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Membership Round-up From Apricot Jam

This month we’ve been blogging about our Small Membership Insight Survey. So it seemed fitting to offer a round-up of the membership posts that we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam this week.

Here are 5 posts offering insight, advice and ideas on “speaking in your members’ language,” keeping unemployed members in your network, renewal strategies and much more.

Speaking your Members’ and Customers’ Language: Six Gaps that might be Dooming Associations to Irrelevance

Anna Caraveli (SocialFish) explains:

Two articles about e-bay’s recent growth surge, by Marcus Wohlson in Wired magazine, confirmed fodefactor me our research insights: organizations that succeeded and grew in this fluid environment had a number of shared characteristics that were deeply embedded in the way they thought, framed challenges, perceived value, approached challenges, engaged people and defined priorities.

…Associations sell knowledge service and strategic solutions rather than products. Hence there is a need for even deeper and more expansive levels of understanding of the whole person in all its dimensions and contexts. Immersion allows for constantly uncovering the nuances of a member’s/customer’s experiences as they naturally unfold in time (vs. snapshots in time and disconnected survey answers); and reveal unexpected, hidden, often small hurdles and inefficiencies that few others may have noticed. These are the cues for determining how to achieve relevance, differentiation and growth.

Unemployed Members? Keep Them in Your Network

Chloe Thompson (Associations Now) asks: 

Do you lose members when they lose their jobs? To keep them with you, focus on the networking opportunities your association provides.

And Thompson reminds us…

It can be tough to wrangle member dues from the unemployed—after all, who wants another bill to pay? But letting them know that your association may be their ticket to their dream job can bring a mutual benefit.

Three design challenges for 21st century association business models

Jeff De Cagna (Principled Innovation) suggests:

Association boards, CEOs and senior executives will need to answer a wide variety of questions as they embark on the work of developing new business models to enable their organizations to thrive over the next decade and beyond. Of unique importance, however, will be how these leaders work through three critical design challenges that may well determine whether their new business model concepts will be able to achieve both purposeful impact and sustainable profitability.

De Cagna goes on to outline:

  • The practical challenge: Making the shift from membership-centric to value creation-centric business models.
  • The process challenge: Managing the transition from “form-making” to “form-finding” in business model design.
  • The progress challenge: Designing business models that can be both adaptive and resilient.  

Are Local Chapters Still Relevant?

Brian Reuwee (Stronger by Association) tells us:

A member of the American Society of Association Executives LinkedIn group recently posted a question for discussion:

Where have all the local chapters gone and what will fill the void?

As reluctant, yet long-tenured, treasurer turned de facto president for a struggling local chapter of a larger national association, this question is personally relevant, but also professionally engaging.

Local chapters are not disappearing. On the contrary, many of my peers see growth opportunities for local chapters in delivering localized content, networking opportunities and face-to-face social connections.

Reuwee offers insight from six association professionals and outlines the three “key[s] to local chapter success”.

Results from Membership Renewal Series Tests  

Tony Rossell (Membership Marketing Blog) shares the results of “head to head testing” of renewals. While he cautions:

Each organization’s situation is unique. So use these test results as indicators of things you may want to try. Your results may vary.

Rossell offers 4 key test findings, such as: 

  • An offer to break up a single annual dues renewal into three installment payments outperformed the control notice by 11 percent. 

Want more?

This is just a sample of our Delicious collection of posts and articles we’ve recently bookmarked in the Membership Section of Apricot Jam.  You can also find current articles and posts on:

We hope you'll visit Apricot Jam often to check-out the latest posts or subscribe to our RSS feed.


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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]
Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]
Published Friday, 01 February 2013 at 9:30 AM
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