Are Your Members Creating Value – or Just Consuming Value?

Are Your Members Creating Value – or Just Consuming Value?

In my work, I often see that organizations have inadvertently created a culture of value consumption vs. value contribution.
But it's important for members to FEEL valued as well as receive it.
Read the blog for suggestions on how you can encourage member-contributed value.

read more
Taking the Worry Out of Selling (to Members, Donors, or Sponsors)

Taking the Worry Out of Selling (to Members, Donors, or Sponsors)

There are some things that can happen in a sales conversation that will either attract people toward you or repel them away and the same holds true for the entirety of the member experience.
There are plenty of things you can do that will either attract members, donors, or sponsors toward you or repel them away.

read more
Try Personalization to Make Membership Building Easier

Try Personalization to Make Membership Building Easier

Often, membership-based organizations have very different people who enter as members.
So, how do you make a membership feel completely appropriate at an individual level in situations where you have such varied interests in your organization’s work? This is a common challenge for many organizations.

read more
The Importance of Direct Mail in Nonprofit Fundraising

The Importance of Direct Mail in Nonprofit Fundraising

Direct mail is one of the most successful methods of fundraising for nonprofit organizations in the United States to date, especially if you want to directly pursue your members. Which, as you know, having supporters is an important part of fundraising.

read more
A Double-Dose of Difference-Making

A Double-Dose of Difference-Making

Have you stopped lately to celebrate the difference that YOU are making in the world? It’s so easy to get caught up in doing the work and in battling the challenges that come along with membership that we often forget to pause and remember how special the work is that we do every day.

read more
Attracting Engagement vs. Being Engaged

Attracting Engagement vs. Being Engaged

We are clearly an industry that is hungry for engagement. We recognize the importance. We recruit countless positions around it.

And yet, many organizations still struggle to grow. They struggle to understand what their audience wants and how to deliver it.

read more
Using Data to Inform Your Membership Decisions

Using Data to Inform Your Membership Decisions

Both quantitative and qualitative data play a role in understanding what members need from your organization, but it’s often the qualitative feedback that interjects the human element of member services and engagement.

Along with studying the data, you must also LISTEN to your members to make the best decisions regarding your membership!

read more
Creating a Safe Space for Members to Share

Creating a Safe Space for Members to Share

Imagine what a powerful thing it would be to create an inclusive experience for members.

We could all benefit from infusing our member experiences with a little more listening, a little more alignment and a little more compassion.

read more
Serving the Perfect Slice of Cake to Members

Serving the Perfect Slice of Cake to Members

Do you ever feel like your organization seems a bit…uneven? Sometimes when we focus a bit too much on certain aspects of our membership, we neglect others.
The key to all things in life, including membership, is balance. Check out my advice on serving up the perfect member experience to your audience.

read more
Timing Is Everything In Member Experience

Timing Is Everything In Member Experience

In reflecting upon one of my previous podcast episodes, I found myself reflecting on how my guest, Brian Fried, is able to attract so many like-minded people to his club.
By paying particular attention to the wants and needs of his audience, he has been able to capture a foundational component of generating membership.

read more
This is What Happens When You Truly Understand Your Members

This is What Happens When You Truly Understand Your Members

In reflecting upon one of my previous podcast episodes, I found myself reflecting on how my guest, Brian Fried, is able to attract so many like-minded people to his club.
By paying particular attention to the wants and needs of his audience, he has been able to capture a foundational component of generating membership.

read more
Finding the Right Words to Sell Your Membership

Finding the Right Words to Sell Your Membership

One of the things that can make membership challenging to “sell” is the fact that you literally have to sell it over-and-over-and over, every time someone renews – unlike when someone makes a one-time purchase. That’s why the words that we use to describe what we’re providing to members are so very important.

read more
Sometimes All You Need is a Great Analogy

Sometimes All You Need is a Great Analogy

I love a great analogy. Sometimes simply giving the brain enough of a split away from the usual way of thinking about a topic is enough to spark a break-through idea.
Jess Cooper's analogy of an organization being like the human body was exactly the same thing for me.

read more
Dreaming About What's Possible for Your Membership

Dreaming About What's Possible for Your Membership

If your organization fails to change while the entire world changes around you, it won’t be long before members will legitimately find you to be “out-of-touch” or, even worse “irrelevant” which is the last thing that you want to be.

read more
Membership Isn’t About You (Oh, but it IS!)

Membership Isn’t About You (Oh, but it IS!)

While a membership-based organization should strive to satisfy its members, if the person or people running the membership are struggling to keep things aligned, it may be time for a look at the who and what of the membership!

read more
“Membership can either define you or just make you crazy.”

“Membership can either define you or just make you crazy.”

Running a membership-based organization is more work than many people outside the industry can image. With a membership-based organization, repeat customers ARE the business. The digital marketing your organization engages in can play a role in keeping the association’s existence and activities front-and-center where people are naturally hanging out.

read more
Do You Use Digital Marketing Tools to Find Members?

Do You Use Digital Marketing Tools to Find Members?

Chances are good that your organization is using digital marketing tools, but you may not even think of it in that context. If you’re producing content that you put online, sending out emails, posting on social media, etc., you are actively engaging in digital marketing.
And if you’re going to be investing your time into producing digital content, why wouldn’t you want to get it in front of as many people as possible who might have an interest in seeing it?

read more
Podcasting as Part of the Member Journey

Podcasting as Part of the Member Journey

Last week's podcast episode marked my 6-month podcasting milestone! Podcasts have exploded in popularity, and with the insane number of podcasts that have aired in just two years, it's tempting to jump head-first into a new content platform.
Take a read on how (and if) podcasts can be beneficial to your organization at different points in the member experience.

read more
That’s a Wrap on the Board Development Series (Part 3)

That’s a Wrap on the Board Development Series (Part 3)

This week's Joy of Membership Podcast episode is the final in a 3-part collaborative series on board development with Sean Kosofsky, the “NonProfit Fixer.” In the episode, we hear from two more of Sean's clients on how their intention with developing a strong board has paid off in their organization. Read about this week's guests and then go take a listen to the series if you haven't already!

read more
Membership Leaders Share About Board Development (Part 2)

Membership Leaders Share About Board Development (Part 2)

We’re in the middle of my 3-part series about Board Development featuring Sean Kosofsky, “The Nonprofit Fixer.” Last week on the podcast, I had the chance to chat with two of Sean’s clients and hear about their experiences with developing a well-balanced and effective group of board members for their organizations. Read about these two podcast guests and then head over and take a listen!

read more
Membership Leaders Share: The Qualities of an Ideal Board Member

Membership Leaders Share: The Qualities of an Ideal Board Member

Organizations have different needs, but after asking a few of my clients about the qualities a ‘perfect’ board member would possess, it’s obvious that there are ways board members best serve their organizations. Be sure to catch the special 3-part series on Board Development I’ll be hosting over on The Joy of Membership Podcast, and check back here for my reflections on those episodes.

read more
Let Your Membership Software Do The Work

Let Your Membership Software Do The Work

Wouldn't it be nice if ONE software could do ALL the things for your organization?
*Spoiler* – It's not only possible, it should be the standard!
I'm sharing my top 10 list of things a membership software can do for your organization, as well as sharing my experience with a specific membership software.

read more
4 Lessons I’ve Learned from a Decade of Membership Tech Projects

4 Lessons I’ve Learned from a Decade of Membership Tech Projects

We all love what technology can do for us. But when it's time to look at, implement, and USE technology within our organizations, the word daunting comes to mind. Anyone else?
Today's blog connects to the latest episode of The Joy of Membership podcast, where I talk with Michele Clancy about the AMAZING things technology has done for her role in her organization.
I'm laying out four lessons I've learned when it comes to choosing the right tech for your membership…and after a decade of working with organizations and non-profits, these lessons hold pretty true for all!

read more
4 Ways Technology can Build Relationships with Members

4 Ways Technology can Build Relationships with Members

While 2020 has shown us the importance of real-life, face-to-face interactions, I'd also like to point out that technology has been one of the only ways we've been able to stay in touch with our friends and loved ones.
Using technology within your organization not only makes your life easier (think automation, triggers, SOPs), but it can also enrich the experience your members receive and deepen their connections to you and the community.

read more
Did You Miss the Membership Growth Report?

Did You Miss the Membership Growth Report?

Wild Apricot published their report on Membership Growth for 2019. While some of that statistics looked discouraging, when I was asked to review the report I found that my outlook was much more positive. Read about my takeaways from the annual report and how that impacts your organization moving forward.

read more
How Long Does It Take to Break through a Problem?

How Long Does It Take to Break through a Problem?

You can experience really big break-throughs in growth challenges when you commit to focus and decisiveness. Projects tend to expand in order to fill up as much time as you allow them to take. Read how I, and other industry professionals, have found a way to solve that problem for organizations!

read more
How to Spin Disruption into Something That's Positive for Members

How to Spin Disruption into Something That's Positive for Members

In these difficult times, it really feels like people need their communities and industry advocates more than ever.

This is encouraging for groups and organizations, but it also means these same groups and organizations should be working in the face of recent disruptions to meet their members where they most need.

read more