By Association Adviser staff
In the best of economic times, those responsible for cultivating and retaining members for their given associations understand the need to provide a beneficial experience in exchange for yearly dues. And in the worst of economic times, those challenges are multiplied exponentially.
As part of the four-article section, certified association executive Kurt Wehrs, discusses two important queries that forward-thinking membership directors need to ask themselves as they pore over each and every name on existing and prospective member lists:
1. “What do members expect from my organization?”
2. “What value do prospective members see to joining our association?”
To this mix, he adds a third inquiry on messages an association should send regarding its mission: “Is our association a social club, a professional network, a career-advancement tool or something else that we don’t have a plan or intent to deliver?”
According to Wehrs, associations aiming to reflect members and constituents must include some lofty goals toward which the organization can support members and consistently demonstrate commitment. When the association helps a member achieve a personal or professional goal, it creates the potential for lifelong partnership and a relationship that can deliver the best recruiting message.
An important step toward communicating an association’s value proposition is actual interaction with the market–in this case, the members. If associations ask, members will tell them almost anything they need to know about value, maintains Wehrs. Still, associations may have to ask in many ways to uncover the most valued resources and connections made in supporting member needs.
Check the Association Leadership archives on Aug. 16 for the release of the Sept./Oct. issue and the full article by Kurt Wehrs.
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