by Patricia Hudson Melos Institute*
In this article, Patricia Hudson, MPsSc (Melos Institute), notes that she learned early in her career, that “membership recruitment is not ‘selling’ a product, but instead it is inviting someone to become part of a distinctive community that can have transformative impact on one’s life.”
Hudson shares the three key lessons she’s learned about building member engagement within associations - from her experience in developing membership recruitment campaigns, then working with volunteer and staff leaders and more recently through her work at the Melos Institute*. The three key lessons that “have made all the difference” to Hudson are:
- Recruitment is easy if you understand its essence
- Engaging the membership community requires understanding the association’s dimensions
- Members rarely understand how to make the most of their membership experience.
Hudson also outlines a relation-centered management model (and link to a working paper), defined by a Melos Institute working group, that blends sound business with appropriate community development practices.
The article ends by offering 3 “Immediate Things You Can Do…to Socialize Members” to build member engagement:
- Member orientation*
- Peer-to-peer mentoring
- Assessing your readiness for engagement*
*strategy includes a link to free tools available to download