Wednesday, 8 April 2015

What Else Can You Be Doing To Retain Your Members?

Defining your value with your members is a high priority on every association’s list. Here are a few ways that you can increase your value:

Start by Truly Engaging Your Members

Cited as a common problem in most associations, we struggle to get our share of our member’s time, and the time we do get we are torn with promoting products and services, and truly finding ways to have meaningful conversations.  What are you doing to ensure that they feel significant?  One way is to seek their help to solve a problem they have raised.  Did they not like the last conference?  Ask them to volunteer their time.  Disagreeing with a certain association policy?  Ask them to nominate themselves (or, be nominated) to sit on the Board of Directors.  Asking for their help with show that you have heard their issue, and are seeking their assistance to solve the problem.

Don’t forget Lapsed Members

Sometimes, members just won’t renew.  Possibly because they were not satisfied, but other reasons could include retirement, maternity/paternity leave, or they simply just forgot.
It is crucial that you find out why.  If they have no intention of returning, organizations should have a set series of questions and conduct an exit interview, so that as a whole, you can learn from these experiences, and create change.  Asking them if there was anything you could do to have changed their mind, etc.  At times, you may be able to bring some back – other times, you won’t.  But don’t just let them walk off into the sunset without finding out WHY.

Don’t Be Slow to Make Changes

We often find that while the world is changing rapidly, associations are slow to adopt.  There are certain theories about this – fear, board involvement, and lack of expertise come to mind.  But there are ways to overcome those.  Moving towards making faster decisions should be part of your strategy.  Whether this means finding the right team to help you along the way, or moving from a working Board of Directors to a Strategic one, put policies in place to ensure that your association keeps up with the times.

What else could you be doing to create, maintain, and show value?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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