To Improve Engagement, Understand Membership Culture
Don't overlook how limited your members' time is
Beth Brooks, CAE, has spent a lot of time getting to know her members. For almost 30 years, she’s led many different associations—from the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWC) to her current position as executive director of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians (TCEP).
In each organization, members engaged differently. “I’ve worked at an association with hands-off members and at another organization with very involved members eager to take on new roles,” Brooks said.
Member engagement springs from an organization’s membership culture, she argued. “What comes to my mind when I think about [membership culture] is tradition,” Brooks said. “What is that association like traditionally? Do they do things like they’ve always done? Do they have a large number of experienced members they lean on? Or are they willing to try something new?”
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