There are many reasons why individuals join an association. Some do it for networking opportunities, some for continued education, and others for the chance to give back to their industry or profession. No matter what the reason, associations provide individuals with a sense of community and belonging. Let's look at the top 5 reasons individuals join an association.
1. To feel like they belong to a community
When you're a part of an association, you instantly have a built-in network of like-minded individuals. This connection can provide valuable support and feedback, which can help you grow both personally and professionally. Plus, being a part of an association gives you a sense of pride and belonging. Knowing that you're a part of something bigger than yourself can be motivating and inspiring.
This need for social connection is one of the most fundamental human desires, and it’s something your association can tap into to attract and keep members. By fostering a sense of community in your organization, you create an environment where people feel comfortable coming together and sharing common interests. What have you done to foster a sense of community?
2. For networking opportunities
Joining an association is a great way to network and meet other professionals in the same field. By becoming a member of an association, there's access to a wealth of resources and opportunities to gain. Members can attend conferences and seminars, meet other members at social events, and participate in many other activities. In addition, memberships often come with a subscription to the association's magazine, which will keep you up-to-date on the latest industry news. Joining an association is a great way to further one's career and meet other like-minded individuals.
If you want to attract and keep members, offer more networking opportunities. From social media groups to in-person meetings, there are plenty of ways to get members connected. What type of networking opportunities does your association offer?
3. For continued education
Most people join associations for educational opportunities. Whether they're looking to learn more about their industry or expand their skill set, associations offer a variety of ways to stay sharp and stay ahead of the curve. By attending conferences, webinars, and other events, members can gain valuable insights and connect with other professionals who can help them take their careers to the next level.
To attract and keep members, offer more opportunities to educate members on the latest trends in your industry. From webinars to podcasts, there are many ways you can provide valuable learning experiences for your members.
4. To give back to their industry or profession
People join associations to give back to their communities in several different ways. Some people join associations because they want to make a difference in the world, while others may join because they have a personal connection to the cause. Whatever the reason, people who join associations are typically passionate about giving back and making a positive impact.
Organizations should consider how they can offer more opportunities for their members to give back. Not only does this make the association more appealing to potential and current members, but it also allows members to connect on a deeper level. Consider ways your association can provide service opportunities or support charitable causes that are important to your membership base. When you prioritize giving back, you attract people who want to be part of something bigger than themselves. In what ways could your organization offer more opportunities for its members to get involved in giving back?
5. For the discounts! (Who doesn't love a good discount?)
Another benefit of belonging to an association is the discounts and resources that it provides. Many associations offer their members discounts on products and services. They also provide access to exclusive events and conferences. These resources can be invaluable for those who want to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Additionally, many associations offer job boards and career resources to help members find new employment opportunities.
There’s no question that discounts are a powerful motivator for membership, and associations can benefit by using this to their advantage. By offering more discounts to members, associations can attract and keep those looking for ways to save money. What strategies do you use to provide discounts to your association members?
There's no doubt that associations provide individuals with a sense of community and belonging. Associations offer a unique space for like-minded individuals to come together, whether it's for professional development, networking, or shared interests. If you're looking to make your organization more successful, it's important to consider why members join in the first place. By understanding the needs and motivations of your members, you can better focus your efforts and goals around those points. In doing so, you'll not only improve member retention but also attract new members.
After all, a sense of community and belonging is something that we all crave. So if you can provide that for your members, they'll be sure to stick around for the long haul.