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Fighting for Relevance 
Being relevant to members in a constantly changing world
Cathi Hight, The Retention Specialist 
• President of Hight Performance Group 
• The nation’s member retention specialist ...
Change is All Around Us 
© 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 3
Driving Forces Create Challenges 
• The Recession and the Recovery 
o Housing meltdown 
o Wall Street tumbles 
o Massive l...
How This Relates to Fundraisers and Donors 
© 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 3
GENERATION DIFFERENCES (Generations and the Future of Association Participation report) 
1946 - 1964 1965 - 1980 1981 - 20...
Are the Millennials Joiners? 
“Younger people seek and demand a return for 
membership, including tangible member 
service...
Common Member Interests and Needs 
© 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 7
Member/Donor Profile Matrix 
Get Something Done Through You 
Community/Industry Investors 
•Mission funders 
•Long-term vi...
Top Membership Model Trends 
and what fundraisers can learn too 
• Customized 
– Members custom-build their membership 
pa...
Transformation 
Old New 
Financial Model: Multi-Revenue Sources 
Boards: Small, Experts, Diverse 
Members: Local businesse...
3 Strategies to Consider 
Offer What Matters 
to Members and Donors 
Know What Keeps 
People Up at Night 
Identify Your Ro...
• Find out about 
member/donor 
challenges 
o Surveys 
o Interviews 
o Quick Polls 
o Phone Calls 
o Focus Group 
© 2014 H...
Strategy #2 Identify Your Roles 
Global 
Competency 
Community 
Development 
International 
Development 
Mission 
Sustaina...
• Ask members if they 
value what you offer 
o Surveys 
o Interviews 
o Quick Polls 
o Phone Calls 
o Focus Groups 
© 2014...
Align Your Benefits for Access, 
Resources & Solutions 
• Access for the specific needs 
of the type of member/prospect 
•...
Provide Virtual Education 
© 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 16
Offer Peer-to-Peer Collaboration 
SIGS 
© 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 17
Strategically Connect Members 
AboutOurwork.com 
© 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 18
It’s Time to Think Strategically 
FROM TO 
LOCALIZED 
SINGLE ENTITY 
GLOBAL ACCESS 
COLLABORATIVE 
EVENT-FOCUSED SOLUTION-...
Are You Ready for the New? 
Future of Being Relevant 
Future 
of 
Business 
Future 
of Associations 
and Charities 
© 2014...
Summary 
• Trends are changing the landscape for our 
members and communities 
• Know the concerns of constituents and rea...
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Staying Relevant to Members and Donors in a Constantly Changing World

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Several major shifts have changed the landscape for associations and non-profits including economic conditions, demographics, time poverty and technology. Explore how associations and non-profits are fighting for relevance and how to create a game plan to ensure you are essential to your members, donors, and other constituents as well as the community you serve.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Staying Relevant to Members and Donors in a Constantly Changing World

  1. 1. Fighting for Relevance Being relevant to members in a constantly changing world
  2. 2. Cathi Hight, The Retention Specialist • President of Hight Performance Group • The nation’s member retention specialist • Developer of the Member Retention Kit • National instructor for the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management • Previously was Vice President of Operations for the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii • Serves on the Member Relations Council for the Austin Chamber • Past-President of the Boulder Area Human Resources Association (BAHRA) • Is a member of the: – American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) – American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) – Austin Chamber of Commerce © 2013 Hight Performance Group © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 2
  3. 3. Change is All Around Us © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 3
  4. 4. Driving Forces Create Challenges • The Recession and the Recovery o Housing meltdown o Wall Street tumbles o Massive layoffs • Demographics o Aging Boomers exit the workforce  o Millennials dominate the workforce  o Different generations, different values • Technology o Social media revolution o Cloud computing o Mobile society • Time Poverty o People are busier than ever o ROI expectations  for time invested o Board size, volunteers and attendance  © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 4
  5. 5. How This Relates to Fundraisers and Donors © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 3
  6. 6. GENERATION DIFFERENCES (Generations and the Future of Association Participation report) 1946 - 1964 1965 - 1980 1981 - 2000 Baby Boomers Generation X, Gen X, Xers Generation Y, Gen Y, Millennial, Echo Boomers Characteristics • Hard work leads to success • Loyal to brands • Confident • Competitive • Rebellious to status quo icons • Anti-authority • Self-reliant and autonomous • Family-focused • Cautious • Limited loyalty • Digital Society • Feel entitled to a “seat at the table” • Lateral, collective problem solving • Globally and diversity inclusive • Immediate ROI and feedback Their Experiences Grew up in time of affluence. Reared to pursue the American Dream. Children of workaholics and divorce, cable TV. Reared to be self-sufficient (latch key kids). Micro-managed by parents, born with technology, always rewarded for participation. Reared to be high achievers. Communication Style • Prefer detailed face-to-face dialog or via phone • Appreciate in-person meetings • Believe no news is good news • Prefer concise communication without over-explaining • Clichés or corporate jargon • Prefer e-mails • Prefer frequent feedback and problem solving via technology instead of phone calls or meetings • Collaborative Problems They Are Facing Right Now • Dwindling retirement funds • Job dislocation • Rising health care costs or inadequate health care coverage • Debt • Caring for young children and aging parent • Balancing life and career • Stuck in middle management • Debt • Unemployment • Difficulty transitioning from college to career • Negative stereotypes • Being taken seriously Why They Join • Opportunities to lead and leave a legacy • Support social causes • Opportunities to further careers and upper leadership positions • Opportunities to learn from others • Support social causes Volunteer Styles • Want to lead and manage others • Serve on committees and teams • Like to hold regular meetings and discuss strategies • Want autonomy • Opportunity for key leadership role • Hate being micromanaged or meeting just to meet and waste time • Work on teams for outcomes • Lack of hierarchy • Recognition of teammates • Collaborative content, decisions Flaws • “Been there done that” attitude • Not always open to new ideas • Difficulty committing • Tend to have a “wait and see” approach • Short attention spans • Expect immediate responses • Asks “what’s in it for me?” Turn-offs • Constant change • Lack of respect for past loyalty • Chaos, distrust, loyalty that goes unrewarded • Dismissing new ideas because of their lack of experience 6 Different Generations, Different Values © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance
  7. 7. Are the Millennials Joiners? “Younger people seek and demand a return for membership, including tangible member services, high levels of accountability, identifiable career advantages, a sense of professional community, and opportunities to serve within associations.” Generations and the Future of Association Participation published by the William E. Smith Institute for Association Research © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 7
  8. 8. Common Member Interests and Needs © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 7
  9. 9. Member/Donor Profile Matrix Get Something Done Through You Community/Industry Investors •Mission funders •Long-term vision, strategic direction •Business-friendly environment •Support sustainability for all •Do the right thing (civic-minded) Community/Industry Builders •Sustainable, thriving economy •Business-friendly environment •Seen as a leader, strong brand •Execute on corporate initiatives •Workforce development D E T S E Business Investors V •Lower operational costs, regulations N •Advertising and marketing to drive I traffic and sales w/out involvement •Attract and retain skilled staff •Access to experts, best practices Get Something for Their Business Business Builder •Just-in-time needs (leads=sales) •Immediate ROI w/ limited investment •Exposure, connections •Personal visibility •I am the brand I N V O L V E D © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 9
  10. 10. Top Membership Model Trends and what fundraisers can learn too • Customized – Members custom-build their membership packages to suite their interests and needs (base membership + add-ons) – Pros: Members choose what they want, which leads to higher engagement – Cons: Members may not value benefits • Electronic (virtual) – Membership restricted to web-based resources and programming – Pros: New streams of revenue are added with incurring expenses (e.g., printing) – Cons: Memberships provide limited access so they generate less revenue • International – Membership is accessible worldwide – Pros: Membership expands into new markets – Cons: Benefits may need to be developed and engagement be more difficult • Multitier – Menu of membership options based on interests, professional designation, budget – Pros: Members like being able to choose which options best suit their needs – Cons: Requires the ability to manage multiple benefits for multiple audiences • Open (freemium) – Membership does not require the payment of dues – Pros: Leads to substantial membership growth (more people in the playground) – Cons: People perceive there’s no value because there’s no cost to join © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 10
  11. 11. Transformation Old New Financial Model: Multi-Revenue Sources Boards: Small, Experts, Diverse Members: Local businesses Members: Local & global businesses Programs: Strategic, multi-media, solution/cause-oriented Financial Model: Fair share dues & events Boards: Large, CEOs, Boomers Programs: Add++, in-person, variety Motto: Get involved, get results 11 Motto: Access, Resources, Solutions © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance
  12. 12. 3 Strategies to Consider Offer What Matters to Members and Donors Know What Keeps People Up at Night Identify Your Roles © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 12
  13. 13. • Find out about member/donor challenges o Surveys o Interviews o Quick Polls o Phone Calls o Focus Group © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 13
  14. 14. Strategy #2 Identify Your Roles Global Competency Community Development International Development Mission Sustainability Advocacy/ Political Action Workforce Development ? Leadership & Development © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 14
  15. 15. • Ask members if they value what you offer o Surveys o Interviews o Quick Polls o Phone Calls o Focus Groups © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 15
  16. 16. Align Your Benefits for Access, Resources & Solutions • Access for the specific needs of the type of member/prospect • Resources that are available through people, partners, publications, and virtually • Solutions that matter to the member/prospect – Strengthening the local economy – Building corporate brand – Education/skills development – Mentoring, counseling, experts – Information (FYI, Just in Time) – Visibility (marketing, exposure) – Connections to the right audience • Tiered benefits model that align with interests, needs, budgets • Unique opportunities through your relationships and expertise • Web sites with self-serve opportunities (portals to members-only sections) • Social networking (Special Interest Groups with exclusive access, collective content development) • Virtual events (e.g., webinars, webcasts, podcasts, conferences, forums, expos) • Partnerships that deliver resources & value for specific business needs – Online, virtual education – Buy/sell portals (for RFPs, quotes, barters) – GIS services – Talent portals, assessments, internships – Commercial property listings Benefit Areas Solutions © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 15
  17. 17. Provide Virtual Education © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 16
  18. 18. Offer Peer-to-Peer Collaboration SIGS © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 17
  19. 19. Strategically Connect Members AboutOurwork.com © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 18
  20. 20. It’s Time to Think Strategically FROM TO LOCALIZED SINGLE ENTITY GLOBAL ACCESS COLLABORATIVE EVENT-FOCUSED SOLUTION-FOCUSED TRANSACTIONAL TRANSFORMATIONAL © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 20
  21. 21. Are You Ready for the New? Future of Being Relevant Future of Business Future of Associations and Charities © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 21
  22. 22. Summary • Trends are changing the landscape for our members and communities • Know the concerns of constituents and realize that different types of members/donors have different values and interests • Consider your role and how to serve the community and members/donors • Associations and charities need to adapt what they offer and how they engage to meet the changing needs of their target markets or they’ll become non-essential © 2014 Hight Performance Group, Inc. Fighting for Relevance 22

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