Lunchtime Links: Your Members Deserve a Thank You, Too

When it comes to member appreciation, a little thank you can go a long way. Plus: Adjust your membership model to better grasp your member’s expectations.

When it comes to member appreciation, a little thank you can go a long way. Plus: Time to take a hard look at your membership model.

You don’t need a turkey on the table to express your gratitude. Gather the community and thank your members publicly. Doing so acknowledges their efforts and makes them feel appreciated.

Thanking your members, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Leave ’em feeling warm and fuzzy: This Thanksgiving, give thanks to the members who are the backbone of the association you run. And, as chamber of commerce industry consultant Frank J. Kenny suggests, you’ll do well thank them publicly. It may inspire other community members to follow their example. “They assume the same will happen to them if they make a donation of time and effort. It’s not promised. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s implied,” he writes. It goes the opposite way too; forgo the thank you, public or private, and you might have at least one griping member. “They may tell others that the chamber is hard to work for or ungrateful. Their negativity could have lasting repercussions, all because the chamber staff failed to simply express their gratitude,” Kenny notes. How do you thank your members?

Don’t push so hard: If slow and steady wins the race, what does that mean for the overactive “ding” from each push notification sent? Scrap that constant flow and instead pace yourself, Event Manager Blog’s Julius Solaris writes. “Scheduling your updates will prune last-minute excitement. You know that super-excited boyfriend or girlfriend who sent you 90 SMS the morning after the first date? You don’t want to be them,” he writes. At conferences, try sending session and mealtime alerts, as well as attendee-answered polls or weather notifications. “Think about the timing of your updates and keep the content relevant,” Solaris writes.

Membership memo: What drives your members to join—and how best can you meet their expectations? Writing for the development firm the Demand Networks, Andrea Pellegrino says the answer might have implications for your membership model. Citing the 2013 Associations Matter: State of the Sector Report (a study of professional associations in Australia and New Zealand), Pellegrino says perceptions of membership value often are related to costs (are membership costs worth the benefits received?), technology (is it up to date?), and industry skill development offerings. “The disconnect between the challenges members are dealing with every day, which are key to their professional success, and what most associations offer as membership benefits—between what association members actually do and need and what association membership currently provides—is the rapidly widening foundational crack that is beginning to undermine traditional membership models,” Pellegrino writes. That’s some rich food for thought about whether your current membership model is the right one.

Have you identified “cracks” in your membership model? Tell us in the comments.


Emma Beck

By Emma Beck

Emma Beck is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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