It’s easy to say you reward your members. You provide them with educational programs, networking opportunities, room for development and growth, etc.
But those are technically benefits of your association, and rewards are, by definition, typically something extra.
Rewards are important because they provide your members with a sense of satisfaction and achievement for deeds well done. So how can you reward your members without breaking the bank? Here are a few ideas:
1. Provide them with recognition
Everyone loves to be acknowledged. Just think back to when you were in school. Did you ever win an award or get named “the best?” It felt good, didn’t it? Well truth be told, that rush of excitement when being acknowledged never really goes away - even for adults.
If you have a member that’s gone above and beyond, reward them! A token such as a trophy or certificate can be a nice touch, but sometimes the best reward is just plain public acknowledgement. Try recognizing your members at meetings and events. Actions like this show you care, you value your members, and best of all, even as a busy association professional, you still recognize what’s going on.
2. Award them with industry-related prizes
Just the word “prize” makes our ears perk up. Is there a gadget in your industry that everybody wants to have? (Hello Apple watch.) Or perhaps a tradeshow that everyone wants to go to? If so, consider leveraging those as prizes for your hard-working members.
Now you don’t have to do this often because we realize, awards are expensive. But even if you do it just once or twice a year, it shows that 1) you value your members and 2) you’re in tune with their wants and needs.
3. Offer free association benefits
If you don’t currently have room in your budget to purchase/give out prizes, consider offering free association benefits instead. For example, if you have an upcoming conference, perhaps you can give one or two hard-working members free admission. This probably won’t set you back too much, and it could really delight your members. Plus, that’s guaranteed attendance at your next event!
At the end of the day, rewarding your members is all about making them happy. And you want them to be happy so they’ll stay with your organization.
For more tips on making your members happy and getting them to renew, check out our free guide, Best Practices for Membership Renewals, below!