The term ‘member engagement’ is often bandied about in the association world. More of it is considered better yet we rarely state what that actually means. I thought I would put a stake in the ground with my definition of it in the work I do with clients.
Member engagement is the result of a member investing time and/or money with the association in exchange for value. The more of these precious resources they invest, the more engaged they are.
A member who speaks at a lot of conferences and writes many articles for association publications is highly engaged.
A member who invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship money is also highly engaged, even if they do absolutely nothing else.
Engagement is about value. The value for the person doing the engaging as well as the value of that engagement for the association.
Healthy associations create more engagement opportunities in areas that create strategic value for the organization. Having a surfeit of articles to publish is nice but doesn’t really matter if the budget has been in the red for the last three years.
Create engagement where it matters.