What influences someone to join a nonprofit association?
According to a 2012 association study, recommendations from advisors, colleagues, experts, families and friends has the most influence on a person’s decision to join an association.
32% of association members state that they joined based on the recommendation of another person. 14% received recommendations from families and friends. 14% from colleagues and 6% from advisors and experts.
5 Drivers That Causes Members To Recommend Membership
With nearly one-third of association membership coming from Word Of Mouth marketing from someone they know, what causes someone to recommend an association?
According to Jerry Elprin’s research (requires a login), there are five key drivers that cause a member to recommend membership to others.
1. A perception that the association is a good organization.
The member is confident about the direction the association is heading. He/She also believes that it is being run efficiently.
2. A feeling of strong connection to the association.
The member has a strong sense of belonging to the association. The association is their preferred professional association. He/she also cares about what the association does.
3. A belief that the association enhances credibility.
He/she is proud to be a member. The member believes that belonging to the association enhances his/her credibility. Meeting the membership and educational requirements makes that membership special.
4. Faith that the organization is the leading source of best practices.
The member believes that the association is at the forefront of the profession or industry. He/she believes that the organization offers indispensable learning opportunities.
5. An opinion that the association is proactive.
The member strongly feels that these three words adequately characterize the association: leading edge, stimulating and proactive.
Elprin’s study found that promoting excellence in the profession, keeping up on technical developments, enhancing the public’s image of the profession, networking, discounts and insurance benefits did not drive someone to recommend membership.
Nor did satisfaction with the association lead to a recommendation or much more importantly, loyalty.
How can your organization leverage these drivers to increase your membership? How do you track membership loyalty at your association?
Currently, there is little membership loyalty. we must engage members to bring them into this mindset. What have others done to engage professionals in membership?