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Cultivate Young Members

Think about younger members as a unique, segmented audience

Young professional members are the future of any organization—but recruiting and cultivating that membership base can be challenging when you don’t understand their needs. And instead of employing strategies that hit on the complex needs of the younger generation, many associations focus on the “young” in “young professional,” says Dean West in a post for Association Laboratory. The result is marketing and recruiting tactics that stereotype—and then turn off—the targeted group.

“Consider how many associations have a Young Professional Committee or identify someone who is younger as a ‘newbie’ designated by some cartoonish pin,” West says. “Assigning diminutive names that highlight how young professionals are different, and somehow less, than real professionals does not improve their engagement. Creating a special ‘area’ isolating them from more senior members, attendees, or volunteers isn’t doing them a favor.”

Instead, West says associations should shift the focus off of age to thinking about younger members as a unique, segmented audience. From there, organizations can dig deeper into what it will take to develop an integrated, diverse member base.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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