One of the greatest areas of focus for an association is growing its membership. There are many tactics that can accomplish this goal and incentives are certainly an option to consider. Let’s look a bit deeper at some specific incentives and how they may help or hinder your membership growth.
Incentive #1: Professional Mentoring Programs
The opportunity to learn practical skills from other association professionals in a one-on-one setting is a great benefit to its members. This incentive will grow relationships within the group and provide a great resource for personal and professional development, both for the mentor and mentee. Mentors may be categorized by their company, location, and/or affiliations, allowing other members (mentees) of the organization to connect with them to set up a mentoring relationship. This incentive is attractive to those who are seeking personal and/or professional development; however, this may be less appealing to some members who do not wish to volunteer their time in this way. It needs to be promoted by the organization without implying obligation.
Incentive #2: Members-only Job Boards
By design, an association has built-in industry connections and relationships; these make for an easier job search for those seeking new opportunities. Active job boards are a great benefit that can be made available to your association’s members, especially younger members who are developing their career path. While this is a great public-facing benefit to offer, it should be limited to members only access, making it a great incentive to join. The drawback here would be if the job board is not robust in its opportunities, the opportunities are not worthwhile, or more entry-level, or the postings are not current and updated. This incentive then quickly becomes an empty offering and not a member benefit at all.
Incentive #3: Flexible Online Learning and Certifications
For a significant portion of your membership, lifelong learning is an important goal and area of focus. An association’s ability to provide flexible learning opportunities will make them stand out for potential new members. Developing and offering a variety of courses relevant to your membership’s population is a great way to draw in new members. There is a monetary value to this incentive, so costs associated with this type of offering must fit well into the budget for the association. Online courses and certifications can come at a price to develop as well. If your offering is not strategic and does not appeal to your members, funds will be wasted with no payoff of growth in membership.
Are Incentives Worth It?
The bottom line is that an association must attract new members to continue its growth. Incentives can lead to growth, but if not planned for and executed well, they will cost the association time and money with nothing to show for it. The diversity of the incentives offered, the investment of time and money, and the research to select those incentives that best fit your association are key factors in the planning and success of your incentive strategy.
Contact Stansfeld, LLC Today
Associations can add incentives to their offering to attract new members. If you are considering adding new incentives or updating current initiatives, let us help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of the process and make your incentive strategy successful. Contact us today to find out more about incentives and how, when done the right way, they can help your association’s growth.