If You Build It…Will They Come?
The Future of Member Involvement in the Electronic Age
by Patricia A Hudson, MPsSc and James R Hudson, Ph.D. of the Melos Institute *
After studying the nature of membership organizations and the challenges in mobilizing members, Patricia and James Hudson of the Melos Institute,* realized that the more things change, the more they stay the same. But even though members and their behavior has not changed all that much, organizations can engage their members - with the right planning. The article notes that since today’s busy members may be more discretionary about where and how they allocate time, organizations must not only appear to be organized, it must also be very organized. And the avenue for involvement must have some relevance for both the member and the organization.
This Melos Institute article introduces a member "cultivation model that reflects a paradigm for building member involvement;" suggests strategies for increasing member involvement and offers guidance on the role organizations' executives can play.
* The Melos Institute is a nonprofit nonpartisan independent think tank that works with thinkers and shapers to find new and better ways for volunteer and staff leaders to deliver more meaningful and transformative experiences to their members. The Institute’s applied research initiatives are geared to helping us understand the strategies and tactics as well as the principles, processes and tools that will produce an active and engaged membership.