Your nonprofit association used to be at the top of the charts.
It was the go-to organization for information, education and networking in your industry, cause or profession. Your annual meetings registration list read like a Who’s Who of those in the profession. The movers and shakers touted your benefits.
Yet in the past couple of years, something has changed. Your membership declined. Your membership retention rates decreased. Your annual meetings have reached a plateau. Few purchase your webinars.
5 Association Rubber Stamp Failures
Here are five reasons your nonprofit association is failing.
1. You are not unique.
With social media and social networking, anyone can form their own community of likeminded individuals.
Your association is no longer the only group in town. It is no longer the only one offering information, education and connections to likeminded individuals.
Now people can get free information, free education and don’t have to pay a gatekeeper to find likeminded individuals.
So what else do you have to offer?
2. Your value is worthless.
Ok, ok, you send an annual value statement to your membership trying to convince them why they should pay $375 (or more).
Guess what? Most don’t use those services that you say are worth ____ (fill in the blank) dollars. Unless you can prove personal ROI for each member, you are wasting your time.
Telling people that they should join your association because of your lobbying efforts is not enough. Telling people they should join to help the profession move forward is not enough. Telling people that it is their duty to support the industry is condescending…and not enough.
You need to increase your value to each member personally.
3. Your website sucks.
“What? We update it at least every other week. You mean our Website that is connected to our contact management system and database is not good enough?”
Yes, that is exactly what I mean. They all look alike these days.
Bottom line, it is ugly and difficult to navigate. It is sterile. It does not invite people to engage with you and your leadership.
It repels visitors.
4. You don’t support social sharing.
Your information is behind the membership wall. Members must login to read it.
The information in your magazine and newsletter is for members only.
Readers are finicky and lazy. If members cannot access your information with one click they probably are not reading it. If they can’t share it with one click, others don’t know the value of your content.
You have created your own information black hole.
5. Your education offerings stink.
Your own suppliers and vendors are your competitors today.
They are offering quality free education to your members and prospects on a regular basis. They are paying thought leaders to present. They are ensuring that the presentations have high value, are enticing and engaging.
You are promoting average industry speakers that present average information using below-average PPTs with average presentations.
Let’s face it. Either you step up and start investing in education or get clobbered by your competitors.
What are some of the other reasons associations are failing? What are some reasons you did not renew your membership with an association?