Beyond Membership Marketing:
Why Modernizing Your Recruitment Strategies is a Must

by Patricia A. Hudson, MPsSc Melos Institute *

In this article, Trish Hudson (Melos Institute) offers a real-life "teachable moment" that demonstrates why it’s so important to shift from "selling memberships" to do what the founders intended, "'inviting' members to become part of their distinctive community".

To go beyond traditional membership marketing and modernize our recruitment strategies, Trish advises us to shift our attitude and focus. For the "attitude shift", Trish suggests we "Replace Membership Marketing with a Membership Development Mindset." Membership marketing focuses on the member as customer. Membership development focuses on the member as citizen.

Trish suggests we shift our focus to "'a community-oriented relation-centered model' of membership" that enables the organization to:

  1. inform members what it means to be citizens of their community;
  2. teach them how to navigate the association to get their specific and specialized needs addressed; and
  3. leverage the membership community as a member benefit.

This article also includes a link to a Member Orientation Module template that is specially designed to introduce this new conversation with members.

 * The Melos Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit independent think tank focused specifically on
addressing the challenging issues that have persisted within membership-based organizations.

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