No one in the association management industry would argue that membership development is one of the most important jobs of association staff or that membership is the responsibility of all staff in the organization. The efforts you make to recruit and retain more members is the driving force behind initiatives such as integrating membership development strategies into your annual convention, having value proposition-centric communications or developing programs to serve your members.
Whether your organization has a dedicated membership director or if that responsibility is shared with other roles, it is important to assess if everyone on your team is participating in the member retention and recruitment strategy. Here are some questions to review with your team:
- Do you have membership strategic goals and does the entire staff know what they are?
- Does your association membership recruitment, retention and engagement plan identify all staff to participate?
- Do you have a clear value proposition? Does everyone on staff know how to articulate this value to current and prospective members?
- Do you forward prospective member calls to the membership director or is all staff empowered to have those conversations and help them join?
- How is member feedback collected and shared from front-line staff to the rest of the team and leadership?
- Does all staff participate in developing membership strategies?
- Does all staff understand who your members are (what they do, demographics, basic industry information, etc.)?
You may ask, what is the point of the membership director then? The membership director should be facilitating staff participation and driving your membership strategies; however, participation from all staff will yield better results. Each member of your staff has a different perspective, whether it is how they interact with members, their generation or background. They also have unique opportunities to engage with current and prospective members and should be prepared to articulate the value of the organization.
One final step in ensuring full staff engagement in membership is to make sure everyone is up to date with current membership trends. Attend ISAE’s educational breakfast on September 15 for 5 Great Ways to Generate Real Membership Value & Growth to learn more about proven recruitment, retention and engagement strategies.
Do you have any additional tips in ensuring your entire staff team participates in membership recruitment and retention? What are your best and proven strategies?