The Center for Association Resources


Is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Using members in the member development campaign

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Members are the heart and soul of non-profit organizations. Therefore it’s advantageous for your organization’s current members to play some role in the recruitment of new members. But what are the best ways to get your members involved in the member recruitment process, and to what extent should they be involved? There are traditional techniques as well as new techniques that incorporate social media to consider.

First, consider providing some type of incentive to members who can recruit people that they know to join. This rests on the philosophy that people are more likely to join or support an organization that they already know people in, and that members know people who have similar interests to them that may be in line with an organization’s mission statement or agenda. A for-profit example of this is Groupon’s model, which gives free products/services to members who can convince three of their friends to also join and make the purchase. The benefits from this approach, while essentially incorporating the structure of a “pyramid scheme,” provide the opportunity to expand your numbers exponentially.

Second, another approach you may take is to form a “street team” – recruit members to come out and volunteer at fairs, expos or other public places where they can give one-on-one presentations to others about your organization. This type of member-to-member recruitment is especially popular among young people who are looking for ways to become “activists” in their causes. Although it may be somewhat difficult to recruit people to volunteer large amounts of their time, this approach is appealing to some members because it caters to their desire to be “on the inside” of a cause that they’re passionate in.

Third, consider using social media tools to encourage your members to become involved in recruitment. There are several considerations and approaches that can incorporate social media, but I’ll discuss a few. First, consider having “membership drive days.” On Twitter, for example, many accounts take part in “Follow Fridays,” in which users tweet the handles of accounts that interest them and deserve to be followed. You may email your members, for example, and ask them to take part in Follow Friday. This will also create awareness among your members of your organization’s social media presence.

In another social media approach, you may encourage your members to create rich content for social media platforms, like their own YouTube videos with personal appeals for members to join. To provide incentive, you could make it a “contest” with prizes to see who can produce the most creative product. This approach directly involves members in creating messaging for the member recruitment campaign, and will increase member interest in your social media platform and subsequently your organization in general.

It doesn’t necessarily take slick PR or trained spokespersons to have a successful member recruitment campaign. By involving your members in the process, you’ll not only put more minds to work on the task, but also create stronger bonds between members and your organization.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , , ,

June 2020