Putting it all together, maybe the most important thing Sohini and I learned from fundraisers as we were researching Steal This Idea! (and as Sohini has worked with them over the past two decades) is: don’t get lazy.
And it’s really easy to do that, particularly if you’re organization is not in crisis. And many associations are NOT in crisis. According to the 2017 edition of the Marketing General Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, nearly three-quarters of associations who responded are either holding steady or increasing membership. Renewal rates are generally solid. Participation in programs, products, and services – particularly white-label social networks, virtual and in-person event attendance, and credentialing programs – remains robust.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right?
Well, no. To quote the whitepaper:
It’s easy to get lazy. We urge you and your team not to, though..The association industry’s operating landscape is shifting rapidly and in unpredictable ways…That’s why it’s important, at least at times, to turn outside the industry to see what other organizations are doing to attract audiences, particularly younger audiences; to build relationships with those audiences on their terms, not the organization’s terms; and to recognize their contributions equitably and make people feel known, heard, special, and appreciated.
To learn more, download your free copy of Steal This Idea! Innovations in Cause-Oriented Fundraising for Associations at https://bit.ly/3eu6ntm. Also, mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 21, 2-3 pm ET. Sohini and I will be delivering a webinar on the whitepaper, graciously hosted (so free for attendees) by the nice folks at Wild Apricot.
Image found here.