By: Malarie Barineau
When joining an organization it’s important to ask yourself how will this benefit me personally, professionally and how can I maximize value.
I recently joined the Junior League of Tallahassee (JLT) and I can already say I’m looking forward to what this next year has in store for me and it hasn’t even begun yet! The organization has more than 500 members, promotes community projects to help children and families such as opportunities to succeed in school through health, self-esteem and basic needs. The membership is comprised of executives, homemakers, teachers, entrepreneurs and more, all women dedicated to making the Tallahassee community better.
Before I joined JLT I was a little hesitant about signing up and trying to meet the requirements that were needed to be a part of the organization. But after speaking with a few of my colleagues; who actually attended the New Member Meeting with me, I decided this is a great opportunity. Personally, it gives me the opportunity to become active within the community, help others, network and make new friends.
When you are a part of an organization, it provides you with the opportunity to grow professionally as well. Since JLT is a non-profit organization, I have been able to take bits and pieces of what I do to help the community and in-turn use it at my day to day work. For example, the majority of our association clients benefit from networking within their industry. The more people that become a part of your organization the stronger your voice is, especially regarding legislative and advocacy efforts.
As an AMC accredited company, we have certain procedures and strategic planning tips we follow to help an association deal with struggles, change and improvement. One way we do this, is by developing specific member benefits tailored to the organization (like these). The benefits are vast for members and their companies. We currently manage 19 associations, so the benefits vary depending on the client.
Examples of tangible business benefits some of our associations offer
- Discounted rates to meetings held by the organization
- Discounted rates for UPS
- Special offers for Payroll Processing
- Special offers on credit card processing
- Human Resource Hotline
- Business Communication
- “Members only” log in page on their website; where they can view members, financials, magazine articles provided by the association (See examples here)
You may think WOW this is a ton of benefits but we strive to serve our clients to the best of our ability. When determining which benefits to offer its best to focus on what the association member needs and what they would get the most benefit from. A few ways to gather this information is by member retention mailings, phone calls and surveys. After receiving the data, we make an analysis to put a list of benefits together. Once the list is compiled we research and call vendors to see if they are interested in working with our associations at a discounted rate. If the vendors agree to work with us then the members start receiving that particular benefit.
No matter what your reason is for joining an organization, it’s good to be involved as you never know where it could lead you. People are more willing to join your organization when they see a direct benefit for them. Make sure prospective members are informed of the benefits, and make sure the actual members see the value in the current benefits. What are some benefits you have found that create the most value for your members?