I recently took part in an association’s strategic planning session. The goal of the session was to create a three-year strategic plan. During the session, four priority areas were outlined by the association’s leaders. One of the priorities was to Maximize Service Delivery, which is defined as ‘to improve the availability of the association’s service offerings.’ In other words, enhance and increase the association’s member benefits to keep existing members and to recruit new ones 

As part of the planning session, we looked at two important drivers – the What and the How of Maximizing Service Delivery within the association’s member benefits.  


The What? 

What is the key objective of maximizing your association’s service delivery? 

  1. Enhance the association’s current services offered to members to elevate member experience and value and to showcase member benefits to non-members. 
  2. Upgrading member service offerings and benefits to showcase growth and innovation.  

Keeping your members engaged by consistently providing improved and relevant member benefits will retain them as a member and potentially grow the membership.  


The How? 

The how achieves membership retention and growth. But how do you get to those outcomes of maximizing your associations service delivery?  

Below are a few ways to achieve this:  

  • Provide frequent communication updates. One of the most effective strategies for enhancing member engagement is communication. Communication is the foundation of any relationship, and it is no different when it comes to the relationship between an association and its members. Association leaders should communicate regularly with their members through a variety of channels, including email, social media, newsletters, and online forums. These communications should be tailored to the members’ interests and needs and should be engaging and informative.
  • Offer networking opportunities. Members who feel connected to other members are more likely to remain engaged with the organization. Associations can facilitate networking opportunities by hosting events, such as mixers, meet-and-greets, and conferences. These events provide members with the opportunity to meet and connect with other members, which can lead to valuable professional and personal relationships.
  • Administer frequent updates and improvements to the website. In today’s world, with the technology that we have, keeping your website up-to-date and relevant is very important. Review your website yearly to make sure that the information provided is still relevant, update images to keep current with today’s environment, and make sure that information is easy to find. 
  • Offer professional learning opportunities. Members who feel that they are growing and developing in their profession or industry are more likely to remain engaged with the association. Therefore, associations should offer relevant and valuable educational resources, such as webinars, conferences, and training programs. By providing members with these resources, associations can help members develop their skills and knowledge, which can lead to improved job performance and career advancement. 
  • Offer certifications and continuing education credits (CEUs). Certifications and CEUs can help members stay current in their field and can lead to career advancement. Offering these types of credentials can help keep members engaged with the association and demonstrate the association’s commitment to their members’ professional development.
  • Create a mentorship program. Mentorship provides both mentors and mentees with a range of advantages. Establishing this relationship can benefit both parties as they gain new knowledge, expand their professional networks, and advance their careers.
  • Have a social media presence. Associations should consider creating an online community or forum where members can connect and network with each other. An online community can help members stay connected with the association and each other between in-person events. associations can also leverage social media to communicate with their members. Social media provides a platform for associations to share updates and news about the organization in real-time. Associations should regularly post content on social media and encourage members to engage with the content by liking, sharing, and commenting on posts. 


Success of the Association 

Maximizing service delivery is a crucial aspect of ensuring the long-term success of any association. Engaged members are more likely to remain loyal to the association, participate in its activities, and advocate for its mission. In contrast, disengaged members may become inactive or even withdraw their membership, which can lead to a decline in the association’s membership and revenue.  

Therefore, it is essential for association leaders to focus on maximizing service delivery to keep their members engaged and connected with the association. 

For more ideas on increasing your association’s membership, read my colleagues article on How to use events to grow your associations membership.