The association landscape has been slowly changing for at least the last decade. It seems harder to find volunteers. Members are not as involved as they once were. People do not want to travel to events. Organizations have been putting restrictions on membership. Metrics are softer, as is the revenue to fund member benefits.
As a result of all of these constricting pressures, we have been wondering, will a new and perhaps correct membership structure help? Associations with individual membership see the opportunity to reach more members with organizational membership. While those with organizational membership realize the problem associated with reaching and engaging second-degree members. Some associations are considering the good, better, best membership levels that online platforms use. Others wonder if switching to free membership while leveraging healthy non-dues revenue streams of income is the right course. And yet, some groups of professionals dislike pulling their credit card out for every little thing, and so an “all in one” membership package may be right for them.
The external pressures of the last seven weeks are going to squeeze associations more, forcing some of us to wonder, again, if a new membership structure is the answer. Only if the new membership structure is guaranteed to add a ton of value for both members and the association (especially members). Make the change if the excess value is worth pulling you, your staff, and members away from what matters most right now – helping members find solutions to their problems.