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Strengthen Chapter Value for Long-term Members

Strengthen Member Value

Long-term members of your chapter are important assets. They are living proof of the enduring value of your chapter.  They also often serve as a guide to new members.  While long-term members add a lot of value to your chapter, they are all too often overlooked in regards to providing value for them relevant to their unique needs. Consider these 5 key ways to focus on long-term member value:

1. Mentor the Mentors

Often long-term members are viewed and relied on as mentors to other members, but they too need guidance. For instance, they may be considering the possibility of taking on a leadership role within the chapter.  There could be concerns regarding how that would impact their work/life balance. Reaching out to your long-term members that often give a lot of time and skill to the chapter will go a long way to improve their overall attribution of value to the chapter.                                                                    

2. Recognize How Life Impacts Participation

Members are always facing issues in their lives that are not directly related to their association participation however, it may impact their participation availability. Leadership may notice a slip in attendance or a pattern of unpaid dues in long-term members. Reach out to these members to check in.  This will let them know that the chapter is concerned for their wellbeing and the chapter can be a utilized as a resource. After all, the chapter and its members are part of a community within the field.

3. Address Complex Career-Related Problem Areas

In any occupation, there are major concerns or shifts in best practices. A key purpose of your association, and the local chapter, is to provide that distinctive career-related value that would address these problem areas. Even better, identify and tackle them. They are usually left for the “experts” in the field to address, but why not invite your long-term members to share their knowledge and expand their knowledge amongst themselves.

4. Hold a Long-term Members Only Meeting

While it is great to rely on your members to help other members, sometimes those long-term members may just want to experience the value of the chapter without being called upon to assist others. Providing them with options that are geared specifically to their concerns providing value relevant to their unique needs. This does not mean ignoring other members and prospects. Rather, it offers a space for those that mentor to recharge their own selves as members of the chapter.

5. Create Targeted Surveys.

As always, ask your members what they need from the chapter. As you create your chapter surveys and collect chapter data, specifically add in a question indicating membership status. Don’t limit it to member or non-member. Instead, ask how long they have been a member. Then, you can sort your results into categories based on longevity within the chapter. Planning will go more smoothly when you have a clearer picture of the true needs of all member segments within your chapter.

As you work with all your members and prospects, the value of the chapter is experienced through the connections you create within the chapter. Opportunities for growth exist at every turn and those long-term members may just remain central to your chapter’s success – especially since their continued membership indicates continued value.

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