Be Bold!

I was talking to an association colleague recently. He was explaining how his association has had flat membership growth for the past several years. He said his association spends over $400,000 annually on membership, and the return is essentially break-even. His idea was that rather than spend the $400,000 on recruiting new members, he would just offer FREE membership for one year and use the $400,000 to service those free members.

Now, we can argue the merits of free membership, but the point is that this is a BOLD move. And often, a BOLD move is required to really shake things up and move us off the status quo.

I think his idea has merit and is really a no-lose situation. Worst case scenario is that he spends $400,000 and adds a bunch of new members that drop the following year. If he’s only breaking even currently, I don’t see how this result is any worse. Seems worth the risk to me.

How can you be BOLD at your organization? What untested idea have you been sitting on that you really want to try? Maybe now is the time to shake things up and be BOLD.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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