Membership Hack: Partnership Power

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship worked in partnership with many other nonprofits and associations to amplify their message as part of an awareness week.

How to hack it? Each year, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship partners with the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education and the National Center for Resource Development to celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week, an awareness campaign that fosters entrepreneurial thinking.

The campaign has had buy-in from all three organizations and was congressionally chartered [PDF] in 2006, says NACCE’s President Rebecca Corbin. “National Entrepreneurship Week has always been a way to work right alongside partners and their members,” she says. “In the process of this collaboration, we decided to pull together more partners, including some other associations.” This year, using an online form, the three original groups made a call for other associations to join the cause and contribute ideas.

Why does it work? The call for partners brought in new participants, including a political action committee made up of various state library associations. “All these other association members emerged as allies and partners this year,” Corbin says. “I believe associations and their members are well-situated for awareness campaigns because they have so many networks to tap into.”

What’s the bonus? Before the campaign started, NACCE and its partners took stock of existing media assets to leverage. Because there was buy-in from so many organizations, the awareness campaign didn’t require a big budget to execute. “We didn’t have to come up with additional funding or resources to do this. Everybody decided they were going to toss something into the mix,” Corbin says.

(OOKdesign/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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