Regardless of the association, these are generally the challenges that face every association leader. Web-based and application technologies and culture shifts threaten to disrupt the very nature of associations. Many of the benefits of belonging to an association are being delivered around you—business and social networking, education and certification, best practices sharing and even advocacy.
Growing the membership and generating revenue both depend on your ability to demonstrate real and relevant value.
In the association world we talk about a member’s ROE: return on engagement. “My time and money are valuable, what am I getting out of this association that I can’t get elsewhere, can my time be better spent doing something else to make a difference in my business and my life, is it worth it to be a member, an active member?”
We help association leaders to craft and tell a powerful “ROE” story, to not only recruit and retain members but to establish stronger more productive volunteer and advocacy relationships. Understanding the relationship values is the first step.
Foundation & Association Examples: Philanthropy & Advocacy
American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASME Foundation
The Foundation was tasked with re-orienting the Society in the eyes of its current and prospective members and partners. According to the Executive Director, “we can’t be seen as focused on light switch schematics, we need to show our global impact.”
Following a series of interviews and surveys we developed a bold new tack for ASME’s role in the world. We identified 4 key areas of focus—Workforce, Safety, Health and Energy—and created message platforms that were build on themes of education, diversity, innovation, community, sustainability and humanitarian initiatives. We work to help the Foundation drive funding and participation from its 110,000 members and $30 in philanthropic funding to generate the greatest possible results.
American Hotel & Lodging Association
The association had served its constituents well for more than 100 years. After the departure of a much-beloved hospitality professional, following a long tenure as the CEO, the board of trustees seized the change moment to pivot the association’s primary mission. They hired a government affairs expert to be the new CEO, upended the priorities, and re-wrote the business plan. They needed help building the membership awareness of the change and what it meant, and gaining their active engagement and ideas and energy contribution. Through a high-level immersion process, we were able to develop a newly crystallized and compelling value proposition for the association and a coherent communications platform for all communications. To signal the change we developed a new identity and brand architecture for the association and its extension business initiatives, such as education and certification.