22 Membership Benefits Ideas for Your Association

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22 Membership Benefits Ideas for Your Association

You've done the hard part— you've got people to sign up to be members of your association. So now what? How do you make sure that your members are satisfied with your association and renew their membership when the next year comes around? We've done the research and found 22 membership benefits ideas that your association should be using to keep your members engaged and wanting more!

Key Takeaways

  • The importance of offering a wide range of valuable benefits to members cannot be overstated, and the diversity of perks plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining members.
  • Creating unique and engaging experiences for members, such as member-only competitions, industry breakfasts, and sustainability initiatives, fosters a strong sense of community and belonging.
  • Highlighting and rewarding members for their achievements or hitting membership milestones are effective ways to acknowledge their contributions.
  • Leveraging technology, such as job boards and online membership communities, facilitates connectivity and accessibility, making it easier for members to engage with the association and each other.
  • Glue Up's comprehensive suite of tools empowers associations to efficiently organize and track engagement efforts. It offers a centralized platform for fostering meaningful connections among members by automating communication, digitizing membership cards, and creating private community apps.

What Are Member Benefits?

When you offer some perks or incentives, as an association to a member upon joining its membership, it is called member benefits. These benefits include discounts on products or services, insurance coverage, advocacy support, and networking opportunities.

Typically, members enjoy these benefits by paying you a membership fee, and they continue for as long as the member remains affiliated with your association.

Why Are Member Benefits Important?

Member benefits are the lifeblood of your association. Any member would assess the value they would receive before joining any association, and so would your members.

That is why you must offer valuable benefits to assure members that their needs will be met, which helps greatly with member retention.

Additionally, compelling benefits serve as a magnet to increase membership, marking your association's growth and influence.

How to Make Sure You Have the Best Membership Perks?

As an association, it's important to offer the best member benefits to your members. But how can you be certain that the perks you provide are truly the best?

Put yourself in your members' shoes and consider their needs, industry, or type of business. Do they require discounts, logistical support, marketing services, insurance, or something else entirely?

If you find it challenging to decide, don't hesitate to ask your members for their input directly. Conduct meetings or surveys to gather member feedback and plan your benefits package according to their preferences.

1. Member-Only Communication

To make sure that your members are getting the most out of your association, create ways to increase communication within your association. Members will enjoy the benefits of being able to connect and communicate with their fellow members. This membership benefits idea will allow your members to further grow their network and develop even more as professionals.

For example, a useful application that your association should take advantage of is GroupAhead. This app is customizable to your specific association as it allows you to choose the actual app icon, add your own custom links, and import your events to the apps calendar. Specific to communication though, this app only allows your members to join, so they can easily communicate through messages with one another. Any member can also post pictures to the associations platform for everyone on the app to view, like, and comment on.

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  <p>For keeping up with relevant community information and important event promotions, your association should utilize <a  data-cke-saved-href=Glue Up. This app can also be helpful in encouraging community members to communicate and make connections. This type of technology would be great for your association because it would allow constant communication between your members that would make them want to renew their membership as they have forged meaningful connections with other members.

Strengthening communication between your association and your members is also extremely important. If a member has any questions or concerns about your association or their membership, it would be helpful to have a place where they can reach out and get their questions answered.

Need to learn more about automating your communication at scale? Book a demo and learn more about Glue Up's membership automation solutions.

2. Career Opportunities

Career Development Tools Offering a variety of career development tools is a great membership benefits idea that your association should be using. It is easy to offer a few tools to your members, but making sure that there is a variety of these tools and experiences will keep your members coming back.

One career development tool that your members would love is some type of resume service. A resume service could be an online bank of templates that guide your members and allow them to create very professional looking resumes. It could also be a resume workshop where members can attend and learn how to build them a great resume while meeting and networking with fellow members. Some associations offer online resume workshops that are free to their members.

For example, The American Camp Association offers hundreds of online course to their members, one of which is a resume writing and interview skills workshop.

membership career oppurtunities

Another career development tool that your members would love is a members-only job board software. This software would bring together major employers and show job postings for members to view and apply for. Members would be allowed the opportunity to see these new job posts and even narrow their searches to their location or job title.

It is important to remember that career development tools should also include events that will encourage members to learn more but also network with other professionals.

One example of an event that your association could put on is a career advancement speaker series. Many of your members could come and learn more about specific topics that all have to do with career advancement and network at the same time. Being that in-person events do connect to sales, your members would appreciate opportunities to meet and talk with each other.

3. Useful Webinars

Although it is a great membership benefit to have in-person events, with the busy world that we live in, it is not always realistic to do everything in person. A great membership benefits idea for your members that cannot always come to events in person is introducing a webinar.

Webinars are great for providing information and replacing an in-person meeting. The key to creating a quality webinar is first picking a relevant topic to cover. Your members will want to tune in to something that they find interesting or that gives a new perspective that they do not know much about.

For example, the American Chamber of Commerce China is offering a webinar to its members only on May 15, 2019, on the topic of Export Compliance Working Group Meeting with Kevin Kurland. This webinar is only available to AmCham members and has both a relevant topic and an interesting speaker.

amcham china membership

Once you have decided on a topic, it is important to make sure that after the actual speech or seminar, you leave time for questions. Oftentimes your members will relate what they have learned in the webinar to their business or line of work, and they will have questions that can help them personally.

If your members feel like they are learning something and getting questions answered that can help their business, they will feel your service is valuable.

4. Affinity Programs

affinity rewards

An affinity program is when your association teams up with another business or association to allow for mutual benefits. Affinity programs can be a great membership benefits idea because your association will be providing discounts and new opportunities to members through the other business that you team up with.

Together with your partnered business, your association can create benefits that you think your members will enjoy using. When your members get discounts from other businesses, this will improve their overall experience with your association.

For example, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has multiple affinity programs including a partnership with Aventura World, an international travel planning program. Members of ACCE will get discounts and benefits from Aventura World because of ACCE's partnership with Aventura World. For members, this affinity program could be extremely beneficial and make their experience with ACCE very positive.

5. Engaging Content

panel discussions

One of the most important membership benefits is actually one of the most simple ones: frequently release engaging content to your members. If your association is not engaging with your members, they will easily get bored and potentially not renew their subscription the next year. To make sure that your members do not get bored, create varied, engaging content, and put this content out OFTEN.

First, make sure that your association is creating content that can be released in different forms on different platforms. If your association is only creating email newsletters, your members may feel uninterested after a while. There are so many different platforms to release engaging content, and your association should be utilizing them.

Besides newsletters, a few membership benefits ideas could include releasing content via blog posts, webinars, free guides, and even ebooks. By varying the platform on which your content is presented, you will always keep your members on their toes.

Next, and most importantly, make sure your content is engaging. If you are releasing content on different platforms but none of your members want to read it, your content is extremely unsuccessful. To ensure that you are creating content that your members will want to read, think about your audience. On a basic level, think about your members and what that they will be interested in.

You can also get a better idea about what your members want by actually asking them what they would want to learn about. If you involve your members in the content creation process by asking them for ideas, they will be more interested in reading your future content. With this in mind, one way to create engaging content is by including interactive aspects in the content you produce. For example, your association could create a quiz for your members to take and give them the results just after they have taken it.

Lastly, your association should make sure that you are releasing content often. To make sure that you don't lose your members, frequency is key. As much as it is good to keep your members on their toes in terms of what platform you will be releasing information on, they should also feel like there is a consistency in terms of when information is given. There should not be month long gaps in between sending or posting content.

Ultimately, your members want to feel like they are receiving membership benefits that are significant to them. By creating engaging, interactive content and releasing it often, your members will feel heard and important.

6. Member Discounts

Membership Discount

Just as it is crucial to vary your associations content, it is also imperative to have variation in the discounts that your association offers. Instead of doing the same discount for an event, try to find fun ways to give members quality discounts.

One membership benefits idea that would help your association would be changing up the products that you have discounts on. Maybe your association could find a monthly product or service to offer a discount on. With this, your members will feel they are getting more from their membership.

Another creative membership discount idea is implementing a discount for big anniversaries such as your associations birthday. Maybe give a discount code that has the actual date of your associations birthday or have the percentage off be a number that is related to the actual birthday.

Lastly, your association should also consider giving special discounts to members that have been with your association for a long period of time. To encourage member loyalty, these discounts could be given after 5, 10, and 20 years of being a member. This allows individual members to feel special and feel rewarded for being a part of your association.

7. Mentor Programs


A mentoring program is a great membership benefits idea for your association because it encourages your members to forge relationships with one another. A mentor program can be extremely effective and eventually benefits both the mentor and the mentee.

For a mentor program to work, your association should come up with some guidelines. First, your association should consider how long someone has to be a member of your association before they can be eligible to be a mentor.

Next, your association should make sure that you are pairing people up who have similar interests, industries, and maybe are geographically close to one another. The better your association pairs mentors and mentees together, the more the members will benefit from this program.

Your association could also allow your members to pick who their mentor or mentee is based on who they think will be valuable to their professional development.

8. Volunteer Opportunities

runner race gravel

The final membership benefit idea that your association can use to get your members to renew their subscription is presenting unique volunteer opportunities. Your members will love the chance to be involved in supporting an important cause while gaining professional experience.

Any volunteer opportunity would allow your members to make a positive impact on a cause. Usually, when someone does something giving and generous, they will feel a sense of fulfillment from being a part of something bigger than themselves. If you as an association are able to give this feeling to your members, they will associate those good memories and feelings with your association.

Your members can also learn new skills depending on the volunteer position that they take on. These new skills can be transferred to their resume which further benefits their professional development.

9. Engaging the Disengaged Member

automate membership renewal reminders

As an association, you need your members, and you need them to be engaged. When you're thinking about finding ways to engage members that might be disengaged, consider these 8 membership benefits.

When your members feel like they are getting a plethora of benefits that they could not be getting elsewhere, they will be drawn to stay with your association.

Consider trying some of these membership benefits ideas, and see what your members think. Ask for their opinions and feedback! You may find that your members want benefits that your association can give, but had not even considered yet.

10. Networking Opportunities


Offering networking opportunities appeals to the majority of members. Statistics indicate that 80% of B2B purchasing decisions are influenced by a buyer's direct or indirect customer experience.

Given the significance of networking, why would potential members not want to join your association if you continue to provide ample networking opportunities?

The networking opportunities, such as events, workshops, seminars, and industry-specific meetups, help you increase the chances of members acquiring new members.

One such example is the Accountant Lawyer Alliance. The association provides its members with access to top-tier educational events and virtual events. Additionally, it has an online platform specifically designed to nurture business relationships.

You could also adopt a similar approach to position your association as the epicentre of networking opportunities for your members. However, this would enhance their professional connections and the value they receive from joining your community.

11. Industry Breakfasts

Organizing industry breakfasts could prove fruitful. Consider hosting a breakfast event once a month or every three months, inviting industry experts and other influential figures, including members and non-members of your association. These gatherings can serve as a vibrant forum for networking, sharing insights, and building relationships.

Besides, this platform will help your members, especially new members, engage in discussions with these experts, gain first-hand industry knowledge, ask pressing questions, and receive advice that can be crucial for their professional development.

Moreover, facilitating these interactions helps your association build a supportive community where members can learn from each other's experiences, challenges, and successes.

12. ‘Feature’ Members on Your Website


Feature members on your website; this will give them recognition and make them feel valued, and it can be an attractive feature for potential members. You can feature them in several ways:

  • Creating Member Spotlights
  • Highlighting Member Achievements
  • Sharing Member Testimonials

The Club Management Association of America (CMAA) effectively showcases its members in the publications section on its website. Members are also featured and highlighted through outlets like the Club Management Magazine, Board Brief, and podcast, providing them valuable exposure.

This approach not only celebrates the achievements and insights of its members but also serves as a significant source of encouragement and recognition within the community.

Adopting a similar strategy, you can feature your members in various formats, whether on your website, in a dedicated magazine, through briefings, or via a podcast.

The catch here is to spotlight members, thereby boosting their morale and promoting a sense of belonging and achievement.

13. Reward Members for Hitting ‘Membership Milestones’

Applaud your members when achieving a membership milestone, such as achieving a certain level of engagement or participation, reaching a milestone anniversary of membership, and, offer them rewards. However, the rewards can include:

  • Greater Discounts on Association Events or Services: Offer more substantial discounts or exclusive access to premium services and events. These rewards encourage members to further engage with the association’s offerings.
  • Movie Tickets for a Night Out: A simple yet effective way to provide a personal touch. It's a gesture that acknowledges the member's contribution while offering them a chance to relax and enjoy.
  • A Trip or Getaway as a Special Reward: For truly significant milestones, a sponsored trip can serve as an extraordinary token of appreciation, creating lasting memories and a deep sense of gratitude towards the association.
  • Customized Kits or Merchandise: These can include items tailored to the interests and professional needs of the members, such as branded office supplies, technology gadgets, or personalized memorabilia that celebrate their milestone.

14. Host ‘Member Only’ Competitions and Events

Upcoming shows

Create exclusive competitions solely for members, where they can participate, team up, and engage in games and contests. Limiting participation to members only promotes exclusivity and helps members to build comprehensive connections with one another.

The Alpaca Owners Association sets a great example with its members-only competitions, where participants engage in friendly contests. These competitions are more than just events; they are a means to inject excitement and promote camaraderie among members.

The association provides a platform for members to showcase their skills and achievements by organizing activities that increase their sense of community and belonging.

Adopting a similar approach in your association can serve multiple purposes. Firstly, it offers entertainment, breaking the monotony of routine activities and providing members with something to look forward to.

Secondly, it facilitates networking in a more relaxed and enjoyable setting, allowing members to connect on shared interests and experiences beyond the professional sphere.

15. Partner up With Local Businesses to Offer Even More Discounts

Another benefit you can offer your members is to partner with local businesses and provide them with even more discounts. Local businesses often offer greater discounts than international brands, allowing your members to enjoy higher savings.

This approach not only allows your members to enjoy higher savings but also encourages a closer relationship between your association, its members, and the local business community.

Expanding on this, you can create a network of local business partners across various sectors, such as restaurants, bookstores, wellness centers, etc., each offering unique discounts or benefits exclusive to your members. This variety certifies that the benefits appeal to a broad range of interests and needs and improve the overall value of membership.

16. Online Membership Community

Wellness Community

An online community is a private space exclusively for members to discuss their issues, access resources, exchange new ideas, and initiate collaborations. Its impact and necessity for members are undeniable, as having one can become an attraction factor.

Statistics suggest that an online community can help organizations improve engagement by up to 21%. Additionally, 90% of communities report that suggestions from the community have been used to enhance products or services.

The Club Management Association of America (CMAA) offers its members an innovative blend of online and offline community support through the Club Wellness Community. This initiative serves as a dynamic hub where club wellness professionals can network, exchange ideas, and actively engage with peers in their field.

Adopting a similar model for your association could be immensely valuable to your members. Establish a community focused on wellness and professional development and provide a space for them to connect over shared interests and goals.

Such communities not only augment the member experience but also strengthen the overall engagement within the association.

17. Advertise Your Member’s Business in Monthly Email Newsletter

Promote your members' businesses in your monthly newsletter by featuring a different member each month. This direct promotion will showcase their services and generate valuable leads.

To maximize the impact of your email marketing efforts, you should use a top-notch service like Glue Up email campaigns. The features, such as personalized communications, branded email campaigns, and automated campaigns powered by Glue Up AI Copilot, will amplify your organization's outreach efforts.

Moreover, extended features, such as a drag-and-drop email designer, email templates, smart Lists, email statistics, and more, will drive further engagement and growth for your association.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to take your email marketing efforts to the next level! Book a demo for Glue Up today and discover how this suite of powerful tools takes your association's communication strategies to unparalleled heights.

18. Maintain an Easy-to-Access Event Calendar

Event Calendar

Make the event calendar easily accessible for every member so that they can have an idea of upcoming events and analyze how they would benefit from them. Moreover, this allows members to prepare accordingly, so they don't miss out on valuable opportunities.

You can introduce an events calendar, similar to what the Alpaca Owners Association has implemented. They've curated a comprehensive list of all upcoming events, streamlining the process for members to stay informed and prepare for their next engagements.

Adopting such a calendar can significantly ease your members' planning process so they never miss an important event. This approach improves the quality of member experience by keeping them well-informed and encourages active participation in association activities.

19. Offer Certifications


Offer certifications to members upon completing training or volunteering activities. This shows appreciation for their dedication and acknowledges their commitment to the association.

Additionally, it serves as proof of their acquired skills or knowledge, boosting their professional credentials.

Organizations such as the AICPA and CIMA are prime examples. These organizations provide their members with certification opportunities that transform their professional abilities and increase their credentials in the competitive job market.

Adopting a similar strategy and starting to offer certifications to your members can add immense value to your association. This initiative can also help upskill your members, making them more competent and confident professionals.

20. Award a ‘Member of the Month’

Member of the month

Introduce the "Member of the Month" award! Each month, recognize one deserving member for their outstanding service and contributions to the association. This initiative will promote encouragement and motivate members to strive for excellence in their involvement with the association.

The American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) sets a noteworthy example by spotlighting deserving executive assistants and administrative professionals and awarding them the "Admin of the Month" recognition.

This initiative celebrates the achievements and dedication of individual members and serves as a source of motivation and inspiration for the entire community.

Similarly, you could implement a "Member of the Month" award within your association, recognizing and honoring deserving members for their contributions, achievements, or engagement.

21. Establish a Job Board

Establishing a job board can be a game-changer for your association. Provide a platform for members to advertise job openings and connect with top professionals, help them streamline the hiring process, and alleviate the burden on your members.

Finding the right candidate can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, but with a dedicated job board, you simplify the process and empower your members to find the best talent effortlessly.

One notable example of having a job board on their website is the American Society of Administrative Professionals’ website. The association features jobs that aid in professional development and connects members with potential employment opportunities that align with their skills and career aspirations.

Implementing a similar job board for your association can significantly expand the value you offer to your members. It is a vital resource for members seeking new positions, career advancement, or even exploring different industry sectors.

22. Implement Sustainability Initiatives

Engage your association members in sustainability drives, such as tree planting drives or community clean-ups, reinforcing a sense of purpose and commitment to social responsibility among the membership.

Participating in these environmentally focused activities helps members contribute positively to their local communities and the planet and build stronger bonds through shared values and actions.

Thinking about ways to automate some of these benefits? Book a demo and see how Glue Up is automating membership benefits and digitizing membership cards.

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