3 Ways Associations Help During a Recession

Are we in a recession (yet!) or not? As we each look at how industries were affected the past couple of years, we know that some prospered by thinking quickly on their feet and some are still trying to crawl out of difficult times.

Prosperity, Success and Happiness at work encourage association membership, because associations are where the winners meet in many professions. – Arthur C. Brooks

Preparing an association for a recession reminds us why we have insurance – car, health, dental, etc. We make a decision to invest and protect ourselves in case we need it, as we are not immune to bad days. And the day we get in a fender bender or need that root canal, we are thankful for the insurance. Associations bring together members with a strong motivation to protect their passion and interests and that’s what they will continue to do even through uncertain times. Here are three ways associations are enlisted to help companies thrive during difficult times:

1. Promote security:

Show expertise, education, and advocacy to your membership. Content experts are busy ensuring that the latest trend, technology and advocacy efforts are top of mind to industries but may not be thinking of partnering with associations. Provide these leaders the platform to share their content to the association in forms of podcasts, journals, sponsorships, newsletters, social media and speaking at conferences (in-person and virtually).

2. Promote services that matter:

Many indicate keeping the marketing budget for membership efforts and programs and services that matter most to your members. Determining what services and programs matter most to members vs what matters most to the association staff is key. It’s best to ask and plan accordingly. Some brands that increase their advertising during a recession can improve the ROI at a lower cost than during good economic times (Marketing Your Way Through a Recession, Harvard Business School, 2008). Membership marketing communicates to members what the association does uniquely for the industry or business, the vision, and the benefits.

3. Promote networking and professional development at rates needed to keep businesses growing:

How can the association combine, eliminate, and simplify networking and connecting efforts? Associations have built a database of mind sharing within an industry. Encourage the online communities and chats, space for small gatherings at conferences, organize a Zoom call for job search tips, or submit via the newsletter virtual networking topics.

AMCs have helped associations strategized their way through this global pandemic and now we must be ready for the next phase of strategy. Learn more from the resources below:

Solid Associations: Not Recession-Proof – Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly

How Associations Can Thrive as  Recession Proof Businesses (tangiblewords.com)

Growing Membership in a Recession (slideshare.net)