Is This Missing from Your List of Member Benefits?

Sep 9, 2019

Last week, I spoke with an organization about their array of member benefits. Their Executive Director was seeking advice about whether changes might help them attract new members more easily.

As I scrolled through the list of offerings (which was extensive), I noticed the typical kinds of things:

  • Members' rate to a conference
  • Certification opportunities
  • Job postings
  • Networking meetings 
  • Members-only publications
  • Discounts for a variety of services
  • And so on…

Like most organizations, they had done a great job of describing WHAT is offered and HOW it is delivered.

What felt noticeably missing was the WHO and the WHY.

Are all of these benefits appropriate for all of their members?

Are some offerings perfect for people new to the industry, while others more aligned with seasoned professionals?

Why would I want to do any of these?

What difference will participation make for me as a professional, as a member of the community, or as a human being?

Rather than a singular comprehensive list of everything that is available, I suggested that the organization create curated lists of benefits that would be more tailored to specific subgroups of members.

Just graduating and coming into the profession?  Here are the benefits that we’ve arranged that will help you as you enter the workforce and navigate your first job in the industry.

Want to be more involved politically?  Here are the ways that the association can help you know what’s happening and be more effective.

Ready to leave a legacy?  Here are the ways that you can contribute to knowledge-sharing and training of the next generation.

When you connect what you do to the WHO that you are serving and the WHY they want what they want, your benefits become more meaningful and impactful.

The added benefit is that these curated lists become the perfect tool to leave in the hands of prospective members, based on their unique interests and circumstances. Marketing is always more powerful when you’re speaking more directly in the language of your audience and they can see your offering as perfectly suited to solving the challenges that they are facing at the time.

When was the last time that you took a look at your list of benefits and assessed how well the list matches up to the WHO(s) that you serve and the WHY(s) that they’re important?

That’s this week’s challenge for you.


How I Can Support You:

When you're ready to do a deeper dive into the member experience that you're delivering so that your organization can grow more quickly and easily, I can help in 3 ways:

1) Strategy Only – where we map out the best approach to solve challenges and you implement on your own; or

2) Strategy + Team Support – where we map out the best approach to solve challenges and my team helps you implement;

3) Strategy + Group Support – where we map out the best approach to solve challenges and you work alongside other organizations who are working on the same thing.

The best way to get started is by scheduling a quick call.


Joy Duling is Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.  Since 2005, Joy and her team have helped associations, trade groups and membership-based nonprofits run their programs more easily and deliver exceptional member care.

You can find FREE tools, tips and training to help you run and grow your membership organization in The Joy of Membership Help Hub.

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