I’ve been thinking about member value a lot recently, and I see four ways that an association can provide value to members:
Association to Member – benefits offered directly from the organization to member. These include such services as education, information, data, and events.
Member to Member – services which facilitate members feeling connected to each other and being a part of a group to which they really belong, a sense of finding their ‘tribe’. These include mentoring, the social and collaborative aspects of events, online communities and discussion groups, and the member directory to find people who can help them.
Association as Leader – where the association acts as a leader, and provides services or creates positive change within the community. This is often done through the work of both staff and members, but with credibility arising from the association acting as an organizational entity. This includes advocacy, policy development, the development of certification standards, and national or international relationships.
Member to Association – where the member benefits by serving the association. These might be tangible benefits, such as compensation for conducting training sessions, or intangible benefits, such as professional recognition or a sense of professional commitment and contribution.
I’m interested in testing the robustness of this framework. Do you see other ways that associations generate value for their members? Thoughts and comments welcome.