Wednesday Buzz: Membership Brainstorming Prompts

As you think about how to serve members better, consider this series of prompts to help improve your program. Also: Netflix's Stranger Things delivers big bucks to one cultural organization.

Any association worth its salt is constantly thinking of ways to improve its membership offerings. But sometimes, knowing the questions you should be asking about your organization is the hard part.

The Membership Puzzle Project, a public research project exploring emerging membership models in journalism, has created a list of prompts to generate ideas for creating a better membership program for news sites. But these prompts are relevant to associations because they revolve around a central concern: “How can we meet these needs for the communities we serve?”

When thinking about providing unique value, you might ask how your group can “really represent diversity in staffing, education, and reach, not just talk about it?” Or think about different ways you can expose members to unique leaders and ideas they might not find on their own.

Your members have influence on your organization, and they like to know that they’re being effective. Ask how your group can “show that our work can’t get done without member support (including but not limited to time, energy, money, ideas).” Brainstorm different ways to increase engagement by inviting “members [to] play to their strengths when giving, whether with expert knowledge, finances, or creativity.”

Stranger Things Happens

If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Stranger Things, you may have seen lovable character Dustin rocking a great-looking dinosaur sweatshirt in the first episode of season two. Staff at the Science Museum of Minnesota were not expecting this high-profile shout-out, but it turned into a million-dollar boon for the organization.

According to The NonProfit Times, viewers clamored for the hoodie after it appeared on the show, but the print dates back to a T-shirt for an ’80s-era exhibit at the museum and wasn’t available for sale. After some quick thinking and maneuvering, the museum set up an online store dedicated to the sweatshirt only a few days after the show’s release.

“The first day it was available, Nov. 7, the site was overwhelmed and crashed for several hours but still managed to move 12,000 units, grossing some $400,000,” writes Mark Hrywna.

At the time of the article’s publication,  the museum has grossed almost $1.1 million in sales.

Other Links of Note

What hashtags should you be using on social media? The Wild Apricot blog shares a comprehensive list of nonprofit hashtags.

Seeking client feedback is important for any event professional. But meeting designer and facilitator Adrian Segar says that your conference evaluation may be missing a key component.

Google has revamped its job search functionality. Google will now display estimated salary info, reports Engadget.

(xxmmxx/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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