Member Engagement and Culture Grow Association Revenues

President & CEO


Member Engagement and Culture Grow Association Revenues

 The key to consistent retention and revenue growth performance is engagement.  However the path to engagement is only achieved when Associations have the right culture. Taken together, member engagement and Association culture hold the key to revenue growth.

Yes, member engagement reassures CEO’s and Senior Managers that their value proposition is strong. At the same time, members need to see that their participation matters, that they will be heard and that their membership and sponsorship is more than an annual payment. Associations require the right culture, the best possible dynamic to consistently attract members and sponsors to policy committee meetings and annual conferences.

Unlocking the Path for Associations

Although Core Connections are crucial to Association growth, in and of themselves they are not enough. Maintaining member interest and attracting new members and sponsors has as much to do with engagement and culture as it does anything else.

As you’re reading this post, odds are this is likely one of hundreds of posts, tweets and e mail messages you view during a given workday.  In a connected global economy racing to achieve quarterly and annual earnings objectives is the norm. Certainly executives are under stress yet they need solutions. What becomes most important is setting the stage so executives see Associations as the critical solution.

Associations as a Third place between Work and Home

Many consumers enjoy that large Venti Starbucks cup of coffee to start the day. How many other stores in the U.S. or overseas have we seen or heard have the same long lines? It’s not just the morning rush either; during the day the tables are full, people are working away on their computers and friends and neighbors are catching up on their lives. In the evening people will meet and wind down, recap their day, have a treat, prepare for tomorrow.

The key to success for Starbucks? Making their stores a third place between work and home remains Howard Schultz’s passion. As Chairman, CEO and Founder of a global enterprise he created a sense of community, a place where people could go to establish that human connection. The Starbucks enterprise, despite fierce competition, remains a mainstay because their stores are a third place between work and home.

The Starbucks example is powerful yet simple. It starts with a cup of coffee but it is the human connection and sense of community that can make an Association a third place between work and home.

Member Engagement and Culture Grow Association Revenues

Recent posts on the Potomac Core Blog reflect innovation and double digit revenue growth at several Associations. Interestingly enough, member engagement is off the charts but each culture has the human connection and community focus. Revenue growth never happens on its own. It especially requires a community element with a strong human connection.As we’re thinking through the right strategies, let’s begin member engagement and Association culture. In addition to the dramatic success examples from the Business and Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), there are others that also report similar success. Utilizing this approach, one Association saw annual conference attendance, revenue and sponsor growth double in a two year time frame.

The tactical focus on Pain Points and Core Connections are essential to execute sales and growth strategies. These alone won’t motivate member engagement; a sense of community in a hyper competitive world engages and attracts members, sponsors and prospects. The end results will be sustained and durable revenue growth for Associations.

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