Offering scholarships to students and early careerists can help attract and retain your association’s next generation of members.
Read on for ideas and tips on how to make the most of scholarships for member recruitment.
By Kyela Bishop, YourMembership Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands
To keep your association going strong for years to come, it’s important to continually attract new members. A great way to draw in new members – especially young members and those early in their career – is to offer scholarships.
How scholarships can attract your next generation of members
Association industry research from Community Brands shows that most members join a professional organization early on – as a student, after graduating but before starting a job, or within the first five years of employment. The 2022 Association Trends Study shows that members place high value on benefits that impact their personal career, such as training, certifications, job opportunities, and help with career advancement. These benefits are among the top reasons members join, and among the list of benefits members continue to value most.
Offering scholarships to students and those just getting started in your industry is a powerful way to provide a valuable benefit that attracts (and retains) younger members. It can help them to:
- Complete their college education so they can begin working in your industry.
- Gain training, continuing education, and certifications they need to jump-start their career.
- Pay for other education that can help them to move their career forward.
Keep in mind that offering scholarships isn’t beneficial only for young members. Those who have just completed a career move to your association’s industry can benefit from scholarships as well. Scholarships can also help those who are mid-career and need additional education and training to take their career to the next level. Scholarships also allow you to contribute toward growing your association’s industry by helping to promote education in the industry.
Three tips for making the most of scholarships for member recruitment
Here are three effective ways to get the most out of your scholarship offerings for member recruitment:
- Get the word out.
Be sure to publicize your scholarship opportunities in multiple ways. For example, post about them in your social media channels. Highlight them on your association’s website. Promote them via member email communications and in your online member community. Provide information about them for attendees at your annual conference. Ask your board of directors to spread the word about them.
- Publicly announce your scholarship winners.
Give scholarship recipients exposure in your industry by spotlighting them in multiple ways. For example, announce scholarship winners
- In a press release
- Through your social media channels
- On your website and online member community
- In your member newsletter
- At your annual even
3. Give scholarship winners a path to find their next job.
Strengthen the benefits of the scholarship by offering an online job board. Doing so will allow you to offer an enticing benefit that makes it even easier to attract new members who are looking for job opportunities and career development. It can also help to solidify your relationship with new members as they look to your organization as THE go-to resource for help in growing their career.
Get the funds you need to offer scholarships.
Offering scholarships can help you attract and retain members. It can also help you to support your association’s industry. But, of course, to offer scholarships, you need funds.
Discover tips on how to get companies in your industry to sponsor your association’s scholarship opportunities. Read the tip sheet: How to Secure Sponsors for a Thriving Scholarship Program.