Membership Hack: Recognize Long-Term Members

Looking for an easy way to say thanks to your most loyal members? One association takes time at its annual conference to spotlight major member anniversaries.

How to hack it? Seven members of the Association of College Unions International have been with the organization since day one, and that’s saying something: ACUI is one of the oldest higher-education associations in the United States, founded in 1914.

To say thanks to these and other long-term members, ACUI hosts a special member recognition ceremony at its annual conference. It’s a chance to celebrate members who have been with the organization for 25, 50, or 75 years—or in a few cases, even more.

Why does it work? Simple recognition can go a long way, says Jennifer Sims, ACUI’s membership manager. “I do believe it’s those little touches that help to keep our member retention rate going strong,” she says. Each recipient is presented with an award and honored on stage. For members who are unable to attend the conference, Sims sends a handwritten note of appreciation:

What’s the bonus? ACUI works with honorees to collect photos and testimonials. These are incorporated into the ceremony at the conference and then become video content that ACUI uses to promote membership year-round.

(HAKINMHAN/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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