Sharing your association’s logo with members can help increase your visibility, recruit new members, and foster credibility and trust with members’ customers.
Trello is a web-based app that’s popular for project management. One association uses Trello’s kanban boards, which visualize workflows, to onboard new members.
Staff from the American Academy of Pediatrics play a direct role in component relations problem-solving. During its annual chapter summit, volunteers can ask questions and find answers at the chapter services lab.
Not all of your members will be able to attend the annual meeting. For those who miss it, a virtual expo can be a great way to remotely engage people in professional development.
Association members have stories to tell. The American Geophysical Union has enlisted StoryCorps, a nonprofit that collects and archives audio conversations with everyday Americans, to document its members’ accounts of their journeys through science.
The Digital Analytics Association hosts a monthly call modeled off Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” series. DAA members dial in to ask whatever is on their minds.
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.
Does your conference need an overhaul? At the Online News Association, a digital suggestion box gives members an easy way to provide input into content planning for ONA’s annual meeting.
An app from the American Board of Anesthesiology assesses members on their professional knowledge year-round to help them maintain their certification, replacing its traditional exam.
The International Coach Federation onboards new members using a live webinar to introduce them to key benefits and services. This early engagement opportunity also helps boost first-year retention.
At the National Association of Home Builders, members submit their favorite recipes for a community cookbook that’s now in its second printing. Proceeds from Building an Appetite support NAHB’s scholarship fund.
During its annual meeting, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives partners with a local charity in the host city. Funds raised not only help support a worthy cause, but the effort also offers opportunities for attendees to engage and interact with one another.
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry created patient testimonials, a PSA-style video, and a website to increase public understanding of implant dentistry, putting the spotlight on AAID-certified members.
To commemorate its 75th anniversary, the National Association of Concessionaires recently launched a member-referral program to recruit 30 new members in 30 days. It’s part of a yearlong effort to get current members to become new member sponsors.
Each year, the American Occupational Therapy Association shows member its appreciation by offering free webinars during a weeklong celebration. The free learning continues all year with a monthly webinar series.
A monthly email that asks a single question about membership can boost engagement and give a glimpse at long-term membership trends.
In the weekly Membership Hack column, we share the little ways that associations save time, money, and resources while delivering value to members all year long. Here are some of our favorites from 2018.
The holidays are not always bright and cheery. For some, they’re filled with stress and anxiety. The National Funeral Directors Association helps members address these feelings with free online resources and phone counseling.
Members of the American Angus Association show their pride by wearing Angus Brand apparel, which is sold in a new online retail store. Merchandise and apparel sales also support a worthy cause.
When new members join, you might send them a welcome letter or packet of information. But one association goes a step further and recognizes new members on social media platforms.
On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the National Business Aviation Association rolls out a special deal to incentivize prospects to join. The annual promotion provides a recruitment boost and garners some additional social buzz.
The National Ayurvedic Medical Association hosts a monthly after-hours seminar by conference call. Each dial-in session is a chance for both members and nonmembers to learn more about Ayurveda health.
To spark some friendly competition and build buzz for its annual conference, the Association of Change Management Professionals quizzes members weekly on chapter trivia.
The Fiber Broadband Association uses a platform called Medium to blog about industry news, information, and advocacy. With millions of users, it lets FBA distribute content far and wide.
The National Association of Home Builders encourages friendly competition among chapter members with an annual fall membership drive. This year, to raise the stakes, NAHB announced extra cash and prize incentives.
In communications with members, do you talk too much about yourself? The Society for Vascular Ultrasound removes ‘I’ or ‘we’ statements from member materials and replaces them with member-focused language.
The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society recently revamped its acronym guide from a printed piece to a searchable online database. The new tool helps RAPS members navigate a sea of bureaucratic shorthand.
The Association for Corporate Growth organizes a competition to encourage chapter leaders to promote its annual conference. Participants get two free conference registrations, plus chances to win prizes.
There’s a quick way to make mentorship matches. “Speed mentoring” rotates participants around a room for rapid-fire conversations with potential mentors.
The Association of Academic Physiatrists incentivizes members who recruit members in August. For each new or reinstated member who joins, the referring member gets entered into a raffle.
The American Dental Hygienists' Association has a big presence on Instagram, where it highlights member stories every week and once a month gives a student member full-account access for a day-in-the-life look.
Associations can use an online form to gather updates and announcements from members that can be turned into content for the magazine, website, or future professional development programming.
The Association of Writers & Writing Programs occasionally opens its website to nonmembers for a weekend preview of member-only benefits. The free access incentivizes prospects to join.
The Direct Selling Association creates podcasts to not only help its members learn from their colleagues but also to meet them “where they are.”
The Radio Television Digital News Association is offering access to an upcoming webinar for free. In exchange, RTDNA is asking journalists to donate to a fund supporting victims of the Capital-Gazette shooting.
A key benefit of membership in the Illinois Park and Recreation Association is a career-stage mentorship program that brings together early, mid-level, and seasoned professionals. It helps to grow professional networks while keeping members engaged with the association.
A digital handbook gives members access to the information they need about member benefits, services, and support—all in one place.
The Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance spotlights young members who have stories to tell and are in a good position to lead.
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.
If your members don’t have time for an hour-long webinar, consider an on-the-go option—teleforums—where members dial in for a phone conversation.
The American Academy of PAs downsized to a single e-newsletter to deliver news and information to members without flooding their inboxes. That change is helping to boost open rates, click-throughs, and membership.
Each year, the Specialty Food Association inducts a handful of people into a hall of fame celebrating industry leaders. The program showcases SFA innovators and draws positive media attention.
The Retail Merchants Association recently partnered with a startup to help members fill temporary staff vacancies.
Everyone loves a freebie—including your member prospects. The American Water Works Associations offers new members two kinds of freebies: practical and fun.
The United States Association of Cider Makers recently partnered with the global research firm Nielsen to offer an opt-in group study to gather consumer feedback on members’ product designs and marketing.
The Women’s Fiction Writers Association brings members together with a glass of wine via virtual happy hours, which are streamed live and posted online.
The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship worked in partnership with many other nonprofits and associations to amplify their message as part of an awareness week.
To provide a more personal look at its members, the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants features photo essays like the ones featured on the popular Humans of New York blog.
This time of year, everyone seems to have March Madness on the mind, including an association that’s using this month to recruit new members.
To give members a quick way to stay on top of news related to their field, the Infectious Diseases Society of America partnered with a medical publisher to deliver a curated daily newsletter.
One recruitment tactic that’s proving to be effective for the American Booksellers Association—a free trial membership for each Spring Forum attendee.
To empower members and help raise public awareness of the profession, the National Society of Genetic Counselors created a one-day campaign that got community members involved.
The American Veterinary Medical Association gives members access to a variety of practical benefits—all with a tap of an app.
Two associations in the hospice and palliative care field brought an inclusive spirit to their joint conference with a physical space where attendees, regardless of background or origin, could express themselves.
The National Speakers Association uses a leadership coaching program to support and grow new leaders in its chapters and build a leadership pipeline.
The Textbook and Academic Authors Association recently debuted a referral program that incentivizes members to recruit prospects in exchange for a small credit.
The American Nurses Association’s #fitnursefriday social media campaign engages members and keeps them accountable for their New Year's resolutions.
To give members a hands-on experience with data, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association built an interactive digital dashboard.
The Society for Human Resource Management took a close look at which affinity programs members wanted most. The result: a new menu of options to better meet their needs.
This year, the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading raises funds for its foundation using an online charity auction that taps into members’ passion for model airplanes.
The National Society of Genetic Counselors uses an online discussion forum to put out a call each time it needs members to take on small, ad-hoc volunteer tasks.
To drive deeper engagement and a sense of community, the National Art Educators Association exhibits members’ creative talents both in person and remotely.
A small-staff association distributes a simple directory, complete with photos, to onboard, orient, and engage its members.
As part of a strategic effort, every staff member at the Society of Financial Service Professionals, including the CEO, serves as a chapter liaison.
Want to reward chapter volunteers and give them an incentive to stay involved? Take a cue from one association that discounts registration for chapter presidents to attend its annual meeting.
To encourage quick renewals, the U.S. Personal Chef Association holds a monthly contest with a chance to win next year’s membership for free.
The Society for Simulation in Healthcare tapped members as social ambassadors to promote a week-long online advocacy effort.
Due to Hurricane Irma, the Textile Rental Services Association canceled its annual conference in Miami. It gave attendees and sponsors the option to turn their fees into donations for disaster relief.
Associations can use the Storify tool to quickly and efficiently gather social posts into online stories that highlight the member experience.
SHAPE America is testing a new way to recruit and win back members: letting them decide how much to pay in membership dues.
The National Association of Sports Commissions is piloting a text message communication system to improve response time when members need help.
The International Live Events Association recently debuted a lifetime membership to honor committed and long-time members.
The Digital Analytics Association has developed a scorecard that demonstrates to members the dollars-and-cents return on their dues investment.
A new complimentary, digital membership is adding some much-needed buzz to member recruitment for the American Beekeeping Federation.
The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits offers member prospects an incentive to join with two free webinars, which provide practical value.
The American Society of Interior Designers takes advantage of Instagram’s visual appeal to market to prospective members.
The American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives uses a volunteer matrix, which is a spreadsheet that helps to track and recruit members.
The American Probation and Parole Association is adding a little competition to its annual conference to get members moving and active in their host city.
To add camaraderie and creativity at annual meetings, the Association of Public Health Laboratories encourages members to share morale-boosting moments.
Getting board members on board with membership recruitment is as easy as handing them a prospect card.
By recognizing members who are retiring or already retired, one association is hoping to celebrate and engage them for a lifetime.
Member testimonials are a tried-and-true marketing tool for associations. Put them in simple video form to put a human face on your campaigns.
The Utah Nonprofits Association does more than just train its members. It now works with them in post-training workshops to ensure they know how to put the tools they learned to use.
The American Staffing Association’s online community marked its fourth anniversary by recognizing its most active participants.
To get members coming back year after year for its annual advocacy day, SHAPE America awards long-time attendees and offers scholarship incentives.
A team from the American Dental Association visits dentist offices to listen to members’ unmet needs.
Asking regional members to take action on micro-advocacy efforts could result in big payoffs—both for your issue and in member engagement.
To encourage membership recruitment, the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors gives an award to the member who is the biggest connector.
There’s a simple way to say thanks to dedicated members who serve in volunteer positions—sign and send a gratitude book.
The US Composting Council taps a young professionals committee to lead on conference activities, connecting them with more established members and building a sense of belonging.
The New Jersey Society of CPAs recruits volunteers with a business card that removes the barriers to getting involved.
The Agriculture Future of America Alliance recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a promotion designed to boost renewals and bring in new and lapsed members.
Sometimes a bit of friendly outreach is all it takes to get valuable information from your members.
The National Association of Counties turns members into advocates by doubling the value of their trip to Washington, DC.
The National Association of Wine Retailers formed a partnership with FedEx to save members money on shipping. This new benefit helps retailers meet consumer demand and helps NAWR recruit members.
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy uses a mentoring program that incentivizes conference attendance and provides members with opportunities to network and recruit new staff.
The National Association of Professional Organizers keeps its house in order with a simplified “contact us” form. The new form makes it easier for members to ask questions and receive prompt replies.
One small association increased membership by 7 percent in a year using targeted "combo-promo" campaigns.
When members gather at conferences, you have a big opportunity to collect their stories to showcase the people who make up your community. Some specific tools, distribution channels, and strategies will help you put them in the spotlight.
One year in, our Membership Hack column has become your weekly two-minute read for ideas for saving time, money, and other resources while delivering value to your members. Here’s a look back at some personal favorites.