Membership Hack: Member-Generated Memes

The Grant Professionals Association found a creative way to reach and engage members during an annual celebration of the profession: Tap into the internet’s love of memes.

How to hack it? A meme—a viral cultural symbol or idea that’s often shared on social media using a captioned photo—can be silly, dramatic, or sarcastic, and it can also be a way to engage members. During its annual International Grant Professionals Day celebration, which took place on March 8 this year, the Grant Professionals Association invites staff and members to create and share memes.

GPA first tried the meme campaign in 2017, when they were gaining popularity across the internet. The grant professionals’ memes are one-line zingers and “funnies that happen in a typical workday,” says Membership and Marketing Director Kelli Romero.

Why does it work? Many of the jokes are built around simple constructs like, “You know you’re a grant professional when…” Here are a few examples:

“I believe that by creating the memes and posting them via our social media networks, it has helped create a buzz about the celebration,” Romero says.

What’s the bonus? The memes not only help drive awareness about International Grant Professionals Day, but they live online throughout the year on meme generator sites like, which builds broader public awareness. “I believe that creating memes brought this great celebration to the light of many who didn’t know that there was a day for [grant professionals],” Romero says.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the date of this year’s version of International Grant Professionals Day. We regret the error.

(milindri/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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