In today’s political climate, capitalizing on your organization’s advocacy efforts could be a big win in terms of member recruitment. This especially holds true for young professionals: We know that having a strong cause to support is important to this group!
In fact, Marketing General Incorporated’s 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report has some interesting results regarding why associations and chambers should consider putting an emphasis on their advocacy efforts:
#1: When asked, “What do you believe are the top three reasons members join your organization?” - 21% of all respondents chose “Supporting advocacy” as one.
Out of all of the options, “Supporting advocacy” was sixth coming behind join reasons you would expect (networking, specialized industry best practices and information, attending conferences, etc.). There was even a spike among trade associations specifically: A whopping 32% believe that advocacy is a top join reason. Wow!
The takeaway: Organizations with individual memberships may see more opportunity to use advocacy in their membership recruitment, but no matter your organization type it’s worth trying if you’re struggling to attract new members! After all, your peers support the idea.
#2: When asked to describe an acquisition or recruitment strategy that your association has employed that has been very successful, and/or from which you learned something valuable....
One respondent said:
We highlight important, high-profile advocacy work and leverage it to demonstrate our powerful and unique role within the industry. Data points work well in these instances. For example, “8,000 members signed on to our community letter that was sent to Congress. Join us in the fight to protect the interests of…”
The takeaway: Every association and chamber has a role to play! Gather internal and external stakeholders to identify what that is, and create a message that’ll represent everything you’ve done to bolster your industry or community. “High profile” or not, it’s worth exploring how your mission fits into the larger conversation and sharing that with potential members as a reason to join.
#3: When asked, “What do you believe are the top reasons members DO NOT renew their membership in your organization? You may select up to three choices.” - only 2% of all respondents chose “Disagree with advocacy position of the association.”
It’s far down on the list, coming in 19th! And this time, there was little disparity between the total respondents and specifically trade associations (that 2% and 3%, respectively).
The takeaway: With little confidence among your peers that advocacy is a reason why potential members will actively choose not to join, what do you have to lose?!
In that spirit, here are some ways you could try using your advocacy efforts to recruit new members:
- Invite non-members to advocacy-related events, like letter-writing campaigns, fundraisers, and hosting speakers.
- Create a landing page on your website that details not only all of your advocacy efforts, but also any results you’ve seen from them. (Be sure to keep it updated!)
- Include your position on certain issues and advocacy action points in any recruitment materials.
- Partner with other organizations who hold the same values and attend their events to meet more potential members.
Looking for more ideas on member acquisition? We’ve got you! Check out our free guide, Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition.