In a professional world where people have unlimited options as to where to spend their time and money, why would they choose to invest in your organization? We’ve worked with Associations at every stage and when we look at those that have overcome the challenges and increased memberships they have these 3 things in common.
1. DEFINE VALUE
As an organization, define what value your group brings to the table for potential members. Is it professional networking that leads to job opportunities within the industry? Mentor-ship and training opportunities? Be honest and be specific. Once this is defined, make sure Leadership and members are using the same language to talk about your organization. That consistent message is crucial to making an impact.
Everyone within your organization plays a role in the longevity and success of the group. This includes Leadership and members. Engage existing members as mentors and advocates for your organization. Having long term members is incredibly valuable, don’t miss out on using their experience and expertise. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to ask WHY your members continue to stay involved. You may be surprised by what they say!
3. WHAT IS THE GOAL
No, really, what is the goal? In every action your Association makes, consider this question. Are you planning a Happy Hour event for your members? Is the goal to check out the new bar with outside seating or to encourage members broaden their social circle and make genuine connections (or all of the above...)? If the goal is the latter, let people know that this is the goal in your marketing materials and set up activities at the event to encourage it.
Keep these simple perspectives in mind as you develop strategic planning for your Association. Staying relevant can be a challenge with so many competing opportunities but you have all the tools to keep your Organization on the map—now use them!