Member value is the space that lives between your association’s leaders, the staff, programs, events, brochures, website, communications, etc.— between all that and what goes on in a member’s mind when they see their dues statement. The value proposition is in the conversation they have with themselves regarding the rationale to write the check. You need to hear that silent conversation.
Several associations have gone through the not-so-easy but vital process of defining their association’s value proposition this year. Not only does the result help unify leaders of an association; it offers staff and leaders a conversation starter with members all year long.
The goal of the process is to improve, attract, and/or solidify the member’s rationale about the reasons they should belong.
The silver lining is that with the right kind of homework and goals for the project, your value proposition can help to reinvent your association. The work you do to define your value proposition can help the association’s committees, the board and staff think about the future from the member’s shoes—looking in, instead of from the association’s shoes—looking out.
Oh, and did I mention that the value proposition provides a thought process and a base to plan your communications?
From state associations in Pennsylvania to Kansas, and from locals in Idaho to Maryland to Florida, leaders are taking a hard look at their value. Association size is not a factor in this process. In some cases, local associations are inviting state association leaders to attend the workshop.
I spent some time with Florida recently with a progressive local association. Their board took a first step towards discussing their value proposition and how it might be just the right next step in the association’s strategic plan. They are ready to take a different look at their members and themselves in order to match up what members need most with what association does best.
They began with a comprehensive member survey to take a purposeful look what their members need most, the importance of their offerings to the member’s business, and satisfaction with each of their key programs.
Value is more than “what members get versus what they pay.” Dig deeper to find what is really most important to keeping your members in business. Be part of filling the space that lives between your association’s offerings and what goes on in your members’ minds.