Adding value for your members is important - especially if you are charging a membership fee - but where do you start? Is your YPN reaching its full potential? Here are some ideas for ways to add value to your member base.
Speak to businesses about providing member specials or discounts
This can be a chance to promote local business while appealing to your members. Find out if businesses are willing to provide member benefits – many restaurants will offer discounts if approached. You may also wish to canvass your membership to see if there are young professionals within the group who are willing to provide incentives. For example, you may have a member that is willing to provide a group rate for home and auto insurance.
Provide members-only events
Members-only events can be special events such as whiskey-tasting nights, cooking classes, complementary membership appreciation barbeques, or educational events with guest speakers. Not only does this provide value to your current members, but it may also be motivation for new people to join so that they can be included in the fun.
Offer advertising opportunities for members
You may want to add a members directory to your website so that members can look within the group for referrals or professionals for their own needs. Additionally, you can add member announcements to an email blast or newsletter. To avoid overwhelming your membership with sales pitches, I would recommend limiting email announcements to charitable or non-profit endeavors.
Hold an annual awards ceremony to recognize exceptional members
Show appreciation for achievements within your membership by holding an awards ceremony at the end of each year. Some categories you may consider are: Young Professional of the Year; Young Entrepreneur of the Year; and Community Involvement by a Young Professional. Reaching out to local businesses can help subsidize the cost of the physical award and the venue. You should add your sponsor’s name to the trophy or plaque and invite them to attend the ceremony to present the award.
Organize mentorship opportunities
A mentoring program can help freshly designated professionals or individuals new to the community connect with those who are more established. You may wish to have members mentor younger members, or you can partner with your local chamber of commerce to have individuals matched with persons outside of the membership.
Each community has different opportunities for membership benefits. Get creative! Talk to your members – they may have ideas of benefits that they would appreciate or would be willing to offer.
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