Lunchtime Links: Thinking About Membership in Tiers

How one association turned around its membership decline by moving away from a one-size-fits-all model. Also: A new content marketing platform's plan for success involves leveraging what's already out there.

How one association turned around its membership decline by moving away from a one-size-fits-all model. Also: A new content marketing platform’s plan for success involves leveraging what’s already out there.

The problem with one size fits all is that you’re often either giving your members too much or too little, not getting it just right.

And for some organizations, finding the balance can be incredibly challenging. Read up on how one association got past this issue in today’s Lunchtime Links:

More sizes fit all: Are you finding that your model for getting people interested in your organization isn’t working so well anymore? The American Alliance of Museums decided that this issue was just too big to ignore. In 2012, it made bold changes to its membership structure, adding multiple tiers with different layers of benefits. According to Janet Vaughan, AAM’s vice president of membership and excellence, and Tracy Talbot of McKinley Advisors, writing in Forum magazine, the association has seen a 22 percent leap in membership through July and projects that figure to reach 40 percent by the end of the year. “AAM was successful because its staff and board worked together with the best interests of the association in mind,” they write. When faced with declining fortunes, how have you worked out your own membership issues? (ht McKinley Advisors)

It is (already) Written: Content marketing is one of those things that people always talk about but struggle to do well. Don’t you wish you could simply take advantage of someone else’s content that already aligns with your brand message and use it to connect the dots? That’s the promise of Written, a new content-marketing platform that just raised $1 million in seed funding, according to TechCrunch. Written is an intriguing twist on previous approaches: Marketers would essentially pay for content that’s already on point with the brand’s marketing, either moving it over to the publisher’s site, republishing it wholesale, or adding marketing messages on the blog post in question. Could associations with limited resources take advantage of an approach like this?

Give and take: The #GivingTuesday campaign is promoting the second annual post-Thanksgiving national day of giving following the shopping bonanzas of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With GivingTuesday—which focuses on cause marketing—set for December 3, now’s a good time to think about the partnerships your nonprofit could put together. On the Network for Good’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Vice President of Strategic Projects Kate Olsen suggests that the secret to making such a program work is making a complementary match when picking a corporate partner. “A partnership is not just about getting access to corporate philanthropic dollars: It’s about true collaboration,” she writes. “Think about what assets your nonprofit has that will be of value to a corporate partner, and vice versa. You have invested in a brand, program portfolio, supporter base, and other resources that will help make the partnership a success. Never discount what you bring to the table.” (That’s a great suggestion for the rest of the year, too.)

Do you have any cause marketing success stories you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them. Tell us in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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