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The MemberClicks Blog

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Which of These Volunteer Trends Will You Try This Year?

Asking for volunteers and really getting the most out of their activity can be a struggle. Everyone feels the “there are only so many hours in a day” sentiment, your members included. It can be difficult for them to commit to yet another regularly scheduled activity - let alone give it their all when it comes after a crazy day at the office.

It becomes quite the conundrum when your association relies on volunteers to provide certain benefits, or even to function. If you can identify with these difficulties, it might be time to rethink your association’s volunteer structure. Take a look at these trends and think about how they could fit into (or even replace!) the ways you currently drum up volunteers:

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The One Thing You Need to Know for Your Association’s Web Redesign

Posted by Christina R. Green


You can play with button colors; you can experiment with fonts; but the one thing you need to concentrate on when you’re considering a website redesign for your association is what you do.


What your association does - in real language. The way people talk.

Not as a mission statement that sounds something like:

To increase the role and expression that <insert group your association represents> hold in society through legislation, education, and authority, providing access to diverse services to stay relevant in tomorrow's world… etc., etc.

Mission statements used to focus on combining the most obscure, erudite terms imaginable in order to confuse the reader into thinking the group was extremely important and well-read. Today, your audience is looking for something simpler in words they don’t need to consult a dictionary for.

The Most Meaningful Change Your Association can Make to its Website

In addition to improving user experience and navigation, simplifying your content is one of the most helpful things you can do for recruitment.

This doesn’t just mean simpler words. It means:

  • Shorter sentences
  • Smaller paragraphs
  • Text callouts
  • Bolder images
  • Headers that tell, not hint to content (better for skimming)
  • Using bullets or icons for short text lists

Simplifying your content is also done through sharing a simpler message. Decide what benefit your association gives its members and use this to simplify your mission statement and content.

Why do your Members Join?

The benefit you provide is not something concrete like a monthly newsletter or nebulous like “helping advance the importance of engineering (for instance) in our society.” Very few engineers are likely to join your group because they’ve had a lifelong desire to advance engineering as a concept.

But they will join to advance their careers or hear about job openings first.

Drill down to the most basic need you provide your members. If you answered networking, you’re not drilling down far enough.

Why do they want to network?

Career advancement? Cultivating interest in their future publication? Continuing their education?

What pain are you solving for?

When you reach the pain, you have the basis for your mission statement and content.

Members don’t join for a catalogue of features they receive from membership. They join your association because you:

  • Provide them with something they can’t get on their own
  • Save them from something
  • Help them attain something (otherwise) unreachable

Use what you do for your members for the basis of your content redesign and you’ll see more people want to be a part of your association.

If they have a need that you fulfill, you’ll have loyal members, but it’s up to you to help them understand how you fulfill it.

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Topics: association leadership, membership management, Association Views, association software

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