Partnerships can be beneficial to just about every company and organization. They’re how you expand your reach, maximize your resources, and provide your members with additional value.
But what types of companies and organizations should you be partnering with? Are there opportunities out there that you haven’t even considered?
Below are three types of partnerships we recommend evaluating - and possibly even forming - in 2019:
1. Colleges and universities
Regardless of what industry you work in, chances are, there’s an educational tract for that industry. Figure out which nearby colleges and universities offer those degrees and consider reaching out to form some type of partnership.
What would a partnership like that look like? Well, perhaps it involves the creation of a student chapter. And for students who are a part of that chapter, upon graduation, they could get a special discount on membership.
What’s in it for the college and/or university? Well, it’s further education for students and an opportunity for them to gain more of a competitive advantage (by being involved on campus, possibly having a leadership position, etc.). And then for you, it’s an opportunity to reach emerging young professionals who are eager to start building their careers. A perfect match!
2. Other industry-related companies and organizations
While none of your members are entirely alike, there’s certainly overlap. They share certain interests, needs, pain points, etc. Think of any gaps that may exist in your organization’s offerings and then think of companies and/or organizations that best suit those needs. If your target market overlaps, chances are, there’s an opportunity for a partnership.
With a partnership like that, you could cross-promote each other in your marketing communications (in your email, on social media, etc.). If you both host events, perhaps you can get together and compare event calendars, agreeing not to hold events at the same time (to prevent people from having to choose, if that’s a concern). You could even recommend speakers to each other.
Rather than viewing companies and organizations in your industry as competition, think of it as added value for your members. That’s what a partnership should really aim to do.
3. Technology providers
Now you may be a little surprised at this one. You don’t typically think of technology providers as partners. But there are companies out there you can consider as such. For example, with some technology providers (MemberClicks included), you can consider them an extension of your staff. They provide you with ongoing learning opportunities, tips for best utilizing your system, one-on-one support when you need it, etc. They’re there to help your organization thrive.
Other technology providers are just that: They provide the technology and that’s about it. Now there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but just know that there are providers out there who can serve as partners as well. You just have to do the research and carefully vet your options.
And even though this type of partnership is much different than the other two, it still all boils down to the same thing: added member value. If the technology you’re using is member-facing, then you want to make sure it’s the best that it can be - at all times. And that’s where a partner really comes in handy.
Speaking of technology providers and the vetting process that goes with that, if you are in the market for an association management system, check out our free Buyer’s Guide below. It’s a step-by-step guide to help you identify the right AMS for your organization. (No buyer’s remorse for you!)