It’s easy to say you reward your members. “Of course my members see many rewards!” Small staff association leaders cry. “This association provides incredible education programs! Unparalleled networking! Opportunity for leadership, growth, and development!” You’re right. Your association provides those benefits which can be very rewarding, but aren’t rewards by definition a little something extra? Here are some rewards that make a difference and can really delight your members without creating a ton of extra work for you, or breaking your budget.
Remember how thrilled you were to receive a prize at school when you were a student? Although you are dealing with adults now, that little rush of excitement with acknowledgement for a job well done never really goes away. A token like a trophy or a certificate is always a nice touch, but sometimes the biggest reward is as simple as publicly calling out a member for being awesome at an association event or meeting. It shows you care, that members are valued, and that you as a busy association leader notice what’s going on. It can also open the door for other members to congratulate your hard worker and inspire them to step up as well.
2. Industry-relevant prizes
There’s always some piece of equipment, technology gadget, class, or even another type of membership that can benefit your members in any type of industry. Perhaps there's a trade show worth going to? What is the buzz around your association’s industry lately? What’s the gadget everyone wants? A reward like this shows that the association leadership is in tune with the industry and really engaged in the needs of members. Plus if there’s a valuable industry reward on the line that will directly impact work, it’ll be highly sought-after. Watch your engagement and participation go up! If you have no idea what would work as a reward for your industry, ask around. Sometimes it may be as simple as a new release book or a class at a local college.
3. Free association benefits
Everyone is trying to save a dime these days, especially with summer vacation coming around the corner and gas prices going up. How about you reward a particularly engaged and active member with free admission to your next event? It probably won’t set you back too much (depending on the event, of course) and it could really delight your member. Plus it’s some guaranteed attendance at your next event!
4. Program perks like AchieveLinks
If you’re a MemberClicks customer, do you know about our partnership with Affinity Center and AchieveLinks? You can read all about it by clicking here. AchieveLinks offers branded credit cards and a variety of discounts and merchandise just for members spending the way they normally would. Everyone loves a discount, and it helps your association too!
One word of caution: never gift wrap work and call it a prize. For example, you may see the obvious growth and networking benefits to being a leader on a committee or taking charge of an event, but your members may very well see it as more work, a time commitment, and you just heaping a commitment they didn't ask for on top of their already busy schedules. Saying that a member is recognized for their achievements with the opportunity to lead and achieve more isn't seen as the opportunity it really is. When it comes to prime volunteer opportunities, let your members step up!
Finally the result of freshly rewarded members is ongoing advocates for your association. Delighted members return, volunteer, and bring their friends. And that works out great for everyone!
Need some more help with member engagement? Download our free guide!