Membership Pro Tip: Be There for Members in Times of Need

A simple act of kindness for a member who had lost everything in a wildfire communicated an essential tenet of associations—that they are communities of people who care.

In late December 2021, there was a terrible wildfire in the Boulder, Colorado, area that caused extensive damage. Soon after, a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association sent a note to its general membership inbox saying that he had lost his home and everything in it.

He wanted to provide NSCA his temporary address, and he mentioned that he had lost his reference books that support his ongoing services as a private strength and conditioning coach. He asked for a used textbook or any other materials the group could share.

How Does It Work?

The member’s note got routed to NSCA Senior Director of Membership and Business Development Scott Douglas. “We were so touched that he thought to contact us in the midst of everything else going on,” he said.

Douglas and his team wanted to come through and deliver on the member’s request, so they got him the textbook and gathered several other books they had on hand. They also added a few conference t-shirts and a card signed by team members thanking him for being a member. The member wrote back and said he was grateful and “blown away.”

“It was pretty simple,” Douglas said.

Why Is It Effective?

It met a practical need because the member had lost his resources, clothes, and books. “It also communicated to him that we were not just a bureaucratic association of 35,000 members,” Douglas said. “We care about each individual member and what they’re going through.”

What’s the Benefit?

It gave the membership team a chance to communicate to the member that he mattered. The member also had not previously been particularly involved and active with NSCA, but that could change moving forward. “I don’t think he’ll forget it and maybe he’ll become more engaged in the future,” Douglas said.

At the time, Douglas happened to be onboarding a new staff member and so he had him put the care package together. He wanted to show the new employee that this is what NSCA does—and it matters. “It’s what a membership association should be: people that care about other people,” Douglas said.

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.

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Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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