Give Your Members A Sense of Ownership in Their Chapter

New report indicates that association members are looking for sustained and personalized outreach where consistent interaction is maintained.

One of SMACNA National's most critical themes to its chapters and members has been the need for heightened engagement at all levels. For the association to be successful, members need to feel like they are not just a source of dues but a part of a body advocating for their space and looking out for the well-being of its membership. 

A new report from technology firm iSeatz, titled "The Benefits of Belonging," takes things further.

iSeatz's findings suggest that the best organizations take things beyond engagement; they give their members a sense of belonging. What does this mean, however? The report's findings state that this end goal is met through a strategy where advocacy and investment in people are the driving forces behind successful associations. While bringing value to members is still essential, it is no longer the driving force behind an association's success or failure. Members are looking past superficial transactional relationships; they want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves and be a part of a community that is driving forward a common cause.

The report highlighted some critical data points that bring this fact to the forefront, with one of the most crucial showing that 80% of members actively engage with their most-frequented organizations weekly. In comparison, 33% reported daily interactions, 32% engaged a few times per week, and 15% engaged weekly. This shows that if members feel invested in the organization and the organization has brought them in with a sense of common cause, there will be heightened engagement and, conversely, success.

Information personalization is one item of positive feedback garnered by the most successful associations. By targeting campaigns on specific interests, you can collect an increased amount of overall input and a higher amount of relevant, helpful feedback.

The report concluded that "understanding the emotional affinity of members and prioritizing advocacy and social connection are among the most effective strategies for nurturing a sense of belonging." As you continue to chart the course of your membership activities for the remainder of 2024, take stock and see how well you are building that sense of belonging. There might be some aspects that you excel at, while others that you need to work on. However, by establishing a clarity of purpose in serving your members, you can build a more robust chapter and a more resilient industry. 

Take a moment to read The Benefits of Belonging.