Patricia Hudson 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.”
In a new article for Wild Apricot’s Membership Knowledge Hub - Recruitment is Easy, Cultivating an Engaged Membership Requires Finesse - Hudson shares the three key lessons she’s learned about building member engagement within associations – from her experience in developing membership recruitment campaigns, working with volunteer and staff leaders and more recently, through her work at the Melos Institute where she is currently President. The three key lessons that “have made all the difference” for her …and possibly might for you include:
- 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’s experiences offer some innovative insights about building member engagement within 21st century associations. One, in particular, begins by recognizing the need for an alternative model for association management. She suggests better outcomes can be achieved by your association if you “….decide the kind of association that will best serve your members: transaction-oriented or relation-centered? … And it all starts with shifting your thinking from membership as a marketing function to a developmental function.”
If you are interested in increasing member engagement in your association, Hudson's article offers 3 tangible and practical things (and free tools you can download) you can do:
- Member orientation
- Peer-to-peer mentoring
- Assessing your readiness for engagement
And finally, Trish also cautions that once you become aware of a new way of thinking, like her, you will not want to return to the old ways. And when you stop seeing “members as customers” and start seeing them as “citizens of a remarkable and distinctive membership community,” she guarantees your work will become more meaningful.
To read the full article, in our Membership Knowledge Hub – here.
Image source: © Arcady - Fotolia.com