Our 1-On-1 interview series provides an inside look at how membership organizations got started, grew their membership, overcame challenges and devised strategies for success. This is where you can hear their stories.

Catherine Wygant Fossett: Bringing Value to Your Members

"I created a family business spotlight, where we spotlight a business on our website, in emails, ads, and social media promotions."

It’s important to help with succession planning and transition. If a family business is in crisis I can connect them with a specialist or different affinity group. The connections members make with other members in the institute become priceless for them. Read the full interview...

Joe Bednar: Delivering Value to an Alumni Club

“The key word is value – what are members getting for their membership?”

Yes in an alumni club, you have a bond. It doesn’t mean everyone gets along. It doesn’t mean everyone’s best friends, but you have a common thread to help you in your future. It’s about conversation, and it’s about looking at what the needs are for our audience. And also making it so that we’re not overlapping what other clubs are doing because we are not a “me too” organization. We are unique. Read the full interview...


Eric Sharpe – On Running A Business Association

"What does having a good guest speaker do to event attendance?"

It definitely brings in a lot of guests. Whenever you run a business organization like a downtown business association, you’re going to find a lot of guests coming in based on the speaker topics. And what you need to do is share that there’s a value behind the organization and it’s not just a one-time, “oh we brought in this great speaker and the food is great, that’s it”, you know. You’re going to go back to your desk and then you’ll wait until another year until we have another good speaker. No, it’s all about providing great content and value for someone showing up to the events. Read the full interview...

Jim Carney – Growing Membership with a "New, User-Friendly Website

"How are you communicating with or reaching out to non-members? How do they find out about you?"

...we’ve tried things in the past, such as offering members who recruit other members a discount on their dues. For some reason that didn’t seem to work, which surprised us. We thought if we said to the members, hey, every member that you recruit we’ll knock $10.00 off your dues – that would be an incentive to go and recruit members. Read the full interview...

Connor Finnigan – Managing a Board of Forty

"During the monthly meetings how do you decide on priorities as a Board?"

...we go over a treasury report and the event calendar for the coming months. We also have updates from each of the VPs  – and incidentally, the way our Board is structured it’s divided up into teams including special events, camp programs, facilities, alumni, communications, and membership. Read the full interview...

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