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Virtual Reference Desk

Need contact information for someone you just heard about? How about ideas for fundraising? Want to know which chambers have developed apps for mobile devices? Need help figuring out what to do when a board member resigns? Let ACCE answer the who, what, when and why questions you have on the job.  Expect a reply within 24-48 hours.

This is a free service to ACCE members.

Call 703-998-3524 or email HERO@acce.org.

To find out about HERO Custom Research and Services, click here

Use our contact form and make sure your question goes directly to who needs to see it.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reset my password?

To obtain your username and password, you can request it here.

If you already know your username and password and would like to change it, follow these steps:

  1. Go to My Account and log in with your known username and password.
  2. Click on "Your Membership", then click on "Change Your Username and Password", next click on the "Change It" link next to your login name, and then enter your new login information as desired.
  3. Press "Submit Changes" button when finished.

If you need assistance, please email HERO@acce.org.

How do I obtain or find my login for the ACCE website?

If you are a current member, you can request your login in here.

I'm a CEO and want to know what resources are available to me and my staff through my ACCE membership?

Visit our CEO Welcome page to review and update your ACCE Membership Profile, Update Your Employee List, and learn about the benefits and resources available to you and your staff through ACCE. Additional Chamber Membership information is available and lists the variety of benefits in your ACCE Membership. For specific membership questions, call (703) 861-9382 or email Dana Ketterling at dketterling@acce.org.

We need information on how our Chamber can become an issuing body of Certificates of Origin.

ACCE's Chamberpedia page Certificates of Origin specifically addresses this and provides numerous resources. Here are few starting points:

Where can I access the recording for "Sixty Membership Ideas In Sixty Minutes"?

ACCE members can purchase and listen to the session recording "60 Membership Ideas in 60 Minutes" from ACCE's 2013 Convention by visiting this link from the ACCE Store. Membership and sales professionals have 60 seconds to share one idea that works for their cahmber. Hear over 60 membership professionals share their best ideas while seeing who the top three membership idea winners are as selected by a panel of membership sales experts. Duration: 59 minutes. Cost: $9.95; Pricing is for 1 year of unlimited access for all your chamber staff.

How do I access items I have purchased in the ACCE Store, such as downloadable survey reports, PDF files, and eCourses?

Click on Log In and enter your username and password.  Click on My Account.  Click on Online Products Purchased by Your Employer.  You will see a list of items purchased by you and others at your chamber.  You can download or access an item by clicking on the title.  

I've heard about ACCE's Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) program. Where can I learn more and find out about applying?

Please visit our page Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) for complete details including Eligibility Requirements, CCE Timeline, Application process, and FAQs. You can also learn more through this recorded webinar, Earning Your CCE, avaialable through ACCE University

Where can I find resources, photos, and session recordings from ACCE's Annual Convention?

For more about ACCE's 2014 Convention, visit this link. We hope to see you in Cincinnati, August 12-15 and help us all celebrate ACCE's 100th anniversary!

For the 2013 Convention, handouts and PowerPoints are available on our 2013 Convention website at this link.  Photos and session recordings are also posted here (for purchase).

We are also posting Convention handouts and materials to the appropriate Chamberpedia pages so that ACCE members will have access to previous Convention resources.

What is a chamber of commerce?

This document was created to tell people new to chambers of commerce what chambers do.

How many chambers of commerce are there in the United States?

As of October 2013, according to the World Chamber of Commerce Directory, there are roughly 7,086 chambers in the United States and 588 in Canada.  This includes chambers of all types. Additionally, there are 221 Foreign Chambers of Commerce Abroad and 88 U.S. Chambers of Abroad. These numbers can change month to month. Please visit the World Chamber of Commerce Directory to obtain up-to-date information or to purchase the annual chamber directory. Additional directories are found through the World Chambers Network and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce directory.

How do I start a new chamber of commerce?

See this comprehensive guide from the U.S. Chamber - A Guide to Starting and Growing a Chamber of Commerce (pdf).

See this guide to starting an association from Bob Harris of The Nonprofit Center - How to Start an Association (pdf).

I'd like information on chamber staff and CEO salaries.

ACCE’s Operations and Salary Surveys are now combined into one powerful new platform – Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking. Members can access both the Operations Survey and the Salary Survey (restricted access to CEO members or their delegates – contact HERO@acce.org for any access requests) through the platform, 24/7. Data is easily added and reports, comparisons, charts, graphs, and downloads are quickly obtained with customized benchmarking options and filters specific to your chamber. Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking is FREE for members to access and all participants receive data and downloads for free. In Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking, the Operations Survey section provides chambers with information they can use to establish comparisons and benchmarks with similar chambers of commerce; the Salary Survey offers members the most accurate and reliable compensation information for the chamber industry.

Members can also still access the 2013-14 Salary Survey publication, using data from nearly 400 chambers who participated in the survey in 2013.  You can purchase the full report now through this link at the ACCE Store.  If you only need data on CEO compensation, you can purchase the CEO stats only through the ACCE store. Read more about accessing previous reports from the Salary (Compensation & Benefits) Survey here.

Where can I find data to benchmark and compare my chamber with other chambers across the country?

ACCE’s Operations and Salary Surveys are now combined into one powerful new platform – Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking. Members can access both the Operations Survey and the Salary Survey (restricted access to CEO members or their delegates – contact HERO@acce.org for any access requests) through the platform, 24/7. Data is easily added and reports, comparisons, charts, graphs, and downloads are quickly obtained with customized benchmarking options and filters specific to your chamber. Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking is FREE for members to access and all participants receive data and downloads for free. In Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking, the Operations Survey section provides chambers with information they can use to establish comparisons and benchmarks with similar chambers of commerce; the Salary Survey offers members the most accurate and reliable compensation information for the chamber industry.

You can also still access previous reports from the Operations Survey.

Do you offer Professional Development courses?

Yes, ACCE University ONLINE offers courses taught by chamber professionals for chamber professionals in an easy-to-use, anytime, anywhere format.  Click here to learn more about ACCE University ONLINE.

Do you have recordings of your past and current webinars?

Yes! ACCE webinars are free to attend.  Click here for a list of upcoming webinars.
If you want to see a recording of a past webinar, you can look at our course catalog of recorded webinars here.  These are also free to watch!

We are rewriting our personnel manual.  Do you have any samples?

Personnel Manual sample from Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce (CA)
 
Employee Manual sample from DavenportOne (IA)
 
Employee Handbook sample from the Longview Chamber of Commerce (TX)
 
See also the U.S. Chamber Best Practices for Accreditation site: Look under Human Resources and then at the Personnel Policies listed.

What do I need to know about using social media?

ACCE has a white paper for chambers just starting out with social media.

Below are samples of social media use policies:

Be sure to look at our Chamberpedia page on Social Media as well for more resources and weblinks.

I'm looking for sample position descriptions.  Do you have any?

In the ACCE samples library, you will find position descriptions for many of the most common positions at chambers.  Click here to browse the different job titles.  Click on the position title to view or download the position description.

Help! I'm a brand new chamber CEO.  What do I do now?

If you are new to chambers of commerce, take a look at this article called Chambers of Commerce: The Basics.

Here is an article from Chamber Executive magazine on Starting Strong.

Here is a comprehensive guide, Hit the Ground Running - President's Guide, by Bob Harris of The Nonprofit Center.

Review ACCE's CEO Welcome page to complete your ACCE Membership Profile, Update Your Employee List, and learn about the benefits and resources available to you and your staff through ACCE.

New CEOs, staff members, and board members will all benefit from completing Chamber 101: Introducing the Work of Chambers of Commerce, one of ACCE's e-Course designed to give an overview and highlights the work of chambers. This online course is designed to both work in tandem with chamber staff and board orientation programming, while offering a flexibile training tool that can be incorporated into any chamber retreat, lunch-n-learn or training activity.

As the incoming president and new CEO, you will learn from ACCE's step-by-step e-Course, Hit the Ground Running: President's First 100 Days, which covers topics from planning to appointments, in this 45 minute course, available for purchase through the ACCE Store.

Is there a standard list of industry codes to classify chamber members? 

We suggest using this subset of NAICS codes which can be tailored to meet the needs of your chamber. 

I'd like Membership Retention rates for chambers across the country.

For membership retention rates and other membership statistics, access ACCE's new platform – Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking which combines the Operations and Salary Surveys into one powerful benchmarking and statistics system. Members can access Membership Statistics through the Operations Survey section in the platform, which is available 24/7. Complete the Operations Survey section and go to the Reports tab where you can download either a full Operations Report, or just the Membership Statistics report. Reports are customized to your chamber and you can quickly view your percentile ranking in the reports.

Members can also click here to download the Membership Statistics mini-publication from the 2013-14 Operations Report, published late Spring of 2014.

Additionally, ACCE has a Membership Management Chamberpedia page which will also link you to our resources on Membership Retention, Sales, and more. 

I want information about Annual Convention.

To download resources from this year's convention, visit this page.

We look forward to seeing you next for ACCE's Annual Convention in Cincinnati, OH on August 12-15, 2014!

What is the right size for a chamber board?

I need some help managing my volunteers.

Check out our Volunteer Management Chamberpedia page for information, resources, and links.

What revenue sources are available to chambers? 

I'm not sure if my chamber is doing enough in economic development.  I'd like some resources on this.

Check out our Economic and Community Development Chamberpedia page for information, resources, and links.

Tell me about ACCE.

The American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) is a national association uniquely serving individuals involved in the management of chambers of all sizes. (What is a Chamber of Commerce?) ACCE's mission is to support and develop chamber professionals to lead businesses and their communities. The organizational vision is that ACCE is the organization of choice for chamber professionals. ACCE was established in 1914 and our mission is to support and develop chamber professionals to lead businesses and their communities. Read more about ACCE here.

ACCE currently has over 7,800 professional members in 1,400 chambers of commerce. These professionals represent local, regional, and state chambers of commerce of all sizes across the United States and Canada.

Our goal is to empower chamber executives with a combination of knowledge, information, networks, connections, and career advancement.

How do I join ACCE?

Contact contact Dana Ketterling at (703) 861-9382.

How much does it cost to join ACCE?

Our membership dues are based on your organizationís operating budget.  If you receive government funds, we ask that you count 20% of received government funds towards your total operating budget.  Here are links to dues schedule for chamber memberships, affiliate memberships, international memberships, and associate memberships.

I want to know who has done __________ before?  Who has experience with __________________? 

Join one of our many groups on LinkedIn.com and ask your peers!  We have groups for all ACCE members, communications, membership, Young Professionals, and many more!  You can also search these LinkedIn groups by clicking the Search tab when you are on the groupís page.  If this doesnít answer your question, call or email our virtual reference desk, Ask ACCE.

Our CEO is retiring.  What should we do?

Here is a link to download ACCE's Hiring Toolkit, a document that will walk you step-by-step through the search, interview, and hiring process for a chamber CEO.

Here is a link to Succession examples from the ACCE Samples Library. Once at that page, click on each link to take you to the page where you can download each file. 

Here is a link to Robert Harris' web resources on CEO Performance.  Click on the link for "CEO Transition Plan" to download his perspective on CEO succession.  You might also find the document, "Choosing a Professional CEO" to be useful to your board.

ACCE also has a 35-page book on Succession which is available through the ACCE Store.  Members will need to login with your username and password to download the e-book.

What are some samples of dues structures and membership applications?

ACCE has numerous resources on Dues structures. Start by visiting the Chamberpedia page on Dues Models, part of the Membership Management section. We have specific examples and models on the Fair Share Dues page and the Tiered Dues page.

We have even more examples of Dues models and Sample Membership Applications, as well as Membership Campaign examples in ACCE's Samples Library.

Guides on dues models include:

Need help? Ask ACCE your question!

I don't see my question in this list.  What can I do?

Let ACCE answer the who, what, when and why questions you have on the job.  This is a free service to ACCE members.  Call 703-998-3524 or email hero@acce.org and expect a reply within 24-48 hours.
You can also click on Ask ACCE and fill out this form to be sure your question goes to the right person at the ACCE office.

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