Your strength as an association lies in your membership.
As an association, one of the most important things you can do is to engage your members and create a sense of community. A strong and engaged community can help you achieve your goals, whether it's increasing membership, promoting your mission, or advocating for your cause. But how do you create a community, and what strategies can you use to engage your members?
Here are some strategies and statistics to consider.
Create a Clear Mission and Vision
Your association's mission and vision should be clear, concise, and compelling. They should communicate your purpose, your goals, and your values, and inspire your members to become involved and engaged. According to a report by Community Brands, 89% of members say that a clear mission and purpose are the most important factors in joining an association.
Foster Communication and Collaboration
Communication and collaboration are key to building a strong community. You should provide opportunities for members to connect and share ideas, whether it's through online forums, social media groups, or in-person events. According to the same Community Brands report, 73% of members say that networking and collaboration opportunities are the most important benefits of belonging to an association.
Recognise and Reward Members
Members who feel recognised and valued are more likely to become engaged and involved. You should find ways to recognise and reward your members, whether it's through public recognition, awards, or special privileges. More than three-quarters of members say that recognition and appreciation are important to them.
Provide Opportunities for Professional Development
Professional development is a key benefit of belonging to an association. You should provide opportunities for members to learn and grow, whether it's through training programmes, webinars, or conferences. According to the Community Brands report, 70% of members say that professional development opportunities are important to them.
Use Technology to Enhance Engagement
Technology can be a powerful tool for engaging your members and building a community. You should use technology to facilitate communication, collaboration, and networking, whether it's through a mobile app, a member portal, or a virtual event platform. According to the Community Brands report, 52% of members say that they prefer to engage with their association through a mobile app.
Measure and Analyse Engagement
Finally, it's important to measure and analyse engagement to understand what's working and what's not. You can use metrics such as membership growth, event attendance, and website traffic to track engagement, and use surveys and feedback to understand member satisfaction and preferences. According to a report by the ASAE Foundation, 75% of associations say that they use data and analytics to improve member engagement.
Engaging association members and creating a community requires a clear mission and vision, communication and collaboration, recognition and rewards, professional development, technology, and measurement and analysis. By focusing on these strategies, you can create a strong and engaged community that will help you achieve your goals and promote your mission.
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