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5 Ideas for Recruiting New Members to your Association

Recruiting new members has always been a challenge for associations.  And with time and money tighter than ever for many, it's arguably never been harder to get those new folks through the door.  Here are a few ideas to help you find those fresh faces:

  1. Give current members a recruiting toolkit.  If you're like most associations, your current members are your best sales people.  How do you support them?  Make sure they have appropriate tools to help explain why someone should join, including talking points about the benefits of membership.  This could be paper-based pamphlets or member application forms, or could simply be boiler-plate text that current members can copy-and-paste into emails or Facebook messages that they send to colleagues.

  2. Offer one event a year at your 'members-only' rate.  If you usually have one rate for members and another for non-members, pick one signature event and offer it to anyone at the members price.  This is a great demonstration of the kind of value they will get if they do decide to join -- which you should be sure to mention during said event!

  3. Co-host an event with another association.  Cross-promotion can be a great way to grow membership for both organizations.  Consider the possibility of offering discounts to members of another organization as further incentive to join.

  4. Simplify the sign-up process.  Creating an online membership application form and using a web-based payment system can make it a lot easier for prospective members to get on-board with your organization.  At the same time, make sure you don't paint yourself in a corner by forcing new members to sign-up online -- some of them may still prefer to sign a form and write a check.  Make sure your systems can accommodate both online and offline payments.

  5. Run ads on social media sites.  Facebook Ads and LinkedIn DirectAds both start at around $10 per campaign.  And because people enter so much personal and professional information into these kinds of sites, you can get VERY specific with who you target.  Recruiting for the Philadelphia Fisheries Workers Association?  You can reach fishermen in Philly directly using LinkedIn's targeting.

What recruiting ideas have worked for YOU?  Please share them in the comments.

Originally posted by Jay Moonah

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