Orchid Connect

8 Ways Associations Fail Their Members

Associations may fail their members in various ways, leading to dissatisfaction, disengagement, and a decline in membership. Here are some common ways associations may fail their members:

Lack of Value Proposition

Firstly, associations must provide their members with a clear and compelling value proposition. If associations fail to deliver meaningful benefits, resources, networking opportunities, or industry insights, members may question the value of their membership and choose not to renew.

Ineffective Communication

Communication is crucial in keeping members informed and engaged. Subsequently, associations may fail to communicate regularly, provide timely updates on industry trends, events, or essential association news, leaving members feeling disconnected and uninformed.

Limited Member Engagement

Associations should actively engage their members by offering involvement, participation, and leadership opportunities. Members may feel disconnected and uninvolved if an association fails to provide meaningful engagement activities, such as volunteer opportunities, committee involvement, or networking events.

Ignoring Member Feedback and Input

Members want to feel heard and have their opinions valued. Associations that do not actively seek member feedback fail to address member concerns or suggestions or disregard their input. Additionally, they risk alienating their members and failing to meet their needs and expectations.

Lack of Professional Development and Education

Associations often serve as a resource for their members’ professional development and continuing education. Suppose an association needs to provide relevant, high-quality educational resources, training programs, or industry certifications. In that case, members may seek alternative sources for their professional growth, leading to a decline in membership.

Inadequate Advocacy and Representation

Associations are critical in advocating for their members’ interests, influencing public policy, and representing their industry or profession. Consequently, an association must effectively support its members, address industry challenges, or actively engage in relevant initiatives to ensure their voices are heard, and their interests are adequately represented.

Lack of Transparency and Accountability

Associations must maintain transparency in their governance, finances, and decision-making processes. If an association fails to provide transparent information on how dues are being used, how decisions are made, or how leaders are chosen, members may question the association’s credibility and lose trust in its leadership.

Failure to Adapt to Changing Member Needs

Member needs and expectations evolve over time, and associations must adapt to meet those changing demands. Otherwise, associations that fail to innovate, embrace new technologies, or adjust their offerings to address emerging trends may become outdated and fail to provide relevant value to their members.

To avoid failing their members, associations should prioritize member-centricity, actively listen to member feedback, communicate effectively, offer valuable benefits and resources, foster member engagement, provide professional development opportunities, advocate for member interests, maintain transparency, and adapt to changing member needs. By continually evaluating and addressing member needs, associations can ensure member satisfaction, engagement, and long-term success.

Orchid Connect is a woman-owned Salesforce implementation firm with 30 years of experience serving associations, non-profits and small/medium businesses. We specialize in strategic and implementation services, go-to-market support, and ongoing support. To learn more, reach us at reachout@orchidconnect.com.