Our Experienced Team - Here to Help

Getting an entire community of people to move with you toward a common goal is no easy feat.

How do you forecast the future?
How do you keep them inspired?

How to you get them to engage with each other and take action?
How do you anticipate their needs and deliver enough value to ensure they reliably renew?
How do you keep on top of all the work that needs to be done without losing momentum in the day-to-day grind?


Since 2005, I've been up to my eyebrows in the challenges faced by membership-based organizations.

  • I've facilitated countless Board retreats where we dive deep into what's holding organizations back.
  • I've helped clients conduct member surveys and analyze results.
  • I've worked with community managers who were frustrated by members who don't seem to engage.
  • I've dug into poorly performing membership sites and launched new platforms that do.
  • And I've fielded really tough questions from thousands of membership leaders via webinars, podcasts and live events.


I've even walked in the shoes of membership leader myself, serving nine years as the Executive Director for a membership-based nonprofit. Over that nine years, we went from just a concept on a whiteboard to raising more than a million dollars a year from membership contributions.  We also shifted an entire region of our state forward toward more modern industry practices.

It is fair to say that I've seen membership from nearly every angle possible, in a wide array of industries.

That's why I created The Joy of Membership®.  I wanted to help mission-driven organizations rise above all the day-to-day muck that drags them down so that they can get focus on creating impact and making big things happen in world.

Clients work with our team because they want:

  • Clear focus
  • Quicker paths to getting things done
  • A more sustainable way to serve and grow
  • More balance between the passion that they feel for their community, and other aspects of their life

The truth is that what we do for clients looks a little different for every organization that we serve.  That's because what your organization is really awesome at doing, is likely different from others.

Together, we'll map out the path to your goals and put the right supports in place to help you achieve what you're aiming to do.

As a team well-versed in the unique challenges of running membership communities, you'll find that we are acutely attuned to such problems and we can bring new perspectives to the table, based on what we've seen work and not work for others.

Here are the most common supports we offer:

 Consulting & Retreat Facilitation

Whether you are just launching your membership initiative, or you've been operating for decades, making change happen always begins with being clear about what you want and how you're going to make it happen. 

This is often easier to do with external facilitation.  As a Master Facilitator, I've helped many leaders, teams and Boards reach consensus around their next steps and futurecast in a way that inspires forward momentum.

Planning retreats can occur in-person or via web-conferencing in formats that are appropriate for individual work, teams or with a Board of Directors.

Shared Staffing for Operations Support

Growing pains can be – well, painful. 

It's easy to find yourself with too little help, or not the right kind of help, to truly support your growth plans.

As a contracted team, we provide access to a wide array of expertise – many brains often for the cost of what you'd pay for just a single employee who may not be experienced in everything that you ideally need.

Working with our team includes access to:

  • A dedicated project coordinator
  • Conference and event planning
  • Digital marketing services, including social media
  • Graphic design and copywriting
  • Membership site and database support

Shared staffing is customizable to fit your specific needs and can grow with you as your needs evolve over time.

You'll never have to worry about going through a hiring or training process for operations support, nor will you have to juggle multiple contractors to get work done.

Membership Site Design

It's hard to be efficient and effective when you're limping along without the right tools. 

Our team regularly helps clients implement (and make decisions around):

  • Membership sites
  • Directories
  • Event registration
  • Online payments
  • Email management

We are a Wild Apricot partner and highly recommend their tool, but we also have experience working inside numerous other platforms.

I typically describe our approach as ‘vendor-neutral'.  We believe our clients are best served when they use the technology that is the best fit for what you need to accomplish. 

We're here to help you figure out what that is, and to implement with as little frustration and hassle as possible. 

“Joy has been a godsend. She sets up not only your website but a complete system for running your associations' member database and renewals, event registrations and communication tools for members.” Margaret Vaughn

Association Management Specialist, Margaret Vaughn Consulting

“Joy has created a membership website for my association in less than two weeks!

The quality of what she has done is hands down the best support I've ever received. She has helped me think through offers and levels; helped me with branding; provided a wealth of ideas I never would have considered.

I now have systems and processes in place!!! It's all the more brilliant because I've got a Conference on Tuesday that I've organised and now every piece of administration has been thought through.

I cannot recommend Joy highly enough.”

Sandra Green

Founder, Women Leaders Association

“Joy Duling and her team have been a vital resource for Affordable Assisted Living Coalition since we began in 2006.

With Joy's help, AALC has grown and developed and is able to operate without a large staff. Joy works tirelessly on our behalf, is very responsive and has helped solve any issues we encounter from our logo, website, membership, bookkeeping and even strategic planning.

I'm not sure we would exist without her capable help. I know we wouldn't be as functional.”

Wayne Smallwood

Executive Director, Affordable Assisted Living Coalition

Often when I have hired consultants, I have been left with meaningless stacks of paper and a myriad of theories that I have no idea how to execute. In the end, I feel more overwhelmed and exhausted than I did when I started.

My experience working with Joy Duling has been entirely different. Joy provides ‘hands-on' tactics that are easy to execute. But, best of all, you see results… and fast.”

Michelle Tjelmeland

Founder, Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation

“Joy Duling has the uncanny ability to take a raw idea and turn it into an absolute masterpiece. She is a real pleasure to work with.” Mark Rodriguez

President, Auto Care Care

“You are amazing – everyone has shared their compliments on the way you ran the meeting and how productive it was!

We are so blessed to have you in our little corner of this world.”

Jessica Hayes

Executive Director, Illinois Certification Board

“Joy and her team are professional, efficient and talented. Whether they are organizing events, coordinating meetings, formatting documents or managing my schedule, I have the utmost confidence in their abilities.

They have given me back much more than an extra hour in my day; they have given me my work-life balance back.

If you are looking for a little or even a lot of extra assistance, I simply cannot recommend Joy and her team enough.

It is one of the best decisions I have made as a trade association executive director.”

Samantha Olds Frey

Executive Director, IL Association of Medicaid Health Plans

“Joy is one of the best presenters I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with.

We’ve run monthly expert webinars for a few years, and Joy’s was among our highest rated with more than 96% of our audience of 250+ saying they learned something valuable that could help them accomplish their goals.

No wonder: Joy backed up every valuable point with proof, examples and stories that brought everything to life. I can’t wait to work with her again.”

Donald Cowper

Head of Content, Wild Apricot