What’s new with Association member recruitment?
Many associations are moving beyond offering members a single practitioner peer group to offering a range of peer groups. Expanding opportunities for professional networking and development is a signature strategy for member recruitment and engagement. Take a look at four key strategic benefits.
Targets Professional Networking
Creating a range of peer groups gives the opportunity to significantly narrow the group member profile. For example, one of the peer groups the MACDC offers is a Boston Committee, which consists of leaders from all 20 CDCs in Boston. The peer group brings leaders together each month to discuss a variety of policy and program issues impacting the city. A peer group of this nature is especially beneficial because it brings the top decision-makers to one central location, on a consistent monthly basis.
Improves Services and Outcomes
Associations provide services, advocacy and information that benefits an industry. Peer groups within the association provide the opportunity for members to address specific challenges. Members share experiences and together build on best practices in a non-competitive environment.
Tapping into the collective knowledge of a peer group is powerful. The group serves as a forum allowing members to solve problems collectively and maximize resources to best address the needs of an industry. As an example, the Beck Initiative recently launched an online community that provides an important piece of program sustainability. It links new therapists to a community of peers where they can learn new ideas, access resources and build their professional network.
Associations that offer a range of peer groups not only bring together like-minded professionals, they also foster diversity. This includes diversity of business type, size, age, and scope, as well as diversity of professionals with gender, race, age, and experience. Successful companies are built using diverse teams. Diversity among peer group membership supports the ability to adapt and innovate in a fast-changing environment.
One of the most important benefits of peer groups is bringing professionals together. Working independently of each other can lead to professional stagnation. Peer groups are a channel for new ideas and fresh perspectives. Interactions with peers keep professionals current and engaged when it comes to changes in the industry.
If you would like to learn more about establishing a successful peer group, grab your copy of the Guide to Creating Successful Online Communities. It’s yours free to download from iCohere.