How Associations Can Boost Member Engagement: 6 Strategies to Consider

Engaging members is critical to the success of an association. Members who are involved, active, and invested in the organization are more likely to renew their membership, attend events, and support the association’s goals. As such, it is important to consider strategies that can help increase member engagement.

Here are six strategies that associations can use to boost member engagement:

Offer Value

The first step to engaging members is to provide them with services, resources, and benefits that they find valuable. Ensure that your offerings are relevant and up-to-date, and provide a range of options to cater to different segments of the membership base. Ask members what they need and make adjustments to your offerings to meet their expectations.

One of the biggest mistakes any organization can make is taking it’s members for granted. You are there for your members. They do not owe you loyalty. So you need to constantly offer value in order to keep them. 

Communicate Regularly

Communication is key to maintaining a connection with members. Regular updates, newsletters, and social media posts that keep members informed of the association’s activities, accomplishments, and opportunities help build trust and demonstrate that the association is actively working to meet its members’ needs.

Too often the only communication that comes through is when an association is trying to promote something. But you need to build a relationship with your members. If you want them to open your email, it’s better if they aren’t always expecting a CTMM (Call For More Money).

Encourage Participation

Members are more likely to be engaged if they feel like they have a voice in the organization’s decision-making process. Encourage participation in committees, events, and surveys to gather feedback and ideas. Make sure to consider and act on members’ suggestions and feedback to show them that their input is valued.

This can be as simple as hosting an open “office hours” with a member of the executive once a month. Give your members a voice and let them know it’s being heard. 

Build a Community

Creating a sense of community and belonging is crucial to member engagement. Offer opportunities for members to network, collaborate, and build relationships with each other, such as forums, social events, and mentorship programs. This helps members feel connected to each other and to the association, which can increase their sense of belonging and loyalty.

Technology has made this simpler than ever to accomplish. I am not only a speaker – I run a community of professional speakers. And using some very simple tools for networking (Zoom, Run the World) we get together every week to network and mastermind. We’ve even become friends!

Recognize and Reward

Recognizing and rewarding members for their contributions and achievements is a powerful motivator for engagement. Offer awards, certificates, or other forms of recognition to members who have made significant contributions to the association. This helps to create a culture of appreciation and respect, which can encourage members to stay engaged and involved.

I’m often shocked by how few organizations provide members with a digital badge and instructions on how to add them to their websites. Just letting your members leverage your credibility with their own customers is a reward in itself!

Continuously Improve

Continuously seeking feedback and improving the association’s offerings and services is critical to retaining and attracting new members. Regularly evaluate the association’s performance, assess member satisfaction, and make improvements based on the results. This shows members that the association is committed to meeting their needs and creating a better experience for them.

By implementing these strategies, associations can build a loyal and engaged membership base that supports the organization’s goals and helps drive its success. By doing so, the association can maintain its relevance and impact over time; reducing membership churn and attracting new members on a regular basis.

Aidan Crawford

Aidan Crawford is president of Short Circuit Media. His main job is helping consultants, trainers and professional speakers get their marketing in order by creating and implementing strategies to help them reach their target audiences.


Let’s have a quick chat about your marketing goals and see how I can help.
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