How to Win That Membership “Contest”

Updated: Oct. 23, 2017  |  Categories: StarChapter Admin, Member Communications, Volunteers, Goal Setting, Membership  

With multiple life and career interests vying to win the attention of your members, your chapter needs to stand out above the competition. This is the only way to triumph as a chapter. And to be fruitful, the chapter simply needs to have people, some taking the lead in planning with others enjoying, stress-free participation in activities. Indeed, building membership and keeping members happy and engaged, whatever their role is, is always the greatest focus for chapter success, as every event and meeting weaves together the story of your chapter and its members.

Here are 8 ways your chapter can find satisfaction with membership:

  1. Conduct a survey. The most obvious way, but oftentimes overlooked. Rather than guess, ask your members how leadership can serve them better. They can tell you what they like and don’t like; what they need and don’t need.
  2. Streamline offered benefits. People join your chapter for multiple reasons, sometimes for the immediate benefits the chapter offers. Ask if they are using everything offered. If not, find out what is most important and eliminate what is underutilized in favor of other benefits members might want more. And if a smaller portion of membership utilizes some benefits, keep them but at a small fee, to increase chapter revenues.
  3. Provide opportunities for leadership roles. Being a leader might often be its own reward, but if there are no available committees or open positions because the same people hold on to the coveted roles, members who want more responsibility might get discourage and simply leave. Stay in-tune with members’ desires and needs, creating new and creative roles if necessary to carry on your chapter’s good work. Form a committee to plan the next event or project and invite them to lead.
  4. Encourage participation without requirements to lead. But not all members will actively pursue to take on a leadership role. Some members just want to attend meetings, take in the presented knowledge, and list membership on their résumé. Recognizing that there is nothing wrong with this set of goals is key to keeping some members content. Just go with it!
  5. Make content available to members and prospects alike. Making sure members have a takeaway from events is key. One difficult part is determining which post-event items should be free, which items should have a fee, how much should the fee be, and for whom. Answering these questions depends on your chapter’s mission and its members’ needs. Listen and do what is best, without being afraid to change things around from time to time.
  6. Offer plenty of mentorship and networking opportunities. This benefit cannot be stressed enough. Many join a particular chapter of an association to expand their network within a specific location/region. Make sure your members can realize the full potential of these options by organizing enough events and offering a member roaster for example. 
  7. Think outside the box. Being creative in your planning of events while taking into consideration just what your members have said they want to see in events will keep excitement levels up and people coming back to see what is coming next.
  8. Transform to fit the needs of your members. Since members don’t stay static, listening to members will help you shift as their world shifts. Make the hard choices, even if it means a massive overhaul in the strategy or membership plan. Change is a good thing, when it is warranted to achieve membership success.


With these eight methods in mind, retaining members and converting new members will remain a clear focus for your chapter. Your members and prospects will feel like they are part of something striving for success. And that is how you win the membership contest.



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