Posted on Jan 05, 2023

The past several years have presented new challenges for any organization, including membership associations. Many have seen shrinking budgets, disruption to revenue streams, changes in user behavior, and declining engagement.

However, a new year is a great time for membership associations to not only reevaluate the economic climate, but their strategies as well. It can even be a time to implement new strategies to ensure alignment with the organization’s goals.

But why the new year?

Members often come back from the break rejuvenated and it can be one of the best times of the year to capture their interests and encourage engagement.

Here are 5 tips to help membership organizations start out strong in the new year.

1. Reflection

In order to make changes to strategy, every organization must start out by reflecting on the past year. Take a look at what worked and what didn’t when it came to the organization’s strategies.

Some specific things to reflect on include:

  • Member acceptance of plans: Were the plans and strategies of the organization generally accepted and liked by members?
  • Events and dates: Did events go well? Are there better dates to hold events that would increase member engagement?
  • Email campaigns: Did email campaigns garner engagement? Did the organization see greater action taken or better conversion rates?
  • Social campaigns: Did social campaigns garner engagement? Did they reach members and non-members?
  • Membership retention and growth: Did the organization retain or lose members? Did the organization see new member growth? Which chapters struggled vs. thrived?

Once these questions are answered, organizations can begin to generate ideas on how to change what didn’t work and improve upon what did work to generate even more success. Let’s delve into some of those strategies a little deeper.

2. Strengthen the Member Value

A membership organization wouldn’t exist without its members. They are perhaps the most valuable yet underutilized asset of a membership organization. Now could be a good time to implement strategies that strengthen the member value. A lack of internal resources for members can not only lead to disengagement but a decrease in member retention.

Some examples of strategies that can strengthen member retention include:

  • Venues or events for members to interact and build relationships with one another
  • Educational content
  • Mentorship programs
  • Better communication with members about the current goings-on of the organization
  • Promotion of events, educational content, and mentorship programs in newsletters to encourage member retention

3. Generating External Revenue Sources

Relying solely on members to generate revenue for the association can place a heavy burden on members. While fundraising can be seen as a headache for some, generating non-dues revenue can help membership organizations weather any economic storm. Further, efforts to find corporate sponsors or fundraise through a charity drive can serve as a public face of the organization that can attract interest and excitement around the association.

4. Tweaking Social Strategies

The world is online and so are members and potential members. If the membership association isn’t on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok, the organization could be missing out on key engagement opportunities. Going online allows the organization to get in front of key target audiences and engage with them. Each organization and their target audience is different. So be sure to take a look at each platform to decide which ones will serve the membership organization best.

If the membership association is already online, perhaps it’s time to evaluate if a particular platform is serving the organization well or if particular online strategies need to be tweaked. Now is the time to take a look at communication style, language, branding, and perhaps even advertising campaigns to meet the organization’s specific goals.

5. Pursue Growth Through Customization

While the world is online, people don’t want to be nameless faces in the crowd. This is true for members in an association as well. Personalization is a huge member value benefit, but it shouldn’t be extended only to new members. Student and veteran members deserve thoughtful customization and personalization as well.

What makes personalization so powerful? It makes members feel as if the organization is speaking directly to them as well as taking the time to understand their needs and challenges on a deeper level. It allows the organization to connect more with members and target avenues to increase a member’s longevity in the organization.

Customized touches can be added through a powerful association management software (AMS). With a good membership platform, members can receive emails tailored to their interests, receive renewal notifications at the right time, and give them opportunities to create their own space to share ideas and collaborate.

MemberNova’s membership success platform can help take membership associations to the next level. Our platform helps organizations manage, engage, and grow. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more.



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