Have You Thanked Your Members?
by MYB, on November 22, 2019
As cost-effective tools for member engagement go, few are as powerful as a simple “thank you.” Members---especially your committed volunteers---crave recognition for the investment of time and money they make on behalf of your association.
Don’t believe it? Ask any association CEO, who’ll tell you about the members who left unceremoniously because they weren’t feeling appreciated.
So, with Thanksgiving fast approaching, we thought it’d be a good time to look at some of the ways associations can show gratitude to their members.
A Super-Sized Thank-You Card. The North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants honors members who put in lots of volunteer time with copies of an inspirational book titled Gratitude, signed by every staff member. “This is an inexpensive but very personal way to thank our members,” says one staff member.
Remember Milestones. Sending a thank-you card to your members every year is a good idea, but it’s worth highlighting the milestone anniversaries among your members, whether it’s their fifth year with you as a member, or their 50th. (And don’t forget that critical first anniversary!)
Establish an Appreciation Week. The tech association ISACA hosts an annual Volunteer Appreciation Week to honor its engaged members. Staff filled out cards celebrating what those members do, and the association posted a video of the responses. Take a look:
And why limit it to just a week? The National Association of Home Builders spends every September honoring its associate members with member spotlights, videos, and awards.
Publicly Celebrate Their Membership. Association coach Frank J. Kenny recommends finding ways on your association’s website or newsletter to call out particular members on a regular basis. That’s a particularly valuable tactic for associations like chambers of commerce, he explains: “You want to go out of your way to thank the member in tangible ways that can help their business.”