Are Your Members Creating Value – or Just Consuming Value?

Jun 15, 2021

While I do not mean to minimize any of the significant challenges that membership organizations have faced during this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a few silver linings among the clouds. 

One of those is that organizations gained an opportunity to really look hard at *what* is being delivered to members and *how*. The urgency created by the pandemic situation meant that many boards were able to break out of talking-about-doing-something mode and move into actually making it happen.

This week’s podcast guest – Denise Beusen from the Needlework Guild of Minnesota – gave us a great example of an organization that was suddenly pushed forward into the adoption of new tech and, in retrospect, has benefited from doing so.

However, for me, the most intriguing part of the interview was the way Denise described that members are actively involved in sharing knowledge and teaching skills to other members. In short, they aren’t merely consuming value that the Guild delivers, but rather they are actually playing a key role in creating value.

In my work, I’ve run across a number of organizations that do this well, but more often, organizations have inadvertently created a culture of value consumption vs. value contribution.

So, how can you encourage member-contributed value?

Here are a few ideas:

    1. First, be thoughtful about where you might be able to implement opportunities for members to share their own experiences.
    2. Go beyond the typical approach of just having people post in a Discussion Group. Perhaps consider formalizing member contributions into Peer Sharing Sessions, or Fireside Chats, or Cornerstone Blog Posts, or Collaborative White Papers or Round Tables.
    3. Finally, get comfortable with the concept of crowd-storming and the platforms that allow you to gather ideas en masse from your members. Frame up a challenge area, open channels for contribution and voting, and perhaps even offer prizes for contributions.

The possibilities are really only limited by your imagination, so I encourage you to take a bit of time to reflect on what might be possible for your specific organization and your specific situation… and before you say, “that really isn’t possible for us”, just consider what perhaps seemed impossible before all of us endured a global pandemic together. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being open to new approaches.

If you didn’t catch my interview with Denise, I’d encourage you to check it out here!

A JourneyCARE Success Story

Congratulations to the Danish American Heritage Society (DAHS) on their multi-faceted implementation of the JourneyCARE platform. As an early adopter, DAHS is truly serving as a shining star in what is possible. 

Over the past few weeks, DAHS has:

    1. Launched a beautiful new website for their organization;
    2. Launched a coordinating site to handle registrations for their 2021 Conference;
    3. Transitioned from 100% paper-processes to online joining and renewal processes with all of the associated automations;
    4. Were able to easily bundle their membership renewals and event registrations;
    5. Published 18 pre-recorded advance viewing scholar presentations;
    6. Hosted a full day of panel discussions and plenary sessions on Zoom and even capped everything off with a virtual conference by a Danish violinist.

It truly has been a remarkable experience to see it all come together via JourneyCARE in a way that felt like exceptionally good things were happening for members and for DAHS as an organization. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the remainder of 2021 and beyond!

DAHS journeycare

Like this article?

   I’ll bet you’re going to *LOVE* JourneyCARE…  what is JourneyCARE?

Hey there.  I’m Joy Duling, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.

If you’re the type of person that is committed to providing an exceptional member experience and you’d like to attract, engage, and retain members more easily, you’ll want to check out the new software platform I’ve created to support you.

It’s called JourneyCARE,, and there’s a good chance that when you see it, you’ll realize that you’ve always wished for something exactly like it.

Come on over and check it out.  I’ll see you over there.