Understanding the diverse needs of your association membership is just half the battle. Acting
on them to create an environment of value for
every one of your members is the next step.
Here are four simple steps to consider to accomplish this:
1. Embrace DISCUSSION
a. Create an open dialogue among lead-
ers and staff. Ask the hard questions:
Are we meeting our members’ needs?
Are we missing anyone? What can we
2. Embrace INFORMATION
a. Consider some due-diligence. It
doesn’t have to be complicated; it can
be as simple as asking your members
how they feel the association could
provide them with more value. We can
gain invaluable insight just by asking
3. Embrace CHANGE
a. Don’t be afraid to try new things. The
worst thing that can happen is they
don’t work. And you’re typically no
worse for wear!
4. Embrace ACTION
a. Create a plan of action based on your
discussion and information gathering,
and stick to it!
What advice would you give to fellow association leaders as they aim to meet the needs of a
diverse association membership?
MD: “First, due-diligence is extremely important.
Without getting feedback from the members
themselves, we’re just guessing. Second, engage
your members consistently. They want and need
to hear what is going on and what is available to
them, and it gives them an opportunity to take
advantage of the solutions to their needs that
you are offering them. Lastly, take advantage of
the community of association professionals that
Association Forum and other organizations provide. There is a wealth of experience here, and
we would all be wise to tap into it.”
Dan Nielsen is Assistant Vice President, Association
Development Solutions. He can be reached at
“Engage your members consistently. They want and need
to hear what is going on and what is available to them,
and it gives them an opportunity to take advantage of
the solutions to their needs that you are offering them.”