In our research and experience in partnering with associations, we at Tecker International have found that members are more likely to engage and volunteer if their organizations are:
- Enlisting them to work on issues, initiatives, and projects that matter to them.
- Demonstrating that their work is making a positive difference in the lives of others, their communities or their organizations, and
- Providing an enjoyable experience for involvement.
We have also discovered that what has not changed in engaging members is that:
- Engagement remains key to the success of an association/community of like-minded individuals.
- Engagement increases the likelihood of member retention and satisfaction.
- Most people become engaged because they are invited.
- Face-to-face interaction is still important, and
- Personal and professional recognition is still vital.
However, in engaging members today, here are some differences from the past:
- The definition of “engagement” has expanded, from attendance at meetings, or purchasing products or services to leveraging the website, collaborating with online communities, and responding to posts on social media.
- The competition for engagement has increased with other organizations, outside interests, time constraints, etc.
- The amount of time per engagement opportunity has declined.
- Members’ preference toward project-based work, micro-volunteering, and task forces has increased, and
- The comfort level with virtual engagement continues to grow.
What is at the heart of a successful organization? Engaged members. Want to increase their engagement level? Here are three ways:
- Gain a greater understanding of your members’ motivations and values for belonging, and align your volunteer opportunities with them;
- Commit to demonstrating how member engagement helps to achieve your organization’s strategic goals; and
- Consider creating a chart that shows a member progression of involvement with various volunteer jobs and time commitments.
What are you doing to earn engagement from your members?