How to Create a Member Spotlight (+ Sample Questions and Examples)

Membership May 06, 2022

Sayana Izmailova

By Sayana Izmailova

Your members are the heart and soul of your membership organization — everything you do is for them and thanks to them!


You already provide your members with amazing benefits, fun events, educational resources, and a community of like-minded people they can always rely on. But there’s one more thing you can do that will help make your members feel noticed and valued: publishing a regular member spotlight.


If you’re not doing this already, member spotlights are a great way to show appreciation for your members, help them get to know each other, and keep them engaged. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to put together!


Keep reading to find out what members spotlights are, why you should implement them at your membership organization, and exactly how to do it. We’ll also share 30 questions you can ask your members, as well as a few inspiring examples from real nonprofits. 


Let’s take a look! 

What Is a Member Spotlight?

A member spotlight is a brief profile you publish about one of your members to introduce them to the rest of the community, highlight their accomplishments, and thank them for being a member. It can be done as a blog post, a section of your newsletter, or even a video published on your website. 


Some organizations spotlight new members to help everyone get to know them, while others spotlight longstanding members to show their appreciation. Your member spotlights can be done weekly, monthly, or as often as you like. 

Why Are Member Spotlights Important?

Member spotlights are simple to put together, but they can make a big difference at your organization. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider spotlighting your members:


1. It improves member retention:

Members who feel seen and appreciated are much more likely to renew their membership and remain a part of your community for years to come. Spotlighting new members can help them feel welcome and improve their onboarding experience


2. It boosts member engagement: 

When members have a chance to get to know each other, they’re more likely to engage with each other, participate in activities, and attend events. At the same time, when you start spotlighting members, you may notice that some members become more active in hopes of being the next to be spotlighted. 

 

3. It creates a sense of community:

When you share a member profile, you open up doors for conversations, professional relationships, and even friendships. People join membership organizations to feel a part of a community, and member spotlights help achieve exactly that. 


4. It expands your reach:

When you publish a member spotlight about someone, they’ll probably proudly share the profile with their personal and professional networks. This can help spread the word about your organization and potentially recruit a few new members. 


5. It helps attract new members: 

When prospective members come across your member spotlights, they get a sense of what being a member is like, and what current members enjoy about their experience with your organization. For some, this can be exactly what convinces them to join. 


Read More: How to Provide Member Development Opportunities in Your Organization

How Do You Write a Spotlight on a Member?

Creating a member spotlight is quite simple. 


Start by choosing a format. Many organizations share written spotlights as blog posts, on a dedicated section of their website, in an email, or in a printed newsletter. If you’re tech savvy (or have someone in your organization who is), you can do a video member spotlight. 


When choosing a format, think about the ways in which you already communicate with your members, as well as what kind of content they prefer. If you have a podcast, for example, it may make sense to incorporate member spotlights into the beginning or the end of each episode. 

Whichever format you choose, don’t forget to create shorter versions of your member spotlights to share on social media. 

 

Step 1: Choose a Member to Spotlight

This can be a new member, a longstanding member, or a particularly active one. 

 

Step 2: Reach Out To the Member

Ask them if they wouldn’t mind being the subject of your upcoming member spotlight. Give them an idea of what you’ll need from them, how the process will work, and where the profile will be published (for example, will it be public or accessible only to members). 

Show them examples of past member spotlights if you have them, or a similar profile from another organization. Be sure to let them know that participation is completely voluntary and they can choose to say no. 


Step 3: Prepare, Set Up, and Create

 

Written spotlight 


For written member spotlights, ask the member for a high-quality photo and send them a few questions to answer (much like an interview). It helps to send more questions than you’ll ultimately include, so the member can choose what they’d like to answer. 


Once you get the answers back, do a quick edit for grammar and spelling. Be sure to have the member approve the final version before publishing it. 


Video spotlight 


For video member spotlights, ask the member whether they’d like to do the interview in-person or virtually. For in-person interviews, you’ll need basic video recording equipment, such as a camera (or smartphone) and a microphone. For virtual interviews, you can simply record your Zoom conversation using your computer. 


Arrange a time and location for the interview to take place and be sure to send the questions to the member well in advance. This will allow them to choose which questions they’d like to answer, as well as prepare for the interview. 


Once you have the footage, you’ll need to do a bit of editing. It can be helpful to add a card at the start of the video that conveys basic information like the member’s name, occupation, membership start date, etc. You can also choose whether or not you, as the interviewer, will be in the video, if the questions will appear as slides in between the member’s answers, or if you want to skip showing the questions altogether (if you choose the latter, make sure the spotlight member includes the questions in their answers).  


Like with the written profile, be sure to show the final version to the member and get their approval. 

 

Step 4: Publish the Member Spotlight

Publish the member spotlight on your website and share a short snippet on social media (with the member’s permission, of course). 

Member Spotlight Template

Formatting your member spotlights in the same way can help create a sense of cohesion and familiarity for the readers. Before getting into the interview questions, start every member spotlight by sharing information like:

 

  • The member’s photo

  • Full name

  • Title or occupation

  • How long they’ve been a member

  • A fun fact or a quote


If using a video format, you can include the answers to these on a slide within the video or in the description. 

30 Member Spotlight Questions

Not sure what to ask your members when spotlighting them? We’ve got you covered! Browse this list of 15 professional / career related and 15 fun / general questions and pick the ones that are most relevant to your organization and members. 


Don’t forget that if you want your members to answer 4-6 questions, you should send them 8-12, so they can choose the ones they wish to answer. 

15 Professional Member Spotlight Questions

  • How long have you been a member?

  • What company or organization do you work at right now? If you're retired, where did you last work?

  • How has your career benefited from being a member?

  • Any tips or advice for new members?

  • What do you like most about being a member?

  • Who/what inspires you?

  • What has been your biggest professional achievement?

  • What career advice do you live by? Who gave it to you?

  • Future goals and aspirations for your career?

  • If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? Why?

  • What do you/did you love the most about your job?

  • What experiences and past roles have led you to where you are today?

  • What's a project you're working on right now? Why is it meaningful to you?

  • How do you define success?

  • What is the biggest career challenge you've had to overcome?

15 Fun Member Spotlight Questions

  • What are you reading or listening to?

  • Do you have any hobbies?

  • Favorite place you've traveled?

  • Fun fact that people probably don't know about you!

  • Where are you from? Where did you go to school? 

  • What's your go-to comfort food?

  • A recent movie you watched that blew you away?

  • Describe what a perfect day outside of work would look like for you?

  • What would be the theme song of your life right now?

  • Who is someone who's made a big impact on your life? Why?

  • What excites you the most right now?

  • What's your favorite memory?

  • Best restaurant you've ever been to?

  • What's the strangest thing you've ever done?

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?


Read More: 20 Questions to Keep Your Member Spotlights Fresh

Member Spotlight Examples

If you’re wondering what member spotlights actually look like in practice, check out these four examples from real nonprofits. Take note of what they do well and get inspired to start planning your own! 

1. International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)

Professional Association

 

IASP


The IASP has a dedicated section on their website for member spotlights. They ask career related questions, a question about why the member has joined the organization, and a fun question about what they do outside of work. 

2. Glass Art Society

Nonprofit

Glass Art Society

The Glass Art Society publishes their member spotlights as blog posts, and readers can access them by filtering to see only the “Member Spotlight” category. They include a photo of each member, as well as photos of their work. They ask questions about the member’s inspiration for their work and why they joined the organization. 


3. Vision Baptist Church of South Forsyth

Church

 

Vision Baptist Church of South Forsyth 1

Vision Baptist Church of South Forsyth 2

 

The Vision Baptist Church also shares their member spotlights as blog posts on their website. Unlike the examples we’ve seen so far, their profiles are written in third person and resemble a story, rather than an interview. 


4. Morris County Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce

 

Morris County Chamber of Commerce

 

This chamber of commerce shares their member spotlights in the form of 10-15 minute videos. The interviews are recorded virtually over Zoom and feel simply like a conversation between the member and the interviewer. 

Publish Your First Member Spotlight

Sharing member spotlights is a quick and easy way to keep your members engaged and show them your appreciation. Reach out to your members today and see who’d like to be featured first!


And if you’re looking for more ideas on how to improve member engagement at your organization, be sure to check out The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Membership Engagement Strategy.


We can’t wait to see your member spotlights!


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