The End of Membership as We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century

The End of Membership as We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century

Sarah L. Sladek

Language: English

Pages: 122

ISBN: 0880343435

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

How new membership models can help associations survive and thrive in today's evolving environment

The era when associations could count on members joining and renewing, even with a relatively unchanging menu of membership benefits, has passed. No, membership is not dead, argues author Sarah Sladek. But associations do need to change their thinking and their models. In The End of Membership As We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century, Sladek offers practical, proven ways that associations can respond to changes affecting participation such as the generational shifts in the workforce, social changes, and technology-eased access to content and community.

The End of Membership As We Know It explains:

  • How niche the new competitive advantage is
  • Why organizational culture has an enormous impact on recruitment and retention
  • What emerging member-prospects value and want
  • Why and how to focus on member ROI instead of program ROI
  • How to craft and deliver compelling benefits rather than features
  • How to extend your reach
  • Which emerging models are taking root and showing promise

Providing numerous real-world examples along with specific guidance, The End of Membership As We Know It is a must-have guide for moving your membership model into the future.












advancements. Yet, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down. Starting in 2000, associations would experience a barrage of challenges that would weaken their positions in the marketplace and forever alter their futures. Eventually, the bubble burst. In just six days—from March 10 to March 15, 2000—the NASDAQ lost nearly nine percent. Hiring freezes, layoffs, and consolidations followed in several industries. On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked New York and Washington DC,

same pricing or just slightly higher pricing as the members had for events, products, and services, the result would be more revenue. Nonmembers would preview the association, fall in love with it, and make the decision to join. And if they didn’t join, at least the association was getting their money. This a la carte approach may have seemed like a genius idea for membership conversion, but for most associations the concept backfired. It backfired because most associations didn’t offer enough

an association membership. Their values are different, which means the benefits each generation perceives as valuable are also different. Your association must address the wants and needs of the under-45 crowd because these people could not care less about your association’s history, insurance discounts, and annual conference. Your association needs to know what younger generations do care about because without them your association will struggle to survive. So, here’s what you must know. The

focused on in-person deliverables. In-person meetings, workshops, conferences, golf tournaments, meals, handshakes, winks, and smiles have been at the core of every association’s existence. It’s how they’ve delivered value and customer service. What most associations fail to realize is that technology has the same capability. Have you ever visited a website expecting something really great, only to come across a site that was outdated, text-heavy, and the opposite of charming in every way? When

solve for them? Put thought into your target membership and develop a list based on their key characteristics: geography, industry, title, age range, and other pertinent factors. Create a list of prospects compiled from current prospect lists, referrals from current members, trade publications, purchasing lists, and member lists of like-minded groups on LinkedIn. Remember, the best way to reach prospects is through relationships. Even if you have a list of perfect prospects, if you’re

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