of the channels to effectively
communicate the event information to the
membership
c) Operate an membership assessment of each
event


a) Start Project E\ alration











Budget and Resources
Besides the tactics associated with special events, most part of the project will be
conducted online which makes it cost little money. But the project needs a professional
team of personnel including web technicians, designers, social media experts,
communication specialists, and data managers.


\\ ebsiie
Development


Online
Community
Coordination


Technician (2)


(omniinmicatoi ( I 1




Desiuner i 1 )


Social media

specialist(l)


a ) l1111rO\ e cirient fulnction0
b) Incorporate new features: news room,
blog, online albums
c) Regular update and maintenance


a) \\rite blou;s. news aind promotion
materials
b) Respond to members' comments

a) Design \\eb urlaplluic. posted and other
digital arts

a) Expand the online net\\oiki nu to
members and non-members
b) Immediate response to any inquires
about the organization
c) Regular update and maintenance


Pei-sonnrel Re';oLiiice


Re-sporinibiIit\


\\ebsite
Development


Technician (2)


d) nlmp)o\ e cLirrent function
e) Incorporate new features: news room,
blog, online albums
f) Regular update and maintenance


Task


















Online
Community
Coordination




Databank
Management











Interpersonal
Communication


Cominiunicatori ( I




Dessiunei 1( I


Social media
specialist(l)






Data manager (2)












Communicator (2)


c) \\rite blous. new s aind piomoton
materials
d) Respond to members' comments
bh Desvn \\ eb rh'illiahic. posted aind other
digital arts

d) E\pand the online net\\oikirnu to
members and non-members
e) Immediate response to any inquires
about the organization
f) Regular update and maintenance

a) Set up a membership information
databank
b) Filter out the information of current
members from the existing data
c) Locate the data into different categories
d) Daily update and maintenance
e) Keep members' personal information
confidential

a) Set up a new email list of current
members
b) Send out organizational information to
the members on the list
c) Express greetings on member's
birthday, holidays and special occasions
d) Answer questions and respond inquiries
e) Keep members' email addresses
confidential









REFERENCES

Barnes, N., & Mattson, E. (2008). Still Setting the Pace in Social Media: The First

Longitudinal Study of Usage by the Largest US Charities. Retrieved from

http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesresearch/socialmediacharity.cfm

Brainard, L. A., & Siplon, P. D. (2004). Toward Nonprofit Organization Reform in the

Voluntary Spirit: Lessons from the Internet. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector

Quarterly, 33(3), 435-457. doi: 10.1177/0899764004266021

CASA I About. (2005). Chinese American Student Association. Retrieved March 24,

2010, from http://grove.ufl.edu/-casa/about.html

Chinese Students Are College Prize. (2009, October 19). China Economic Review.

Retrieved March 31, 2010, from http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/china-

eye/2009_10_19/Chinese_students_are_college_prize.html

Drucker, P. F. (1990). Managing the Non-profit Organization. Gulf Professional

Publishing.

FACSS of UF. (n.d.). Friendship Association of Chinese Stduents & Scholars. Retrieved

March 28, 2010, from http://uflchina.org/index.php?page=aboutus&lang=english

Futter, V. (2002). Nonprofit Governance andManagement. American Bar Association.

Gainesville Florida Census and demographic information. (2004). HelloGainesville.

Retrieved March 28, 2010, from http://www.hellogainesville.com/Census.Cfm

Harringer, M. (2010, February 21). Machen: More cuts to come. The Independent

Florida Alligator. Retrieved from

http://www.alligator.org/news/campus/article_03340fa2-1 f6c-11df-9b95-

001cc4c03286.html

Hendrix, J. A., & Hayes, D. C. (2007). Public Relations Cases. Belmont,CA: Cengage









Learning.

History of GCCC. (n.d.). Gainesville Chinese Christian Church. Retrieved March 24,

2010, from http://gccc.christian.net/English/html/history.htm

Hooper, P., & Stobart, S. (2003). Using third-party services to reduce the development

cost and improve the effectiveness of charity websites. International Journal of

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 8(4), 328-336. doi:10.1002/nvsm.223

International Students in the US. (2009, November 16). Open Door Press Releases.

Retrieved March 31, 2010, from http://opendoors.iienetwork.org/?p=150649

List of Chinese Students and Scholars Associations in the U.S. (n.d.).

ImmigrationRoad.com. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from

http://immigrationroad.com/resource/cssa-list-chinese-students-scholars-

association-us.php

Ning, Q. (2002). Chinese Students Encounter America (T.K.Chu, Trans.). Seattle:

University of Washington Press.

Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report. (2009).. Common

Knowledge ,NTEN&ThePort.

Sun, W., & Chen, G. (1997). Dimensions of Difficulties Mainland Chinese Students

Encounter in the United States. Retrieved from

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?acc

no=ED408635

Wang, W. (2009, October 13). Colleges Fight for Chinese Students. Retrieved March 20,

2010, from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/metro/2009-

10/13/content 8785477.htm






44


Wolf, T. (1999). Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-first Century. Simon

and Schuster.

Young, D. R. (2001). Organizational Identity in Nonprofit Organizations: Strategic and

Structural Implications. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 12(2), 139-157.

doi: 10.1002/nml. 12202









APPENDIX


Interview Questionnaire with CSSA Presidents
1. Please give a brief introduction of your organization (size, mission, value, and vision).
2. How would you characterize member relations in your association?
3. What strategies do you use to maintain positive and beneficial member relations?
4. Have you ever faced any financial problem when running the organization? If so, how
did you deal with it?
5. Do you have any effective fundraising strategies?
6. What are the main features and functions of your website? Do you think it is an
effective communication channel for your organization? Please explain.
7. Do you use any forms of social media, including wikis, podcasts, online videos,
message boards, blogs, social networking sites, etc., as communication tools? What
about their effectiveness?
8. Do you have plans to increase the adoption of social media?





Interview Questionnaire with the Staff of FACSS

1. According to your knowledge, could you please tell me the mission or purpose of
FACSS at UF?
2. What are your thoughts and comments on the mission of FACSS as stated in the
website?
3. What is the main purpose of FACSS in your mind?
4. How would you characterize member relations in your association?
5. Currently, what tools do you use to communicate with your members?
6. What strategies can be used to build and maintain favorable member relations?
7. How should the organization improve its work in terms of member relations?
8. What online media do you think will be effective for membership interaction?









Survey Questionnaire

1. How long have you been a member of Friendship Association of Chinese Students and
Scholars (FACSS)?


Less than 6 months
6 months to a year
1-2 years
3-5 years
Over 5 years


2. What is your occupation?


Student
Visiting Scholar
Staff or Faculty
Dependent (F2 or B
Other employed
Unemployed


3. Are you male or female?


Female
Male

4. What is your age?


18-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
Over 55


5. What was your primary reason for joining FACSS?











Community Information
Activities and Events
Member Services
Networking
Career
Other(please specify)

6 which nf'thp fonllnxAiin


Newcomer Orientation
Newcomer BBQ
Karaoke Contest
Baby Talent Show
Chinese, talk about our stories
Wall Painting
The Chinese Sport Day
Dancing Party
11.11 Dating Party
2010 Chinese New Year Show
None


events have you attended in the 2009-2010 academic year?


7. Overall, how would you rate the quality of each of the following activities FACSS
engage in?


Newcomer Orientation
Newcomer BBQ
Karaoke Contest
Baby Talent Show
Chinese, talk about our stories
Wall Painting
The Chinese Sport Day
Dancing Party
11.11 Dating Party
2010 Chinese New Year Show









8. How do you get the information about FACSS events or services?


FACSS Website
Email
Friends or family
Print ads (posters, flyers, etc.)
Facebook
Other


9. What is our referred form of communication about FACSS initiatives?


Email
FACSS Website
Phone call
Facebook
Twitter
Other(please specify)


10. What is the most important benefit you expect to receive from being a member of
FACSS in the future?


Career information
Academic assistance
Entertainment
Belongingness
Other(please specify)

11. Overall, how satisfied have you been with FACSS?


12. What suggestions do you have to help improve FACSS?


Very Dissatisfied
Somewhat Dissatisfied
Neutral
Somewhat Satisfied
Totally Satisfied








Survey Results


1. How long have you been a member of Friendship Association of Chinese Students and
Scholars (FACSS)?


60-
50-
40-




10-
0

-t
J

6Ol--^^L
<.^*I~


I i


I i


6


2. What is your occupation?


I eio!


i
O4009WI


3. Are you male or female?


.ole-%


0.44
cys^


SVi't'


00060e












120-

100-

80-

60-

40-

20-

0
Female


What is your age?

110-
100-
90o
80-
70-

so
40-
30-
20-
10-
0
Under 18 18-25 26-35 3-45


What was your primary reason for joining FACSS?


100-


80-


60-


40-





a


I I


46-55


Over55


- --


c'' ~Pop"\

,~ld/








6. Which of the following events have you attended in the 2009-2010 academic year
(Please do not mark if you did not attend the event)?

2o-i


- - -


7. Overall, how would you rate the quality of each of the following activities we engage
in (please do not mark if you did not attend the event)?

Poor U Fair M Good U Very Good U Excellent
60-
50-
40-
30-
20-
10-
0- L
a ,,- atI I.. ,4 Vol -%l. M.,I.. .
Aopa V AF
ww CO N .0 0 ; A;&'a0












8. How do you get the information about FACSS events or services?



140-1


120-
100-
80-
60-
40-
20-
0
-At


9. What is your preferred form of communication about FACSS initiatives?


,0I-


09"em VesW.VP,.
rr.1A


0~%'


II


o -_


Y i


Se V
0^ ~


,~~"db~










10. Overall, how satisfied have you been with FACSS?

100-1


1 zl
%Wi 001
5-ff


11. What is the most important benefit you expect to receive from being a member of the
Association in the future?


L--- I L-


O 4=-
c-^'I


CI m
^d~ ~ ttf^*


0=..A
.IAV


I
00060
_^d~i


v
-.A
9001w-~











FACSS A,_~i~AOM

FACSS Membership Registration Form


Name Email


Gender Phone



Occupation Age



When came to Other contact
Gainesville methods (e.g.
Facebook)


More information
you want us to
know


M A FACSS

What benefit you
expect to receive
from FACSS




How would you
like FACSS to
contact you









Member Databank Administration

The membership databank is based on the excel file exported from the online
member application registration system. It stores custom member profiles, basic contacts
and contact history. The personal information of a member includes name, gender,
occupation, age, and the length of residence in Gainesville. The basic contacts refer to
member's phone number, email, other contact methods and preferred forms of
communication. The data bank also records detailed communication histories for each
member in the databank and stores date of contact, who made the contact, contact method,
and a note.
For effective administration, the manager is expected to fit the data into different
categories. For examples, several columns such as student, scholar, dependant,
faculty/staff, other employed and etc. can be created under the folder occupation;
according to the contact types, it would be easy to develop an email list, a phone list, or
other lists. E-mail is the preference of most participants as indicated in the survey.
Therefore, the manager should pay great attention to the construction of the new email
list.
The organization can take advantage of the member data bank to assist its
membership communication. It cannot only send tailored messages to specific groups
but also reach out more people by assimilating information through their favorable
contacts.
The databank needs a monthly update. The data of the previous members should
be moved to an alumni folder which is valuable resource for the organization.








A Preliminary Mission Statement


A concise version of FACSS mission statement:


A detailed version of FACSS mission statement:


F- -I
The mission of Friendship Association of Chinese Students and
Scholars is to serve,, support and entertain the Chinese
community in the city of Gainesville.
L-


FFFACSS aims to provide services and support to the Gainesville
Chinese community. It helps Chinese students, scholars and their
families with environmental and cultural accommodation. It
fosters the cultural belongingness and social outlet for Chinese
residents in the host country. It also promotes Chinese heritage
and traditions in Gainesville community through a variety of
C vents and celebration.









The List of Potential Events

New Comer Orientation
Purpose: To provide help and guidance for Chinese newcomers
Time: 6:30 pm-9:00 pm, August 20, 2010
Location: Reitz Union Ball Room
Checklist:
1) Round-table ice breaking
2) Singing performance
3) Speech given by the president
4) Presentations respectively focusing on campus life, basic necessities, travel and
entertainment

Newcomers and Volunteers BBQ party
Purpose: To welcome the newcomers and thank volunteers for their help with airport
pickup and housing
Time: 12:30 pm-5:00 pm, September 5, 2010
Location: Lake Wauberg
Checklist:
1) BBQ, snacks and drinks
2) Play cards
3) Beach volleyball
4) Boating

"Language and Cultural"
Purpose: To enhance members' language skills and knowledge of American culture
Time: 6:00 pm-8:00 pm Friday nights, biweekly
Location: Reitz union meeting room
Checklist:
1) Periodically invite speakers to teach English and culture
2) Invite American Chinese learners to be language partners of Chinese members
3) Encourage members to practice both English and Chinese with their language
partners

3 Person Basketball League
Purpose: To promotion sports and teamwork in Chinese community
Time: 4:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Saturday afternoons
Location: Southwest Recreation Center
Checklist:
1) Games are played half court with 3 players.
2) Enter a team by Thursday, September 9t, 2010
3) The top three teams will be awarded

2010 FACSS Badminton Competition
Purpose: To promote sporting spirit in the community
Time: 4:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Saturday afternoons









Location: Southwest Recreation Center
Checklist:
1) It is open to the entire Gainesville community
2) Enter the competition by Thursday, September 9th, 2010
3) The top three players will be awarded

2010 FACSS Go Game Contest
Purpose: To promote the traditional Chinese board game and associated spirits in Chinese
community
Time: 4:00 pm- 6:00 pm, Saturday afternoons
Location: Maguire Common Room
Checklist:
1) It is open to the entire Gainesville community
2) Enter the competition by Thursday, September 9th, 2010
3) The top three players will be awarded

Mid-Autumn Celebration
Purpose: Mid-Autumn Day is a second important festival (Spring Festival is the most
important one) which would make people homesick. It is good for the organization to
host a family-like party to bring belongingness to its members. Moon cake is the
traditional food for this holiday. Making moon cakes together will be much fun.
Time: 6:00 pm-11:00 pm, September 22, 2010
Location: Maguire Common Room
1) Potluck
2) Make moon cakes
3) Watch a movie
4) Karaoke

China National Day Wall Painting
Purpose: To celebrate the National day
Time: 7:00 pm-10:00 pm, September 30, 2010
Location: SW 34th Street
Checklist:
1) Paint wishes on the wall to celebrate China National Day
2) Safety is big issue since the activity will be in road side and at night.

Career Workshop
Purpose: To enhance Chinese students' job hunting skills with regard to resume design,
cover letter writing, and interview
Time: 1:30pm-5:30 pm, October 2th, 2010
1) Invite the experts of UF Career Resource Center to give lectures
2) O/A section


Chinese Institutions Job Fair









Purpose: In the past, several higher institutions in China came to UF at different time. It
will be more beneficial for Chinese students to invite all of Chinese universities to come
together in the job fair
Time: TBA
Location: Reitz union conference room
1) Discuss the details with UF Career Resource Center
2) Send invitation letter to several higher institutions in China
3) Set up the booths and prepare the materials for the invited employers
4) Inform the graduating Chinese students
5) Arrange the introduction sessions for the institutions to showcase their universities
and Interests

Chinese Community Karaoke Contest
Purpose: Karaoke Contest is the one of the signature event by FACSS.
Time: 7:00 pm -11:00pm, Oct 16th, 2010
Location: Reitz union ball room
Checklist:
1) A preliminary round should be conducted one week before the contest
2) No more than 20 participants can enter the final contest
3) Create more interaction with the audiences

Chinese Elements in U.S. Photography Competition
Purpose: This competition is designed to showcase Chinese elements in American society.
It will be co-organized by the FACSS at UF, CSSA at the University of Central Florida,
and CSSA at Florida State University and open to both Chinese and university
communities of the three schools.
Time: September 10-November 7
Checklist:
Deadline of submission is October 25.
1) Invite three or four photography experts from the three universities to be judges.
2) Notice and award the top three places and other winners on November 7th.
3) Exhibit all of the prize-winning photographs.

Faculty/Students/Scholars Banquet
Purpose: To increase communication and interaction between the three groups
Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm
Location: Reitz union ball room
Checklist:
1) Invite the Chinese faculty, students and scholars to have dinner together.
2) Round-table ice break
3) Invite 2-3 Chinese professors to deliver lectures
4) Set a Q/A section

Halloween Party
Purpose: To have fun in the celebration of Halloween
Time: 9:00 pm-1:00 am, October 30th, 2010









Location: Reitz union ball room
Checklist:
1) Holiday decoration and music
2) Sufficient food and drink
3) Appraise and elect the best costume

3) Resume review session. The experts/ volunteers will help revise the resumes which
the student bring to the workshop
4)
"Let's breathe the autumn" Road Trip
Purpose: To take a break from the overloaded schooling work
Time: November 6-7, 2010
Location: TBA
Checklist:
1) FACSS needs to have a very detailed plan and perfect preparation before the trip
begins.
2) The organization should pay great attention to the safety issue.

"Be Bold and Be Mine" Dating Party
Purpose: Chinese girls and boys are a little bit shy. This party is to provide a stage for
them to show and find their love.
Time: 8:00 pm-11:00 pm, November 11, 2010
Location: Maguire Common Room
Checklist:
1) Romantic decoration and music for create a comfortable astrosphere
2) 5-minute speed dating
3) Several games
4) Talent showcase

Thanksgiving Banquet
Purpose: to foster a platform for Chinese community to socialize and celebrate the
holiday
Time: 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, November 27, 2010
Location: Reitz union ball room
Checklist:
1) Invite a presenter to show the history and customs of Thanksgiving
2) Some performances
3) Sufficient food and drink, especially turkeys

Chinese New Year Show
Purpose: It is the biggest and most signature event hosted by FACSS. Every year,
Chinese New Year show attracts more than 1,000 attendees.
Time: 7:00pm-10:30pm, January.29th, 2010
Checklist:
1) Performance recruitment should start no later than November 1st, 2010
2) Start the auditions on December 15th, 2010









3) Volunteer recruitment starts on January 10th, 2010
4) Reserve a full-equipment rehearsal in the Philips Center one week before the formal
show
5) A work manual for every involved officer and volunteer
6) Request the attendees return the performance evaluation card to the box

Lantern Festival Dinner Party
Purpose: It is also a vital Chinese traditional festival. In the dinner party, the best
performance for the Chinese New Year Show will be announced and awarded.
Time: 6:30 pm-10:00 pm February 19, 2010
Location: Maguire Common Room
Checklist:
1) Make rice ball, the food for Lantern Festival celebration
2) Announce and award the best performance
3) The winning director or performer gives speech
4) Karaoke

Career Workshop
Purpose: To enhance Chinese students' job hunting skills with regard to resume design,
cover letter writing, and interview
Time: 1:30pm-5:30pm, February 26, 2010
1) Invite the experts of UF Career Resource Center to give lectures
2) Q/A section




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