Customers and Members

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The third leg of the stool is customers and members.

In associations, it’s incredibly important to make sure you are aware of not only the geographic diversity your potential member base could reflect, but also the potential member base of the industry, social group or interest area your association represents.

Take a look at data for the industry or interest area for your association — the US Census might be especially helpful for industry or job-specific associations — and examine how your current member roster compares. If your organization reflected every potential member that aligns with your association interests, is your roster more or less representative?

If your organization isn’t as diverse as your potential membership pool, you’ve got some work to do. Consider what ways you can perform outreach to the underrepresented populations and what barriers to entry may exist.

For example, if your professional organization has a high majority of white members, consider member recruitment at historically black colleges. If your organization skews older, consider what tactics you could use to increase younger members, like student membership options or different pricing for young professionals.


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