It’s All About the Member

The priorities for membership pros in 2021.

McKinley Advisors’ 2021 Association Viewpoint report centers on the notion that there is no collective without the individual, noting that it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the unique needs and perspectives of the members who make up those communities.

“Associations have traditionally taken a really broad approach to serving their members,” says Shelley Sanner, CAE, who oversaw the research. When associations began to pivot last year, they “started thinking about how to serve each person in a more customized way.”

The report shows that long-term sustainability will require strategic commitments. The top three priorities for 2021, according to respondents, are:

42 percent generate nondues revenue

39 percent focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion

27 percent improve member retention

Associations are going to have to assess themselves and ask big questions, says Sanner. Questions like: “How can we make membership more valuable—not just from a transactional perspective or from a communications perspective—but by making it more meaningful?”

(smartboy10/Getty Images)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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