Demonstrating membership value is key to keeping organizations vibrant and active. In this busy world, your members need to feel like they’re getting something for their time, money, and effort. What do you offer your members to keep them engaged? Maybe it’s time to consider some new and innovative ideas.
Overcoming the Challenges of Declining Membership
The International Association of Insurance Professionals (IAIP) faced the common challenges of retaining and recruiting members. It was time to take a fresh approach to illustrate more value in the eyes of current and prospective members. Working together with the board of directors and committee chairs, we developed new ways to entice people to join. There was no quick-fix, magic solution, so our team of association management professionals devised an ongoing strategy to highlight the benefits of membership to this association.
Creating New Pathways for Prospects
One way to combat declining membership: expand the potential audience of people who would find value in your organization. In the instance of IAIP, one approach was to target the Learning & Development managers inside corporations. We needed a plan to show that the benefits were worth the investment. While simply reducing membership dues might entice people to join, our team took a risk by creating a new member type through a Corporate Membership program and requesting more money for membership! You read that right; the idea was to offer concierge-level services that would invest in the long-term skills for future leaders.
Knowing that corporate insurance professionals could benefit from the education and resources that the association provides, the Corporate Membership program included concierge services focused on training, development, and education. By encouraging more employees (from the same company) to join the association as a group, it promoted internal employee camaraderie, a collective investment in the future of the insurance industry, and subsequently, the association.
By providing ways for new types of members to connect, learn, and engage, associations can reach untapped audiences and combat membership challenges.
Energizing Current Members to Improve Retention
It is always important to customize each approach. In IAIP’s case, to combat the revenue lost from declining membership, the board and our staff looked for creative approaches to generate revenue. Many members were not able to attend last year’s convention in person, so we designed fun photo cut-outs to place in general session seats. The members were then able to purchase these cut-outs and have a (2D) piece of themselves there – while supporting the association. We also launched pop-up shops throughout the year offering members the opportunity to purchase branded items and apparel to show their pride in the association. Without the requirement to carry any inventory, this risk-free opportunity met the requests from the membership to offer branded items. These ideas generated revenue from unconventional sources, and sparked buzz, engagement, and more among members.
Engaging Current Members and Enticing New Ones
How are you engaging your members and enticing new ones? Keep your members engaged by actively, consistently demonstrating value – and don’t be afraid to try something new! And, if you need some new ideas for your association’s membership, get in touch.