Our goal is for all ASHI members to know that their national and chapter membership is a valuable investment. We believe that when members understand just how effectively their chapter represents them on the national level and how each chapter strives to meet its members’ needs on the local level, they will want to join, renew and stay active.
The Direct Ask
How can you enhance the value of membership in your chapter? You’ll need to gather information and reach out. Try these ideas:
- Survey your members—be sure to contact current, former and prospective members—and encourage them to tell you the types of activities, meetings and services that will meet their individual needs.
- Encourage your members to take an active role in one or more of your chapter’s programs and activities. Extend personal invitations to chapter events and board meetings, and directly ask members to serve on specific committees and workgroups.
Tailor Your Meeting Topics
You can tailor your meetings and activities based on the responses you receive to your surveys and personal invitations. At the national level, we know that many ASHI members report that they are interested in these topics:
- maintaining a good work-life balance
- keeping up and staying competitive with peers
- meeting continuing education requirements
- participating in opportunities to interact with peers
- succeeding in personal development
Provide Ongoing Communication
Regular communication packed with practical information can help members feel satisfied about their investment in membership. ASHI provides information to members about activities and benefits in a number of ways. For example, First Thing and Tuesday Industry news briefs are effective electronic communications that feature the latest news from the industry. In addition, ASHI ensures that our website is up to date. We know that members who are aware of their membership benefits are more likely to renew that membership each year.
ASHI chapters can address this communications challenge as well. Electronic or mailed chapter newsletters, reminders and special mailings are tools that can help current and prospective members understand what their chapter leaders are doing to meet their needs. Several chapters produce brochures that explain details about ASHI, as well as provide information specific to their chapters to call out the most important membership benefits.
Reach Out to New ASHI Members
There are many techniques chapter leaders can use to recruit and retain members. Your chapter’s choices about which techniques to use will depend on a number of variables, including available financial resources, availability of volunteer and staff support, and the number of prospective members you are trying to reach.
One great way to boost chapter membership is to use the ASHI Prospect List! Each month, the Member Services Department sends out to its chapters a list of members who have been added to the ASHI membership database. This list includes new members’ names and contact information.
We encourage you to use this list to contact the new members in your region and invite them to join your chapter. ASHI sends details about national membership, of course, but your chapter can describe important information about local networking and other chapter-
related benefits. It’s also a great idea to send direct mail to prospective members in addition to emails. Also, your chapter leaders could make personal calls to prospective members. Just think of how receiving a call from a person on the chapter’s membership committee or leadership team can affirm a prospective member’s feeling of their value and importance to the chapter.
Share the Value of Chapter Membership
However your chapter decides to contact your list of prospective members, you should be prepared to share concrete facts about chapter and national activities. The information you provide will help members understand the return they will receive on their investment by joining and becoming or staying active in your chapter.