I had the opportunity to deliver ASAE’s Membership Development course as part of Association Management Week with Lauren Hefner on Wednesday. It’s pretty much 101-level content, but sometimes it’s really useful to be reminded of the basics. The top five things I learned/was reminded of, even while teaching the course:
- “Membership is everyone’s job.” Right? That means you need to provide training on membership for everyone. You can’t expect people to do a good job with something they know nothing about.
- On the flip side, much of your member value proposition (aka “why people would want to be a part of your association) comes from outside your membership department. Your staff members must share information about what’s going on with each other on a regular basis. There are plenty of ways to accomplish this, from the low (all staff meetings) to the high (Yammer) tech, but empire-building, hoarding information, and territorialism cannot be tolerated. Not only is it bad for your internal staff culture, it destroys your ability to serve your members.
- Every interaction is a retention interaction, even with people who aren’t members. Every touch adds to or detracts from the image your audiences have of your associations. Which means everyone from the CEO/ED to the mail clerk works in customer service.
- Retention is the goal. Renewal is the process that gets you there. We often use the two interchangeably, but they are not the same.
- To quote Jamie Notter: “It’s all about love.” That’s really what we’re after in associations: community. Connection. A sense of belonging. A shared sense of purpose. Everything else is just stuff that helps us get there.
Image credit: the blog of my good friend Vinay Kumar