Membership

Daily Buzz: Cultivating a Young Professional Membership Base

By / Sep 4, 2018 (PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Yes, young professional members have specific needs. But are you meeting those needs, or just stereotyping a key member base? Also: hosting sustainable events.

Young professional members are the future of any organization—but recruiting and cultivating that membership base can be challenging when you don’t understand their needs. And instead of employing strategies that hit on the complex needs of the younger generation, many associations focus on the “young” in “young professional,” says Dean West in a post for Association Laboratory. The result is marketing and recruiting tactics that stereotype—and then turn off—the targeted group.

“Consider how many associations have a Young Professional Committee or identify someone who is younger as a ‘newbie’ designated by some cartoonish pin,” West says. “Assigning diminutive names that highlight how young professionals are different, and somehow less, than real professionals does not improve their engagement. Creating a special ‘area’ isolating them from more senior members, attendees, or volunteers isn’t doing them a favor.”

Instead, West says associations should shift the focus off of age to thinking about younger members as a unique, segmented audience. From there, organizations can dig deeper into what it will take to develop an integrated, diverse member base.

Planning Greener Events

Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, and many meeting planners are taking it to heart by incorporating more eco-friendly practices into their events.

Other than reducing waste, Enhance Entertainment shows how planners can design events that keep the environment top of mind. For example, select a venue in a central location that attendees can easily access through public transportation. Or create a shuttle bus system to carpool guests and help reduce gas emissions.

Other Links of Note

Instagram Stories give your organization more visibility, says nonprofit digital marketing expert John Haydon. Here are his tips on how to engage supporters through the platform.

If recruiting new members is challenging, consider adding a multiyear dues option. The discount will appeal to members, while allowing your association to focus on areas other than retention, from the MemberClicks blog.

Developing a content creation process? This is how Nonprofit Hub does it.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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