If you were asked that question, what would you say? I am asked this on a daily basis, and fortunately, this is your time to shine and wow a prospective member. Are you a member of a gym, a homeowners association, or your alumni association? Why do you continue to pay your membership dues or attend events year after year?
Consumers trust affiliations and involvement. If your business or chamber is a member of another organization, consumers generally consider it to be an indicator of good business practices, a reputable organization, and a leader in the business community. The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce, a study done by the Schapiro Group, summarizes this point nicely here.
Members join a membership organization because they believe in the cause it stands for and depend on you to advocate for their beliefs and rights. Whether it is at a town hall meeting or lobbying on Capitol Hill, the collective is stronger than the individual. Members of a certain level at the U.S. Chamber are eligible for a Free Enterprise Network customized advocacy portal. This website provides an organization’s members the ability to track legislation, become educated on the issues that face a specific industry, and effectively communicate with elected officials. Do you offer something similar to your members?
Access to resources and information
When polled, individual and small business members stated that access to the most up-to-date information and professional development or educational offerings were the most important benefits when deciding to join a membership organization. Access to career information and employment opportunities also ranked highly, according to ASAE. What can you offer your members that they cannot get elsewhere? How can you help your members be successful and grow?
The Federation Partnership Program is a great example. A U.S. Chamber member program, it allows a member’s small business members to also enjoy their own individual U.S. Chamber membership, just by being a member of their local chamber or particular trade association.
Make your members’ jobs easier
A great feature of U.S. Chamber membership is the ability to repurpose U.S. Chamber communications at no additional cost. Instead of employing a third-party writer or doing the work themselves, chamber and association executives can depend on the U.S. Chamber to take that task off their plate. What can you do to make your members’ lives easier?
Network of peers
Institute is an invaluable resource for chamber and association professionals across the country. Outside of time spent on-site with your colleagues, attendees develop a vast network of peers they would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Members look to membership organizations to provide them with a group of peers with whom they can share ideas and learn new ones.
As you look to increase your membership and demonstrate value, look back at your organization’s offerings and determine how you can do more for your members. If you are not already a member of the U.S. Chamber, contact Jessica Falborn to find out how we can help you better serve your members!