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Membership Recruitment & Retention

Membership Renewal – Make it a No-Brainer
By Heidi T. Wunder, Associate Director

What do your members do with the annual dues renewal invoice they receive each year from your professional society or trade association? In the best case, your members are fully engaged and feel they've received value for their money in the past year and the decision to write a check is an easy one. The reality is, however, that in recent economic times, it's likely that the decision to renew isn't guaranteed. One way to improve member retention rates is to remind members of all they've received from their involvement in the association over the past year. Informally called an association "Report Card," this document itemizes all reports, studies, meetings, educational opportunities and other benefits each member took advantage of in the past year. Tangible descriptions of the value they received in exchange for their dues dollars, generally totaling much more than the annual membership investment.

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Now, More Than Ever
By Kent Van Amburg ,CAE, Executive Director

Everyone is feeling the effects of the economy.  For profit and non-profit organizations alike.  The easy fix for a lot of small business owners is to cut expenses, including association dues, however, is that the right move? Before you do, consider the long-term consequences your company may suffer for short-term financial gain. You might just agree that it is more important than ever to stay actively involved in your industry association. During the challenging months ahead, you will need every available tool to help you through, that includes staying in close contact with your peers, your  customers, and suppliers.  You need your association and it needs you.  Help keep your association viable by continuing to use its products and services.

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The Value of Professional Organizations - Overview
By Sarah Hagy, Executive Director

Ever heard the phrase, "it’s all about who you know?" With job availability stagnant, unemployment rates on the rise, insecurity in the marketplace, and tightening budgets, key relationships are becoming more and more important to professional success. As author Laura Raines notes in her article, The Value of Professional Organizations, associations are often the first place people turn to when seeking employment and/or new business opportunities. So have you made the proper investment within your association or professional society to yield returns in your time of need? Ms. Raines shares the importance and pay off of active involvement within organizations when the time comes to "cash in."

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"The Value of Membership Reports"
By Peter J. Michener, Manager

For any association one of its most important, yet often neglected, functions is to manage the data. When the data has been managed accurately and effectively, it can be used to generate membership reports that contain far more than just numbers. These reports can paint a picture of association trends which if used correctly, can become a valuable management tool. Membership reports come in a variety of sizes and formats, and can assist Boards and Committees in making logical decisions with regards to the most appropriate allocation of staff and volunteer time in support of membership initiatives.

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“The Decision to Join” – How individuals determine value and why they choose to belong
By James Dalton and Monica Dignam Research and Analysis from ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership Executive Summary By: Suzanne C. Pine, Executive Vice President

Fundamentally, this study contributed a research breakthrough by pooling the population of many associations and establishing more useful definitions of current, former, and never members. Other significant methodological contributions include the distinction made between attitudes toward associations in general versus a specific association in the respondent’s field and the importance of environmental challenges as compared to association capabilities. This executive summary is only the tip of the research iceberg, however, it will hopefully provide readers will a little insight into why membership recruitment and retention efforts are so challenging.

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"Recruiting New Members"
By Bill Norton, Vice President of Marketing

At the heart of nearly every flourishing association and professional society is a successful Membership Recruitment Campaign. This article addresses several questions/challenges organizations need to face before they begin developing a membership recruitment campaign that will meet their goals. Some of these questions may seem easy to answer at first glance, but in most cases will require serious thought

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