Everyone from the executive director to the receptionist to the accounting department should be able to easily explain the value of membership in your organization.
How often have you heard an association membership professional proclaim this statement: “It can feel like ‘membership’ is just another function that happens in a vacuum”? But it really is true that every aspect of your association impacts the success of your membership plan. Collaboration among staff is important to creating a cohesive team that works toward the organization’s overall goals and priorities.
One Team, One Mission
Foundational to a team approach to membership is ensuring everyone on staff has a solid understanding of the association’s value proposition and key member offerings. As a leader, you can’t assume that everyone on the team is well versed in this and able to represent the association well to members and prospects. Everyone – from the executive director to the receptionist to the accounting department – should be able to easily explain the value of membership in your organization. Having such an understanding benefits both the organization and the staff members. If they can connect the dots to understand WHY their job is important in the bigger picture, it adds meaning and pride to their work. When the receptionist can enthusiastically answer membership inquiries without having to transfer calls to the membership director, the caller gets immediate information and a warm welcome.
Marketing and communications are important to a membership program. In many organizations, however, the membership director or department can be found managing new member campaigns, renewal communications, member engagement efforts, etc. on their own. Close collaboration with the marketing/communications staff can help improve messaging, ensure consistent branding, and infuse a member perspective in all the association’s communications.
Conferences and events are often the most visible and tangible member benefit – but are not always treated as a member benefit. All attendees are either current or prospective members. The membership director and meeting planner can find ways to inject a celebration of members, education of member value, and evangelism to prospects throughout the event. Don’t limit yourself to a flyer or branded tchotchke in the conference tote bag! Find creative ways to engage attendees in learning about the organization and connecting them with involvement opportunities.
These are just a few examples of how cross-function collaboration can have a positive impact on member growth, involvement, and retention. In preparing for 2020, make sure your association’s membership plan doesn’t stand alone. Infuse it throughout the staff to ensure everything you do is approached from a member-centric perspective.