How One Association Achieved 40% Membership Growth

membership growthHow One Association Achieved 40% Membership Growth. As Associations continue their struggle to find their membership growth sweet spot, other organizations are discovering a durable path to growth. A case and point is The American Occupational Therapy Association ( where Fred Somers, their Executive Director, proudly reports 40% cumulative growth. While the numbers are impressive, their heightened focus on member value and constant innovation is equally impressive.

Up at Night Issues

From the outset, it’s Somers understanding and forward vision that’s shows how closely AOTA’s member challenges are reflected in their impressive suite of products and services. Serving and representing a dynamic critically important profession, it’s member resources, including it’s newly launched website, display how closely connected to their member’s up at night issues the Association is.

Defied Gravity

With the Association celebrating its centennial year in 2017, the Board of Directors provided a detailed vision of the where the Occupational Therapy professional was heading. The vision galvanized the profession and motivated AOTA’s senior management team to reposition its value proposition and heighten its relevance inside the profession.

While modernizing their member acquisition tactics was important, it was astute strategies and strong execution which helped AOTA defy gravity and accelerate membership growth.

1. Re engaging the Academic Community – Motivated students and professionals entering the profession to see AOTA as a critical resource provide education and continuing education.

2. Bringing younger professionals into the leadership pipeline – Attracted more Occupational Therapy professionals to membership at earlier career stages.

3. Establishing National Partnership Projects with Larger Employers – Delivering customized value to this segment and quickly demonstrated higher ROI (return on investment).

Retention and Member Engagement Opportunities

Despite remarkable membership growth, AOTA’s Somers readily acknowledges that success is a journey so much more than it is a destination. Although the Association achieves approximately 85% membership retention, AOTA and Somers are utilizing data to determine improvement opportunities:

How One Association Achieved 40% Membership Growth

Fluidity, flexibility and ongoing product and service innovations must be data driven in order to achieve large scale membership growth. AOTA’s member growth success reinforces how data, when employed effectively, helps Associations develop products and services that members need in order to be successful in their profession.

As discretionary member dollars become less available, Association memberships will continually face heightened scrutiny. Both Fred Somers and AOTA provide more than a beacon of hope. Rather they provide a successful business model that could be applied and help other Associations satisfy their members and grow their memberships.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at

Is Your Association Losing Conference Market Share?

associationIs Your Association Losing Conference Market Share? In several cases, Associations cite lower attendance, drop in sponsorship and lower net performance. A market trend revealing the rise of for profit competitors is making the conference landscape even more challenging. For profit companies have considerable marketing prowess and are a force to be reckoned with. However, Associations conceivably have even greater competitive advantages than they might have thought.

Impediment or Opportunity

For profit competitors exist only on the periphery of member company business concerns. Could the motivation be perceived as transactional and purely profit driven? Quite possibly yes. On the other hand, Associations have mission focus and longer term relationships. Members view their Associations as their partners and maintain a connection point beyond profit motive.

Associations can leverage their competitive mastery by playing to their strength. Their long term connectivity means greater understanding. Associations reinforce their member bonds when they provide conference solutions that address member pain points. The Association’s  mission focus, content platform and long term relationships place for profit competitors at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Keep in mind that where for profit companies have marketing capacity, Associations have content, member pain point connections and relationships that run deep in their culture.

Associations can surpass for profit competitors in the conference space by leveraging inherent and powerful advantages.

6 Ways Associations Win the Conference Competition

 1. Data driven strategies connect Association to members. Use member survey data to quantify and member pain point needs. The data is the foundation for conference agendas, planning and execution.

2. Lead with your strength. Utilize members throughout conferences to lead and serve as panel experts and present at plenary sessions.

3. Outperform the competition. Consistently conduct best in class content conferences. Provide memorable take away solutions for attendees.

4. Go beyond traditional marketing and promotion. Invest in multi channel high impact marketing promotion and public relations strategy.

5. Pick cherries where cherries grow. Pinpoint traditional and social media outlets where prospective attendees consume information. Flood these markets with specific pain point promotion.

6. Nothing sells better than committed members.Utilize Volunteer Leaders to articulate value, and encourage traditional constituencies to attend conferences. E mails from them will much more likely be opened and read anyway!

The Networking Advantage

Associations by their nature are communities of people who share policy, professional and or business interests.  Members value and in some cases treasure these relationships. All Associations possess this advantage and should think of new and creative approaches to help their members network.

Many conference attendees measure the success of their conference experience by the number of new relationships they minted. On boarding networking appointment software in conference registration platforms is a certain winner. Associations should make the investment (if they have not already done so), this is one expense that ROI stamped all over it.

Is Your Association Losing Conference Market Share?

Associations like everyone else must live, function, and thrive in challenging times. When it comes to competing with for profit conference providers, Associations have considerable competitive advantages. Despite heavy investment by for profit competitors, Associations have  strong foundations where members rely upon them to deliver solutions year after year.

AssociationFor Tino Mantella, President & CEO, Technology Association of Georgia (, the focus is on member pain points and meetings that address and satisfy those needs. In a seven year window, the Association experienced 600% membership growth, solid conference attendance and strong sponsor revenue performance. Leveraging their existing Association assets while addressing member pain points keeps them relevant and ahead of competitors.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at

4 Pain Point Takeaways

 pain point takeaways4 Pain Point Takeaways. Regardless of the procedure, Hospital stays are daunting for any patient. A recent experience showed that under the right conditions a patient’s pain expectations can be addressed. Upon discharge it was clear that a chorus of Doctors, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Physicians’ Assistants, hospital staff and volunteers had successfully addressed the patient’s pain point needs. 4 Pain Point Takeaways learned from this experience can be as powerful if they are applied in the Association marketplace.

Engagement, Compassion, and Skill

The complexities facing Hospitals and Associations are striking. What are the most obvious? Both face a fluid and complex marketplace.  How so? All encompass market needs, constantly changing technologies, cost pressure and patients/members who vote with their feet and go somewhere else.

4 Pain Point Takeaways:

 1. Engagement

  • Consistently identify, quantify and track pain points
  • Partner with members to discuss and formulate solutions
  • Members experience a “We focused” approach to challenges and solutions
  • Members perceive the pain point solutions as connected to personal and business objectives

 2. Culture of Compassion

  • Create, reinforce, and augment a member centered culture
  • Recognize and enthusiastically encourage compassionate centered staff
  • Respond timely and appropriately
  • Always establish and reinforce bonds of empathy

 3. Skill

  • Hire highly skilled team members
  • Provide training to maintain high skill levels
  • Benchmark skill levels against competition, make necessary adjustments

 4. Data

  • Survey members and determine if pain point needs have been addressed
  • Establish performance metrics to measure pain point satisfaction
  • Quickly identify and address performance improvement needs
  • Implement performance reward programs recognizing top performers

Community and the Human Connection

Another important lesson from the Hospital experience? Never discount or dismiss the power of Community and the Human Connection. After all, patients select Hospitals in the same way Association prospects make choices on where they will be the most comfortable. In a recent Post (, the importance of community and human connection was cited in Starbucks global success story. Starting with a cup of coffee, Starbucks’ success, in large part, relies on human connection and the sense of community they provide.

In the end, a sense of community in today’s competitive world attracts patients as it does Association members.

4 Pain Point Takeaways 

Isaac Asimov once said that “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Surgery and a two day hospital stay provided pain relief and a learning experience. The Hospital Community, through it’s impressive performance, showed how powerful pain point strategies can work. Using these approaches, Associations gain added capacity, helping them build member connections and lasting relationships.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at

3 Core Strategies to Win New Members

core strategies3 Core Strategies to Win New Members. Long gone are the days when corporations join Associations on the basis of “good citizenship.” The severe downturn resulted in high volume dues reductions and membership cancellations across the board. While some signs in the economy are promising, the recovery is not as robust as many had hoped. New member acquisition is still a steep hill to climb and it requires new thinking. Building a strategy from the Prospect’s Business Perspective helps Associations sharpen their market focus and grow membership.

Life Inside Prospect Companies

Corporations manage their businesses for maximum cash flow, and spending decisions must reflect positively on quarterly and annual earnings. Also, having sufficient liquidity to invest in acquisitions and having ample cash resources to withstand another downturn is a common theme. How do Associations and membership organizations come to grips with this reality? By developing campaign strategies from a prospective member’s vantage point.

Times Have Changed

The view inside the C Suite at prospect companies is decidedly different than the 1980’s. Today, fewer executives are tasked with performing more functions and in many situations the majority of sales and earnings growth comes from outside the United States. The task load is substantial.  More meetings and increased travel makes it nearly impossible to get and keep an executive’s attention for more than a few minutes.

Senior corporate executives must deliver results, and they are not interested in membership pitches. They need solutions that help them and their companies achieve business objectives.

 3 Core Strategies to Win New Members

1. View the marketplace as Prospect Executives do

Prospect companies, similar to members, are tuned to their own channel “WIIFM” What’s In It For Me. They join Associations where they perceive their participation moves the needle and help them achieve their business objectives. Research prior to meetings is essential. Utilize a legislative and regulatory impact statement to confirm and quantify critical needs. Determine how pending regulations or legislation impedes the company’s ability to meet profit targets in the next five years. (

2. Provide regulatory, legislative or training solutions that help prospects achieve results

Cite specific examples of how membership contributes to their bottom line. Utilizing the “pain point” issues, show how participation helps the company achieve their business objectives. Point to tangible examples of how other companies (customers and competitors) leverage their membership to achieve their business objectives. Have contact information available if prospects want to contact other executives for references. Nothing sells new members better than satisfied members!

3. Have an engagement culture assuring impact on policy and the Association’s overall direction.  

Not every company can have a senior executive serving on an Association’s board. As a result, they expect an Association culture that welcomes, considers and accepts new input. With time and financial resources short prospects expect a community focus where everyone works collaboratively to achieve the same objectives.

3 Core Strategies to Win New Members

Looking at recruitment from a Prospect’s Business Perspective helps Associations and membership organizations open more doors and secure new members. Some CEOs are seeing appreciable success. An Association is enjoying their third year of above plan new member growth and a different CEO reports consistent double digit new member growth.

One Association Executive noted “the cookie cutter and boiler plate approach no longer works. Prospects want allies to help them achieve success in the marketplace.” Absolutely correct, anything less than that will close more prospect’s doors than it will open.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at

Is Your Association a Market Leader?

associationIs Your Association a Market Leader? Legendary business leader and former GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch said ” if you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”  Rightly so, Market Leaders consistently leverage their marketing prowess to dominate the sectors in which they serve. Failure to lead and compete effectively will result in a market share loss for Associations.

Market Leader Versus Market Participant

It’s risky for any Association to stay back with the pack. New coalitions, Association’s and Law Firms actively seek corporate funding tailored to meet short and long term policy or regulatory objectives. Competitive pressure builds constantly, Associations can ill afford to be passive.

Market Leaders that are astute: measure their impact in real time, execute multi channel marketing and communications strategies and continuously engage stakeholders and elected officials. They also build upon market strength, maintain their uniqueness, drive powerful value propositions while they meet and exceed their revenue objectives.

3 Strategies To Become a Market Leader

1. Build A Brand Fortress. Create and execute an ongoing marketing and communications program that emphasizes Association’s value proposition: providing insights, connections and advocacy for the industry. Be viewed as the premier Association leader in a sector. Issue experts visible in: social and traditional media, among elected officials and regulators.

2. Help Member’s Overcome Obstacles. The Association’s policy and regulatory agenda, grass roots programs, are harmonized to help members overcome legislative and regulatory hurdles.

3. Engage Members. Members view the Association as their strategic ally and their dues payments are perceived as an investment instead of an expense. The culture is seen as a community, members are invited to participate and share their perspectives. Staff, Members and Board Members see their roles as interconnected, everyone is working to achieve the same outcomes.

Market Leaders Consistently Execute and Deliver

Since they have a strong foundation, the Market Leader has clear cut objectives: Achieve policy and regulatory objectives, drive new membership growth, sponsor renewal and growth, sponsor sales, conference attendance growth.

Execution is a key aspect of a Market Leading Association, so much so that “getting it done” is ingrained in their DNA. Firing on all cylinders, they have regular team meetings to celebrate success and/or determine corrective steps to stay on target, performance rewards successful member engagement, advocacy and revenue growth throughout the year.

Is Your Association a Market Leader?

For several Associations, success and excellent performance are deliberate. These groups successfully transitioned from Market Participant to Market Leader. One Association became a market leader, built a brand fortress connected to member objectives and engaging members. By doing so they almost tripled revenues in just over two years. Another Association restructured an underperforming Division and achieved their first net gain performance in five years.

According to a recent Survey by the Business Roundtable, the “uncertain political environment” and unresolved U.S. Debt Crisis were identified as reasons for the economy showing only slight improvement. Achieving Market Leader status is as necessary as it is essential for Associations. As Companies evaluate their Associations, you can bet the Market Leaders will appear on the list of memberships to renew.  (

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at


Member Perspective: Should We Renew?

member perspective

On any given day a corporate executive receives a renewal invoice from an Association or a Society. By week’s end, several more renewal invoices cross the same desk. What happens next? It’s critical to know what happens next or chances are a letter of resignation is on the way. In an uncertain economy, corporations and individuals hold memberships to a very high standard. Organizations should look at renewals from a member’s perspective, doing so will help secure the dues and the member relationship. (

Life Inside Member Companies

A corporate executive that survives downsizing wears several hats. The days are packed with meetings, and weeks seemingly are spent visiting customers. Complicating matters, Publicly Held Companies are laser focused on quarter and year end results. Earnings results must meet or exceed stockholder expectations, there is no wiggle room. Life on the inside is tough, what can Associations and Societies do to uncover opportunities to uncover opportunities and deliver value?

3 Questions that  Help Earn Renewals

1. What is the dollar impact of policies on members? Not less than six months prior to renewal, meet with dues decision makers. Bring an legislative and regulatory impact statement to the meeting. Inquire how these issues will impede the company from achieving profit targets in the next five years. Vigorously quantify and qualify policy impact. (

2. Are your member’s participating in areas that impact them? Knowing the policy areas that have the greatest impact, review and confirm  participation in the most critical areas to the company. Some executives may have transitioned out to a new company. If so, there is a new opportunity to engage new executives. Ask the company contact for an introduction.

3. Can we Confirm a Policy Briefing on “Pain Point” Issues with Issue Experts? Leverage an opportunity to demonstrate value on the member company’s “Pain Point Issue” Concerns. Ask the dues decision maker to invite the C Suite and executives to participate in a Conference Call, Video Conference or Webinar focused on their business outcomes. Make it easy to say yes by having a prepared invite for the company contact to send out right away.

Member Perspective: Should We Renew?

Member PerspectiveBusy executives welcome the opportunity to share their concerns.  However they appreciate an organization’s commitment to provide service in areas that impact their business objectives. Companies are tuned to their own channel “WIIFM” What’s In It For Me.” When they share their concerns, they will respond positively when they see engagement in areas that impede their business.

Unquestionably member renewals comprise a substantial portion of Association and Society revenues. Staying focused from a member perspective helps organizations focus on the dues payers.

Associations and  Societies around the country using this or similar approaches have celebrated success many times over. Secure membership bases helped some Associations reach stretch goals that may not have been possible otherwise. One Association doubled membership while another reached past the $1 million threshold in net dues growth. What made the difference at these Associations and Societies? The ability to see member business objectives as their own and, developing solutions to help members overcome impediments to meet or exceed their goals.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at

6 Ways to Boost Conference Attendance

boost conference attendance

In the aftermath of the great recession, growing conference attendance has become a herculean task. Tighter travel budgets, greater demand on executives’ time and more competitors are forcing Associations and Societies to modify the way they market conferences. What’s clear is organizations that use a multi-faceted marketing approach are meeting and in some cases exceeding forecasts.

Tougher Competition for Conference Dollars

 In today’s world, a well-funded marketing strategy is a must for Association and Society conferences. Why? Sharper marketing by competitors will stifle attendance growth and limit an organization’s profitability and net operating revenue. Reflecting upon recent conference performance one Association Executive said, “It’s time to raise our game on the marketing front, we rely on conferences to fund new programs and initiatives.”

With higher stakes on conference attendance and profitability, it only makes sense to recruit outside expertise.  In years past securing an outside public relations/marketing firm was viewed as a luxury, but not any longer, it’s becoming more of a necessity. Since outside public relations/marketing firms also compete for clients, they can be flexible in pricing. Associations and Societies can leverage negotiations and structure contracts in a win/win manner.  Asking a firm to be a partner, and work for an agreed upon fee for service up front with generous incentives if attendance meets or exceeds budget could be attractive.

6 Ways To Boost Conference Attendance

A fully integrated marketing approach will set the stage for strong conference attendance. What matters most is that Associations and Societies utilize multiple platforms to proactively and aggressively reach target markets and achieve or exceed attendance targets:

1. Conference promotion.  Provide: Conference Video, Save the Date Postcards, Sponsorship prospectus, brochures, advertisements. Update Website weekly with all materials.

2. Media engagement. Pitch reporters to attend and conduct interviews. Also, ask media to serve as panel moderators.

3. Extend reach. Implement a barter ad program, reach out to key publications and arrange advertising agreements for the media outlets to publicize conferences in exchange for attendance, booth and selective moderating roles at programs.

4. Ad placement.  Secure print (local and national business journals) and online ads.

5. Affiliate marketing agreements. Send promotional emails to sponsor’s membership base, conference listing on affiliate sites, and exposure in their newsletters.

6. Target E Mail. Segmented direct mail, email. Purchase additional email addresses.

Added Sweetener

Conference registrants appreciate the ability to confirm networking meetings when they register. If your Association or Society offers this service, communicate it across all platforms. This capability is a “must have” and organizations that don’t have this capability should make the investment as soon as possible. In many cases, networking is a key reason why executives attend events. Adding this dimension to conferences will encourage more attendance.

6 Ways to Boost Conference Attendance

BackBay Communications was tasked with elevating awareness, attracting attendance and sponsorship for a financial conference in the height of the recession. Bill Haynes, the firm’s President, and his team developed and executed an integrated marketing campaign that covered the waterfront for their client. By driving powerful messaging through print and online advertising, direct mail, email, event marketing, affiliate marketing, website content, video and media relations, the conference attendance exceeded expectations and broke records.

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg once noted “The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”  Making the investment in an outside Public Relations/ Marketing Firm might look risky but it’s an investment worth making for Associations and Societies.

boost conference attendanceFor a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at




Member Engagement CEO?

member engagement CEOMember Engagement CEO? 

In today’s world the notion of “lead, follow or get out of the way” is a non starter. Durable volunteer armies are built on foundations of connectivity, transparency, collaboration and cooperation. The Member Engagement CEO needs those traits to transform their organizations into “we focused” communities where members impact outcomes.

5 Characteristics of a Member Engagement CEO

1. Culture Keeper. As a steadfast leader, the Member Engagement CEO permeates a member engagement culture throughout their Associations and Societies.  Rightly so, Management expert Peter Drucker points out that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If creating a member engagement community is the CEOs vehicle then culture is its engine.

2. CCCIC. The Communicator, Convener  & Collaborator in Chief, works seamlessly with the board, senior managers, staff and the membership.  He/she is always seeking feedback from members on products and services, obtaining guidance through focus groups and member surveys. Working with and coaching staff to devise solutions, the CCCIC keeps their eye on the ball. Policies, programs and activities continually reflect the connection to member business and personal objectives.

3. 20-20 foresight. The member engagement chief executive must have capacity to see around the corners. In a world where business cycles change at the drop of a hat, next year arrives faster than ever. Anticipating member business challenges keeps the Member Engagement CEO ahead of the game.

4. Inspirational.  Not so much by what is said but how it is said inspires and motivates stakeholders. Setting a tone of mutual respect and vulnerability, these leaders instill trust, and achieve strong team performance.  Member engagement CEO’s set high expectations and are found in the trenches always supporting their team.

5. Innovator. Challenging themselves and their team to constantly identify what’s next. Developing cutting edge solutions that help their Society or Associations maintain their uniqueness in the marketplace is in their DNA.

5 Real Time CEO Successes   

Demonstrating the potency of a “Culture Keeper,” an Association CEO unleashed an era of member engagement and remarkable revenue and member growth. Setting the culture at the outset positioned this CEO to far surpass expectations. For sure, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

As the “CCCIC,” a different Association CEO made the strategic plan update and the member survey a platform to further unite the community. The Association, despite a challenging market recapitalized its reserves, improved member retention and is seeking global growth opportunities.

In another example a CEO helped an Association with “20-20 foresight.”  A training or certification program that was previously dismissed is now being vetted for implementation. Executives coming into one professional field lacked background and skills and the Association is close to supporting the member’s business needs.

This CEO helped define what it means to be “Inspirational.” After turning around the financial fortunes of an Association, their leader insists on helping generate revenue. Staff at the Association agree their CEO is demanding, but noted that their Chief Executive is determined, hard working and fair. Needless to say, impressive financial results continue.

Always looking for “What’s Next” keeps this Association way ahead of the competitiveness curve.  This “Innovator” CEO uses a passion for the Association’s mission to develop new services every year of the last ten. Revenues grew as did member satisfaction and retention.

Member Engagement CEO? 

What rests at the center of the Member Engagement CEOs success? The drive and the extraordinary skills to build a durable volunteer army and a financially successful community.

In a tumultuous era for Associations and Societies, successful leaders embrace the mantra of the Member Engagement CEO. If proof is in the pudding, then each CEO example cited helped  bake the cake.

member engagement CEO









Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at,,and

Member Engagement Community Wanted

member engagement communityMember Engagement Community Wanted

 Associations and Societies have clear objectives: build volunteer armies and thrive financially in order to support their missions. They can only be successful when their Associations and Societies are seen as opportunities for companies and executives to achieve business, and professional outcomes.  With clear objectives, organizations require a path forward, helping them build durable armies and achieving solid financial performance.

CEOs understand a culture change is necessary to construct a Member Engagement Community.  Management Visionary Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, Leader to Leader Institute notes (The Key to Cultural Transformation, Leader to Leader, 1999)” Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.”

Shaping a Member Engagement Community requires Associations and Societies to: Ask the tough questions, construct an effective data set, and leverage a robust top to bottom process involving staff, and members. Combined, these elements unite stakeholders under one banner and launch their journey to transformation.

3 Steps to a Member Engagement Community

With building a volunteer army and financial durability as outcomes, Associations and Societies can utilize three steps to shape their cultures and build Member Engagement Communities:

 1.  Ask the Tough Questions

In terms of members, will they

  • Perceive an ability to impact outcomes?
  • Have interests and concerns that are understood and tracked?
  • See a culture of we/they?
  • Be engaged in activities that have positive impact on company or personal priorities?
  • View the Association/Society as connected to their personal or business objectives?

2. Construct a Data Set

  • Conduct a competitive assessment with other Associations/Societies.
  • Survey member needs, interests and concerns.
  • Compare survey results and competitive assessment  to retention and revenue performance.

3. Implement a Member Engagement Culture

  • “We” focused community where members impact outcomes.
  • Members participate “as one community” going in the same direction.
  • Policies, programs and activities reflect the connection to business and professional objectives.

Choices and Competition

Members know they have choices to advance business and professional objectives. Lack of connectivity means companies and executives may vote with their feet and spend limited  dollars somewhere else.

Member Engagement Community Wanted

Member engagement communities thrive. One Association doubled annual conference attendance and revenues motivating member engagement.  In another example, an issue advocacy Association increased member fly in participation from two different part of the U.S.

These Associations also grew revenues and increased member participation because of their transformation to a higher level of member engagement.

Large change is difficult, however the failure to deliver change hampers member engagement. If Trade Associations and Societies want to build volunteer armies and thrive financially, members must have the ability to impact outcomes and have capacity to advance company or personal priorities. Associations and Societies who make the transformational changes, will increase member satisfaction, build volunteer armies and deliver revenue growth.

member engagement community









Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available for all Association Executives at,,and

Business Outcome Profile

business outcome profile

Business Outcome Profile

Getting the final membership commitment is difficult for many Associations. Companies remain uncertain about the economic environment and as a result they remain hesitant when it comes to joining another Association. Despite market resistance, new member growth and positive financial reports are expected at board meetings. CEOs continue to face interesting challenges on the membership growth front.

Plato reminds us that “necessity is the mother of invention” and thankfully so. Utilizing member data, Associations can construct a more innovative game plan to grow new members. CEOs and Senior Managers will be pleased to learn, notwithstanding impediments, that new member growth is well within their reach.

Business Outcome Strength Profile

Developing an Association Member Business Outcome Profile reflecting the most active and participative companies is a powerful resource for CEOs seeking a path to new member growth:

  1. How connected are we to Member Business Outcomes?
  2. What types of companies/ sectors actively participate in the Association today?
  3. Which products, services and policy committees draw consistent participation from these sectors?
  4. What are the pain point reasons motivating current members to participate as actively as they are?
  5. Which prospect companies reside in the same companies/sectors as your most active members?

Associations can develop an effective list of prospects in the same companies/sectors  as the most active members. Why? If the Member Business Outcome Profile shows strong support for the Association among existing members, it becomes more likely that prospects will be open to membership consideration.

Move Quickly

Having the benefit of data revealing strong support in key companies/sectors, new member recruitment should become an Association wide effort. Greater participation is a bellwether and Association CEOs should motivate all stakeholders to help achieve new member growth:

  • Board Members. Share the Member Business Outcome Profile and strategy with the Board. They’ll want to know their business outcomes are being met. Ask them to be on the team and open doors for staff to meet with prospects. Express appreciation and acknowledge their help at Board meetings.
  • Staff. Encourage staff throughout the Association to join the effort to grow membership. Keep them motivated through communication, share regular progress reports. 

Business Outcome Profile 

One Association achieved its first profitable year in almost five years utilizing a Business Outcome Profile. The following year they achieved the best growth performance in six years. Several other Associations doubled membership, achieved record sponsor performance and drove consistent  90% + retention performance.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” said Albert Einstein. The global economy, and economic uncertainty make it difficult for Associations to achieve their new member objectives.  However, a  Business Outcome Profile identifies strategies to to link the Association with memebr business outcomes and create more opportunity to achieve and even surpass new member growth objectives.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at

the outcome profile